Metabolism refers to everything the body does to keep us alive, from breaking down calories to repairing cells. These processes are linked closely with nutrition, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These processes also play a significant role in determining whether a person is quick to gain weight or not, as well as the risk of chronic diseases and fast aging. They affect the way your body looks, too.
Do you think you have a fast metabolism? Are you curious about how it affects your body?
Determine the signs of high metabolism and how you can address it.
Determining Whether You Have a Fast Metabolism
Skinny people don’t necessarily have faster metabolisms than people who weigh more. Your metabolic rate refers to the total amount of calories your body burns for your organs to function. Given that larger people have greater mass, they actually burn more calories.
As such, weight is not the only way to determine whether a person’s metabolism is fast.
Here are signs that could answer your question, “Do I have a fast metabolism?”
1. You have low BMI.
A person with fast metabolic rate has a comparatively lower BMI than the desired value, as per the person’s height, age and body type. In short, those who are underweight are most likely to have a faster metabolism than those with normal body mass index or those who are overweight.
2. You have a high basal body temperature.
A person with fast metabolism commonly feels sweaty and hot all the time, since his or her basal body temperature remains high. This due to the metabolic reactions that quickly happen in the body, creating high temperatures.
When it comes to fat and weight issues, people with a high metabolism might have an easier time keeping weight off.
3. You feel hungry most of the time.
Despite what was previously mentioned about those with fast metabolism easily keeping weight off, a person with a high metabolism rate is likely to feel hungry all the time, even after three big meals daily and half a box of brownies.
With that said, having a higher metabolism shouldn’t be your health goal. If you have a naturally fast metabolic rate, that’s okay. If you don’t, don’t feel pressured to work on a faster metabolism just so you can eat what you want and not gain weight.
It all depends with your body size, and we recommend that you consult with an expert if you want to work it out properly.
4. You have an irregular period.
Women with fast metabolism will typically experience an irregular cycle. Their cycle may begin late or last shorter. This is because these girls do not have the needed amount of body fat to start or continue normal menstrual cycles. They look thinner, and they have less energy level just before and after the cycles.
5. You might have frequent mood swings.
A common misconception about fast metabolism is that it’s ideal and desirable. Although it has its benefits, it has consequences that can be an inconvenience, such as dizziness, trouble with sleep and frequent mood swings.
Having a rapid heart rate and frequent bowel movements are also unpleasant secondary symptoms to a high metabolic rate.
Keep in mind, however, that although these are common signs of a fast metabolism, it’s still better to ask a doctor’s opinion. They can recommend the best ways to address commonly linked concerns, like constant hunger pangs, high body temperature, and acne breakouts.
Meanwhile, dig deep into what connects your weight to your metabolism.
Finding the Link between Metabolism and Body Weight
Metabolism does not depend solely on your weight. It depends on your body composition and how much calories you burn.
For example, a Filipina athlete who brings home the gold and a regular office worker who seldom goes to the gym may have identical body weights. But the athlete has a higher amount of lean mass or muscles. The professional athlete is bound to have a higher metabolism.
Let’s use the average 5-foot 2-inch Filipina as another example.
If they weigh 120 pounds and have a healthy amount of lean mass, they are more likely to have a fast metabolism. If they weigh 120 pounds but have more body fat than lean mass, then their metabolism is more likely to slow down.
Given these examples, weight isn’t the only way how to tell if you have a fast metabolism. Your dietary habits and level of physical activity are better indicators than your appearance.
When you eat is as important as what you eat. There is a concept called circadian rhythms, which uses your biological clock to determine physical, mental, and behavioral changes within 24 hours.
Circadian rhythms regulate hormone levels, enzyme levels, and glucose transporters throughout the day. As a result, they affect how your body metabolizes calories and carbohydrates. Eating in sync with your circadian rhythms, then, improves your metabolic rate and aids with weight regulation.
In addition to eating at proper times, consider the role of physical activity. Exercise doesn’t directly affect your metabolism rate. But your level of activity determines how many calories you need to burn every day to maintain your body weight.
Maintaining Your Ideal Weight with Fast Metabolism
Some people are simply blessed with good genes. They have naturally fast metabolism, so they don’t have to watch their weight. For the rest of us, we have to do research on how to have fast metabolism to aid with weight loss.
Try revving up your metabolism by doing the following:
- Pick up the pace.
Burn more calories by adding high-intensity interval training to your workout routine. While jogging, speed up for 30 to 60 seconds then go back to your steady pace for another minute. Repeat this cycle at least five times every session to stimulate your metabolism.
- Balance protein intake and weight training.
Your metabolism rate increases when you eat protein. Combine it with weight training to increase muscle mass. This increase in muscle mass boosts your metabolism and helps you burn fat faster.
- Drink green tea.
The road to fast metabolism isn’t entirely physical. Start up your day and wind down every night with a cup of green tea. It has a compound called epigallocatechin gallate, which could burn more calories and boost metabolism.
On the other side of the coin, there are people with naturally high metabolism rates who want to gain weight in a healthy way. In this case, ditch the junk food and replace them with calorie-dense snacks, like dried fruits, healthy grains, starchy veggies, and full-fat dairy products.
Also, exercise even when you clearly have fast metabolism signs. It might sound counterintuitive, but you need to exercise to gain weight. Light cardio burns calories and stimulates your appetite, whereas strength training makes sure you build lean muscle mass along with body fat.
But whether you’re trying to speed up your metabolism or gain weight because of it, the secret is a balanced diet and exercise. Keep this in mind when you’re trying to avoid holiday weight gain or to maintain your ideal beach bod. And never strain yourself — trust your body’s natural course.
This article was on November 20, 2019, with additional reporting from Karol Borja.
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Isabelle Sierra is a small lady working in a big city. She likes making references to popular culture, cutting her own hair and dreaming about alternate universes.