In order to survive, our body requires carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and water. Our metabolism is how we utilize those nutrients to maintain the body's natural processes. A person may believe that they have a naturally slow metabolism but more likely, the problem can be traced back to a malfunctioning or inhibited metabolism due to diet or lifestyle choices. Your nutritionist in Rochester, NY knows that there are 4 main categories that make up a person's metabolism: basal metabolic rate, insulin response, gut health, and the thermogenic effect of food. Let’s dive into what those are and how you can make changes to help give your metabolism the boost it needs.

Basal metabolic rate or BMR is your personal number of calories that are being burned just from living. Waking up in the morning, walking around your house, even standing in line for coffee are all burning calories. Energy is required for your heart to pump blood, your brain to fire neurons, and your muscles to keep you upright. One of the best ways to increase your BMR is to increase the amount of muscle you have. Due to the fact that muscles have a hard time storing energy, they constantly spend it, even at rest. Knowing this, we can determine that increasing your muscle mass with weight training will also increase your BMR.

The body's metabolism is heavily dependent on its sensitivity to the hormone insulin. Both carbohydrates and fats need insulin to properly be digested and metabolized. A person’s sensitivity to insulin is directly related to the amount and type of carbohydrates they eat. Eating too many processed carbs will lead to insulin resistance. This slows down metabolism and leads to other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. There are a few steps you can take to increase your sensitivity to insulin. Decreasing refined and processed carbohydrates will keep your blood sugar level more regular. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night also has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity.

The state of the gut can also play a role in metabolism. The gut can be damaged by eating too many processed foods, eating too much sugar, or by taking different medications. Healthy gut bacteria can die off and digestive enzymes may begin to malfunction. This can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, vitamin deficiencies, water retention, and weight gain. It is possible to repair your gut by taking probiotics, specific gut vitamins, and even digestive enzymes. When the gut is repaired, digestion will return to normal and the metabolism will return to optimal performance.

There are also ways you can cheat the system and increase metabolism by eating foods that increase thermogenesis. The thermogenic effect is the energy that is burned through the digestive process. Some foods will burn more energy through thermogenesis than they provide. One of the most common foods that exploits this is celery. While it may not be feasible to consume only celery, you can still take advantage of this system in other ways. Lean proteins are difficult to break down and result in an increase in thermogenesis. Another way to exploit this system is to drink ice cold water. The reduction in internal temperature will cause the body to begin burning calories to heat you back up. A glass of ice water has been shown to increase the thermogenic effect for 1 hour.

Here at Rush-Henrietta Family Chiropractic, your Rochester, NY chiropractor, we work with patients to help malfunctioning metabolisms return to normal. Our nutritionist helps make gradual changes to improve metabolism, burn fat, and live a healthier lifestyle. Sign up for a free consultation to learn more about your metabolism and nutritional health!