You know that feeling when you’re sitting on the couch, eating your third slice of pizza, and thinking about how delicious it is? But then you also remember that you’re supposed to be dieting, so you feel guilty about eating it? Well, that’s what metabolism is like.
It’s a mysterious thing; it’s why some people eat whatever they want and never gain weight. In contrast, others have to watch every calorie to avoid being overweight. And it’s not just about how many calories we consume or burn; it’s also about how the body processes different nutrients.
If you’ve ever wondered how your body processes food, how long it takes to digest it, or how much energy it burns, this article is for you! We’ll look at the three metabolism types and how they impact your health and fitness goals.
What Exactly is Metabolism?
Imagine a factory. The workers at this factory get their energy from the food they eat and drink. They do not sleep all day; they work diligently to process their products and create something new.
When you eat, your body breaks down the nutrients in your food into simple sugars that may be used for fuel by cells throughout your body. This process is called metabolism.
Metabolism is a complex process involving many different body parts working together to optimize energy production, growth and repair procedures, waste removal, body temperature control, cell growth, brain function, etc. In simple terms, its primary purpose is to keep us alive.
But what does it mean to say metabolism is happening? What’s actually happening? Well, when we’re talking about metabolism, we’re talking about two things: catabolism and anabolism.
The Anabolic Process
Anabolic means building up. The anabolic process is when your body takes in nutrients from the food you eat and turns those nutrients into muscle, bone, hair, skin, and other tissues. This process aims to build up your body so you may have more energy for daily life.
The Catabolic Process
The catabolic process is also known as breaking down or catabolic breakdown. So, when your body needs energy but doesn’t have enough glucose to meet its needs, it will break down stored fat (adipose tissue) and muscle protein (amino acids).
Factors that Affect Metabolism
There are many factors that affect your metabolism that determine what exactly is causing an increase or decrease in your body’s ability to burn calories. Here are some of the most common factors:
- Age: As we get older, our metabolic rate slows down. That means we need fewer calories to function than when we were younger.
- Genetics: Your genes may affect how quickly you burn calories, particularly if you have a family history of obesity or diabetes.
- Physical activity: Physical activity may improve your metabolism and help you maintain healthy weight management by increasing the number of calories you burn daily.
- Diet: Eating too much or too little may throw off your metabolic rate. Eating the right amount of calories is essential for your body type, activity level, and goals.
- Stress: Stress slows down your metabolism, making losing body weight harder. When stressed out, your body produces more cortisol, which is linked to weight gain.
- Medication: Some medications decrease your metabolism, making weight loss more difficult. Certain antidepressants and antihistamines, and allergy drugs are known to do this.
Additionally and most importantly, is your body composition. The amount of muscle mass you have in your body may affect how fast or slow your metabolism works.
Therefore, the more muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be (because muscle burns more calories than fat).
3 Basic Types of Metabolism
We already know metabolism is how your body converts food and drink into energy. It’s also the process by which your body uses the energy from its stores to keep going.
So when you hear people talking about metabolism, they usually talk about how fast or slow your body burns calories. Here are the three common types of metabolism:
- Ectomorph Metabolism
You’re a metabolically efficient ectomorph if you have long, lean muscles and fast metabolism. You burn extra calories quickly and easily. You’re naturally thin, no matter what you do (even if you don’t work out).
In fact, ectomorphs are the skinniest people in the world and are commonly called hard gainers. They have low body fat percentages, long limbs, and are naturally skinny. This is because they have fast metabolisms and efficiently burn off excess energy.
- Endomorph Metabolism
Endomorphs are people with much subcutaneous fat or fat just below the skin. Most people with this type of metabolism store their fat in the abdominal area.
However, it may also be seen in the arms and legs. This is the opposite of ectomorphs, who have little fat storage and more muscle mass than bone mass.
The endomorph body type is common among women, who tend to carry more fat than men. In fact, many athletes are endomorphs because they have a higher ratio of muscle mass than other body types.
Endomorphic metabolism may also be found in people who are overweight or obese. However, not everyone with obesity has this type of metabolism.
- Mesomorph Metabolism
As a mesomorph, you are lucky. You have naturally muscular arms and legs and a fast metabolism. If you’re the type who may eat whatever they want without gaining weight, congratulations! You’ve been blessed by the gods of metabolism.
Mesomorphs have a higher muscle-to-fat ratio than other body types, which means their bodies burn calories faster than those with slower metabolisms. They also tend to be less susceptible to diabetes or heart disease because of their high metabolisms.
The Effects of Poor Metabolism on Your Body
Your metabolism is the engine of your body. It keeps you alive and healthy, so when it slows down, you may feel some severe effects. Here are just a few:
- Ongoing fatigue
- Frequent headache
- Lower energy levels
- Weight gain
- Brittle nails, thin hair, dry skin
- Constantly feeling cold (especially in the hands and feet)
- Trouble getting up in the morning (or staying awake)
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, they may be due to poor metabolism. However, they could also be caused by something else entirely. That’s why it’s crucial to talk with your doctor if you suspect an issue with your metabolism.
They’ll be able to diagnose whether or not this is causing your symptoms by doing a few simple tests like bloodwork or blood pressure readings. Therefore, no more guessing games about how fast or slow things are going on inside our bodies.
Proven Ways to Improve Your Metabolism
There are a few ways to improve your metabolism and boost your energy levels. Here are some practical ways to do that:
Build More Muscle
If you want to burn more calories and increase your metabolism, build muscle. Exercise alone may increase the pace at which your body burns calories.
And the more muscle mass you have, your metabolic rate tends to be higher. Strength training is a great way to build muscle because it causes microtears in muscle fibers, which need time to heal so they may grow bigger and stronger.
Eat Healthy Foods
If you want to improve your metabolism, you have to eat healthy foods. The foods that will enhance metabolism are:
- Chili peppers
- Coffee and tea
- Green veggies like broccoli
- Cacao and lentils
- Protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, and egg
- Mineral-rich foods like beans, peas, and legumes
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as nuts and seeds
- Dairy products like cheese and yogurt
Some of these foods contain antioxidants that are beneficial for your health and fat oxidation, which helps the body burn fat faster. There are also many nutrients in these foods, like magnesium which assists in energy production, and vitamin D, which helps with blood sugar regulation.
You may also eat whole grains such as oats or brown rice, which are high in fiber but low in calories. Therefore, they only add a little bulk to your diet while still providing great nutrition.
Drink Cold Water
Cold water has been shown to boost metabolism, reduce hunger pangs, and improve digestion and sleep quality. What’s more, drinking cold water may enable your body to burn more fat than it usually does. All of this has added the health benefits of helping maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Have Enough Sleep
Sleep is the period when your body repairs itself. The more sleep you get, the faster your metabolism will work. Lack of sleep hinders your metabolism and may even cause weight gain. Getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night is vital to keep a healthy metabolism.
Once you understand the different types of metabolism, you may see how it affects your body. If you are concerned that your metabolism is not functioning optimally and want guidance on improving it, consult your doctor.
Your doctor may help ensure you get the right amount of calories and nutrients for your body type. A healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, and restful sleep, will help keep your system running smoothly.