Understanding female metabolism

As a result of the body’s building process, genetics and the extent of activity a woman performs, she ideally reaches her highest metabolic rate in her early twenties.This rate is basically the least amount of energy needed by the body to carry out metabolic processes (digestion, respiration, etc). After this period, the rate drops by about 0.02 every decade. The symptoms of this drop in metabolic rate becomes quite obvious. A very common signal, is  that at about 30, a woman may notice that she doesn’t lose weight as easily as she used to, even though there is no change in her diet. The drop in metabolic rate lowers the building of the muscles that burn calories thereby decreasing the rate of weight loss. Similarly, growth hormone production drops at this stage of life(thirties) and this also contributes to the drop in metabolic rate.

In contrast to men, the genetics of the female body is designed to store while the male’s is designed to build. Due to the potential of activities such as pregnancy and breastfeeding, the woman’s body is set up to make allowances for such, by converting her consumed substances to energy for storage whereas the man’s dietary substances are converted to muscles for strength. Although metabolism in both decreases eventually with age, it significantly remains faster in men than women at least till a certain stage. The testosterone and estrogen hormones partially contribute to this.

The importance of intentionally boosting metabolism is not far fetched and it pays to begin early such that your body keeps up and stays put even as you age. Some of the factors to consider are thermic effect of food, exercise, resting metabolic rate and Non-exercise activity thermogenesis(NEAT).

A few of these ways are highlighted below:-

  • Intense exercising. Exercising might be the cliché solution to a lot of things, especially when weight loss is involved but emphasis cannot be made enough on its value. In the case of building metabolism, it goes beyond basic mild exercises but intense workouts that boost your activeness and increase your strength, including lifting weights.For best results, shift your focus from weight loss to muscle building. The direct effect of this is getting your metabolism in gear thereby increasing the metabolic rate.
  • Increase protein intake.This directly affects the thermic effect of food (TEF) factor that helps speed up metabolism. Research shows that proteins are the class of food that contributes the highest to increase in TEF. Apart from supplying nutrients that would boost metabolism, proteins are filling, preventing one from moving to other forms of food like fat that could decrease metabolism.
  • Sleep. A lack of sleep actually slows down metabolism. The fact that there is a resting metabolic rate that shows metabolism can be boosted during inactivity such as sleep.

All these factors go to show that simply maintaining a healthy lifestyle keeps your metabolic rate at the optimal level.

A woman 40 and older does not have the same nutritional needs as a woman in childbearing years (39 and younger). While 40 is being called the new 30 (thanks to a healthier lifestyle), you still need to watch what you eat and get in daily exercise. It cannot be said…

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