Sure that on more than one occasion you've heard the expression "slow metabolism". But, does it make sense to speak of a slow metabolism? What factors influence? How can we increase?
To answer these questions let us see first what are the components in which is divided the daily energy expenditure of a person:
- Basal metabolism: Energy expenditure minimum that the body needs to maintain vital functions and continue living (breathing, blood circulation, etc.). It represents approximately between 60% and 75% of the total energy expenditure.
- Thermogenesis: Energy required to digest, absorb and metabolize food that we ingest. Represents between 10% and 15% of daily energy needs.
- Physical activity with exercise: Energy expenditure due to the practice of some sport or physical exercise schedule. Has the purpose of maintaining physical condition. It is around 10% of the total unless you are an athlete.
- Physical activity without exercise: Energy expenditure induced by daily physical activity is not considered physical exercise (getting up, sitting, bending, walking, climbing stairs,...). For its acronym in English is called NEAT (Non-Exercise Associated Thermogenesis) and can represent 25% of the daily expenditure.
Of the components of the total energy expenditure, who will be slow? What we can change with our habits?
When we talk about slow metabolism we are referring to basal metabolism. And while it is true that it depends on various factors, such as body composition, sex and age, does not vary much as we think of one person to another. People with the same weight will have a basal metabolic rate similar.
The next component, the thermogenesis diet-induced, depends on the amount and food eaten. If you eat less, spend less. But in absolute terms has little influence on the total variation of the daily expenditure.
On the other hand, the energy expenditure of physical exercise is usually overrated. Practice 1 hour of exercise, 3 to 5 times a week, does not have a significant impact on the total energy expenditure. Only in the case of athletes represents a considerable expense.
Where in truth there is a significant difference between the energy expenditure of 2 different people is in the NEAT. This is actually the component "slow". As we have seen above, NEAT is directly related to the daily motion. Therefore, except for isolated cases in which there is some type of metabolic imbalance, if we have a slow metabolism is because we move little.
Instead of worry about doing exercise at specific times of the week, which is also good, worry about everything for a change in lifestyle and incorporate healthy habits to improve your NEAT. Remember that physical exercise alone does not compensate for the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Increase your NEAT the easy way with these patterns of healthy lifestyle: try to avoid escalators and elevators, on the bus or subway, get off a stop earlier, walking to work, dancing,...and above all move more.
Your health will thank you!