Lifestyle Changes Can Speed Up a Slow Metabolism
The metabolism is the way in which the body converts consumed food into what it needs to perform its necessary functions, such as the beating of the heart, breathing, movements of the body through its muscles, healing, and many others. Among the central elements of that process is the conversion of food into glucose (blood sugar).
The presence of glucose causes the pancreas to secrete insulin, which is a type of hormonal messenger that indicates to the cells that they should absorb the glucose to be converted into usable energy. The cell membranes that receive this message are activated so that the glucose is drawn into the cells to let the conversion begin.
In a healthy body, the metabolism runs well, and helps to maintain that good health. However, in some circumstances, the metabolism can slow down or function improperly. In the case of type 1 diabetes, for example, an autoimmune response causes the cells that produce insulin to be killed off. That means that the body’s cells don’t receive the signal to receive the glucose and convert it into energy. However, there are more common reasons for a slow metabolism that does not function properly.
Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (the precursor to type 2 diabetes) are also conditions where the metabolism functions badly. In those conditions, the insulin is secreted and the cells receive the message to convert glucose into energy, but they don’t. The cell receptors become resistant to the transmission of that message, so the glucose can’t enter the cells as effectively. This allows a glucose buildup to occur in the bloodstream, essentially poisoning the body.
On a less dramatic scale, a slow metabolism can be due to a number of factors. Poor diet, certain eating patterns, and a sedentary lifestyle are very common examples of contributors to a slow metabolism. In fact, this is a common enough problem in the United States that many doctors have labeled it as epidemic. Aside from a genetic predisposition to insulin resistance – which is occasionally the case – the majority of metabolism slowing factors are self-inflicted. As a whole, we eat the wrong foods, we eat too much, and we aren’t active enough.
The good news is that while an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and slowed metabolism may greatly be the result of our own unhealthy behaviors, it also means that it is in our own hands. Among the recommendations for overcoming a slow or improperly functioning metabolism are the following:
• Dramatically reduce or eliminate processed foods
• Eat a healthy, well balanced diet
• Consume more antioxidants
• Consider junk food a rare treat
• Reduced refined sugar intake
• Consume more lean proteins, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains
• Drink more water
• Eat foods with probiotics (such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and others)
• Use healthier cooking oils
• Exercise portion control
• Be active every day
• Try to achieve a good sleep every night
• Actively reduce stress levels.