In our efforts to lose weight, our ears often perk up when we hear about someone’s ‘fast’ metabolism, but what is it really? According to Harvard Health Publishing, your metabolism is, “the internal process by which your body expends energy and burns calories. It runs 24/7 to keep your body moving, even when you’re resting or sleeping, by converting the food and nutrients you consume into the energy your body needs to survive.”
So, how fast or slow? your body breaks down the food you eat is key. “The metabolic rate plays a big part in our bodies. It’s the rate at which your body burns food to produce energy you need to function,” says Thandolwakhe Msomi, a Joburg-based dietician.
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HOW IT WORKS
Our metabolic rate should not be confused with metabolism, which is ?the process of converting food into energy. What is important to understand, Msomi says, is that movement and exercise affect metabolic rate. “Your activity levels raise your metabolic rate, while illness can increase or decrease it. For some women, this function can be affected by their thyroid,” she says.
So can one have a “slow” metabolism, or is it the foods we eat that make it slower?
Scientific literature reveals that there are no foods that can slow down your metabolic rate. But lifestyle plays a very important part.
Professor Salome Kruger, Professor ?of Nutrition at the ?North West University explains: “There are no known foods that slow metabolism down. All foods must be digested, so therefore food intake increases metabolism.”