So what is Metabolism, Anyway?
Think of it as the engine within your cells that keeps you going. A car runs on fuel; you run on kilojoules, which are units of energy. Most of these kilojoules are burnt through your body simply doing its job existing: fuelling your cells and keeping your heart pumping, your blood circulating, your lungs breathing, your digestive system working and your brain neurons firing. (In fact, your brain alone needs about 1 760kJ a day just to keep functioning.) You’re always incinerating kilojoules, even while asleep. Here’s how it works: 1) You eat food. 2) Your body breaks it down into its simplest forms of fat, carbohydrates and protein. 3) The kilojoules in those components are converted to energy, used by your cells and tissues to grow and repair themselves. We know what you really want to know: Is there a way to burn more – that is, to get a faster metabolism? The answer is yes. It begins with what you eat and how you move – more on these two coming up. Other factors: Genetics: You may have a naturally faster or slower metabolism, though lifestyle still has a big impact. How stressed you are: Long-term stress releases hormones that screw with your digestion, so your food isn’t used as efficiently. How well you sleep: This is critical. When your body is short-changed on Zs, it’s pushed into conservation mode, so you burn fewer kilojoules.