So what is Me­tab­o­lism, Any­way?

Good Housekeeping (South Africa) - - YOUR BODY -

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.

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