Traditional medical science doesn’t hold all of the keys to boosting metabolism. Chiropractic can help.
What is Metabolism?
In technical terms, metabolism refers to chemical transformations in cells that allow organisms to reproduce, grow, and respond to the environment. This includes digestion and transportation of substances throughout the living organism.1 Humans have a basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the energy spent when the body is at rest. BMR decreases with age and increases with muscle mass. The BMR is also affected by food and temperature, and is a consideration for weight loss. Glucose, fats, and proteins are all involved in providing energy to the body. Aerobic fitness levels seem to have little impact on BMR; however anaerobic exercise (i.e., weight lifting), which builds muscle, can increase the basal metabolic rate. There is some evidence that cardiovascular exercise can raise the BMR temporarily. Muscles need to recover after exercise, so that is why the BMR increases afterwards. Very restricted calorie diets would actually lower the BMR, because the body would need to conserve energy. Stress, diabetes, illness, and menopause all affect the basal metabolic rate.2 It is common for metabolism to be at blame for difficulties in losing weight. How efficiently the fuel of food is burned, hormones, and enzymes are all at work in metabolism. People under the age of 40, men, and those with a higher lean body mass have higher metabolism. Heredity is also a factor. Being overweight boosts the metabolism. It takes energy to move more weight, and people who are overweight lose weight faster at the beginning of the diet for this reason. When the body is at a lower weight, it requires less energy; therefore, it is easier to gain weight after losing it.3
Traditional Methods of Boosting Metabolism
Aerobic exercises with weight training are the traditional methods used to boost metabolism. Additionally, eating more often (frequent, small meals) will help with weight loss. Skipping meals, or taking too many hours between meals will slow the metabolism because the body will want to retain calories. Special foods aren’t necessarily needed since any food increases metabolism within one hour of consumption. Protein requires more energy in digestion, though. There is some thought that spicy foods may also be helpful in increasing metabolism, at least temporarily. There is a small benefit from green tea (with EGCG, an antioxidant), as well.4
The brain controls hormone function, sending signals from the spinal cord to every cell in the body. Being out of alignment can block these signals, therefore chiropractic adjustment can assist with maximizing the regulation of hormones and bodily functions.5 Chiropractors also promote nutrition, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. It is important not to skip breakfast, eat about four times a day to keep the blood sugar level, have protein at each meal (i.e., lean protein and vegetarian proteins), exercise about 20 minutes a day, and avoid processed and junk foods.6 Staying hydrated with water and getting enough sleep are critical. Water helps to flush toxins out of the body, allowing the liver to metabolize fats. People who have deficient sleep gain weight. Sleep is necessary to allow to body to regenerate.7 Some may also want to ingest enough omega-3 fatty acids, which could reduce cravings and help burn fat.8
Find out more ways chiropractic helps with weight loss.