There’s nothing cheap about tons of shimmer when it has this much dimension.
Never go dry Toss crumbly formulas in favour of “a formula that is more liquid and easily spreadable, to slip into the tight space,” recommends cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller. A more velvety application means less poking at your eyes. Save glitter for shadow Sparkly liner means faster flaking – which is doubly painful if you wear contacts. Replace often Sure, any extraneous particles in your eye can upset it, but the presence of bacteria can seriously junk up your vision or lead to infections. If you’ve had your liquid liner for longer than three months and your pencil for two years, it’s time to replace them.
You’ve tried every diet and embraced every fitness trend, but you’re still not losing weight. The only explanation: your slow metabolism. That friend who never exercises and loves Häagen-dazs? She must have a super-speedy one. Life’s so unfair. Or is it? Is metabolism really a sliding scale of weight fate? Is our kilojouleburning potential predestined? Does metabolism affect our risk of certain diseases? And, come to think of it, what is metabolism exactly?
“It’s confusing,” agrees Dr Michelle Harvie, a lead research dietitian. “Scientists are constantly trying to understand more about metabolism, so we can offer the right advice – not just to help people stay a healthy weight, but to become healthier overall. And we’re discovering new things all the time.”
So, we bring you a masterclass in metabolism: what it is, what it does, what you can (and can’t) do to affect it.
“It’s the biochemical processes that transform food we eat into energy,” says Dr Jules Griffin, a lecturer in human metabolism and nutrition. “It’s responsible for all the chemical processes in your body which require energy. It keeps you breathing and digesting. It keeps your nervous system and organs functioning normally.” Basically, it keeps you alive.
Metabolic reactions occur constantly in your cells. Your pancreas secretes insulin and glucagon to tell your organs how to function. The thyroid gland controls your rate of metabolism by releasing the thyroxine hormone. “If you don’t burn the kilojoules you consume, your body stores them as fat,” says Dr Harvie. “It’s evolutionary survival, so you’d still have energy to draw on if food became scarce.” And our metabolisms are still in caveman mode. So if we eat too much and move too little, our bodies store more and more fat. Crash diets “Any diet that drastically cuts your kilojoule intake can reduce your BMR by forcing your body to start breaking down your muscles for energy, because you’re not supplying it with enough food,” explains Dr Harvie. This unhealthy phenomenon is called ‘starvation mode.’ A high-kilojoule fat that contains medium-chain triglycerides. These are burnt off as fuel in the liver and raise the metabolic rate. Some studies claim this makes it a good weight-loss food. Others argue it’s still kilojoule dense. Conclusion? More evidence needed. “While there is evidence that your metabolic rate gets a small boost after consuming capsaicin (a compound in chilli peppers), this will not have a great impact on your weight if you change nothing else,” says Dr Harvie. Studies have shown that drinking two to three cups of (non-decaf) green tea will burn an extra 330kj. It’s down to the compounds present in the tea called catechin, which are also heart-healthy. Often, they’ll contain ingredients that boost thermogenesis, such as chilli, but in amounts unlikely to give any obvious health change. “Very few pharmaceutical drugs are proven to help with weight loss, let alone over-the-counter remedies,” says Dr Harvie.
Yes, some people have a higher metabolism than others. This means they burn fuel faster and more kilojoules at rest. But although you may think larger people must have a slow metabolism, the opposite is true. “Overweight people tend to have a higher metabolism,” reveals Dr Griffin. “This reflects the energy requirements of a larger size. The leaner you are, the less energy you need.”
Aside from lab testing, the best way to work it out is with a simple calculation. You can do it with an online calculator, like bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator. Or, for a more accurate reading that takes into account your muscle-to-fat ratio and not just your weight, invest in a professional scale, like the Tanita BC-731 Inner Scan Body Composition Monitor Scale (isandler.co.za R1 999).