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What is metabolism and why is it so important to us?

Published 9:01am Friday, October 26, 2012

In their quest for information on losing weight, many folks run across countless results on how to fire up, increase, jump-start, engage and speed up their metabolism.
First of all, just what is metabolism, and why is it so important to us? Simply put, metabolism is the amount of energy, or calories the body burns to maintain itself. In other words, your body has to constantly burn calories to keep you going through any, and all activities. In terms of losing body fat though, think of it this way. Fat is the fuel, your liver is the furnace.
Your metabolism is the rate of heat. High metabolism, high heat, lots of fat burned. Low metabolism, low heat, not much fat burned. Here are a few do’s and don’ts when trying to raise your metabolism.
1) Eat more protein to rev up your metabolism. Protein elevates metabolism more than fats or carbohydrates, because your body uses more energy to digest and use it. This process is known as the “thermic effect of food” (TEF). In fact you can burn up to twice as many calories digesting protein as carbohydrates. Be careful though. Your body can only absorb small amounts of protein at a time, so what can’t be absorbed has to be filtered out by your kidneys, and too much protein can damage them. I recommend consuming no more than 25-30 grams of protein at one time.
2) Try spicy foods to fire up your metabolism. Red or green chili peppers, whether eaten or taken in capsule form can not only reduce hunger, but can also temporarily boost your metabolic rate by up to 23 percent.

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