Metabolism is the rate at which energy "burns" from the food you eat. Everyone's metabolism is slightly different, so everyone has slightly different calorie needs. Generally, the smaller and more physically active, the metabolism will also be faster. Children who are growing also tend to have a fast metabolism. For a detailed discussion of how to lower your metabolism, read the following tips and strategies.
Method 1 of 3: Calculating Your Basal Metabolic Rate
Step 1. Determine your basal metabolic rate (metabolism at rest)
You can search for a calculator online or use the following formula, depending on your gender:
- Women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
- Men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
Step 2. Calculate your daily calorie requirement using a formula known as the Harris-Benedict equation
Once you've calculated your BMR, you can estimate your total calorie needs for different levels of activity. Lowering your metabolism means that you "shrink" the internal burners in your body, thereby lowering your caloric requirements. Use your BMR to make the following calculations. If you:
- Inactivity or infrequent exercise: Calories to maintain weight = BMR x 1.2
- Light exercise 1 to 3 days per week: Calories to maintain weight = BMR x 1,375
- Moderate exercise for 3 to 5 days per week: Calories to maintain weight = BMR x 1.55
- Active exercise 6 to 7 days a week: Calories to maintain weight = BMR x 1,725
- Intense daily exercise: Calories to maintain weight = BMR x 1.9
Method 2 of 3: Lower Your Metabolism To Gain Weight
Step 1. Understand that "slow metabolism" is not always the cause of weight gain
Doctors generally agree that other factors are more responsible for gaining or losing weight than metabolism. These factors include:
- How many calories do you consume daily.
- How much and how intensely you exercise.
- Your genetics and family history.
- The drugs you are taking.
- Other unhealthy habits, such as lack of sleep.
Step 2. Understand that slowing down your metabolism may not be a healthy way to gain weight
Slowing down the metabolism can include some unpleasant things: skipping meals, eating few calories etc. Suggestions for gaining weight medically are:
- Increase calorie intake. Eating more calories than the body can burn in a day.
- Addresses any medical problems that may be causing weight loss, eg thyroid problems, diabetes, anorexia nervosa.
Step 3. Skip meals
Skip your meals to lower your metabolic rate. This is not a healthy way to lower your metabolism, but it is effective. Skipping meals causes the body to think it has to start preparing for hunger, so the body lowers its metabolism in an attempt to conserve energy.
Step 4. Eat fewer calories
When you give your body fewer calories, your body compensates by lowering your overall metabolic rate. And this makes sense:. With fewer calories to process, your body can't use the same amount of energy it would when it gets more calories.
- Notes: When you give your body fewer calories, your body may start burning muscle or body tissue to compensate for the lack of calories. If you are already thin, this is not a good way to gain weight.
Step 5. Try to sleep
Every time you sleep, your metabolic rate will drop and then stay suppressed until you wake up.
Step 6. Replace simple carbohydrates (sugars) with complex carbohydrates (starch and fiber) whenever possible
Studies show that sugar and fruit are digested and absorbed more quickly than complex carbohydrates like bread, resulting in blood sugar spikes with high peaks and low troughs. It has also been shown that total carbohydrate oxidation for six hours is lower with complex carbohydrates (corn starch and bread) than with sugar.
- Sucrose (table sugar) also contains fructose, while complex carbohydrates are made exclusively from glucose units. Consumption of fructose results in greater thermogenesis (calorie burning) than consumption of glucose.
- Choose high-fiber foods such as whole grains (especially whole grains) and vegetables. High-fiber foods have been shown to reduce thermogenesis (calorie burning) for as long as six hours after eating.
Step 7. Include nuts and seeds in your diet
Of all your foods, nuts and seeds that contain almost no moisture and provide healthy unsaturated fats have the highest calorie density, having the most calories per ounce. Polyunsaturated fats such as those from nuts have been shown to oxidize more slowly than monounsaturated fats. Nuts and seeds are also rich in the amino acid arginine. Arginine is used by the body to make nitric oxide, a gas that has been shown to reduce metabolic rates.
Method 3 of 3: Lowering Your Metabolism in a Survival Situation
Step 1. Wear warm clothes
Losing heat depletes your primary energy, so dressing warmly will slow down your metabolism. When it's cold, your body increases the rate of protein release in cells. The release protein will interfere with ATP production, generating heat from the food you eat in exchange for useful energy.
Thyroid hormone levels also increase in this situation. This can affect the initiation of protein release production. Thyroid hormone is the "most significant regulator of the basal metabolic rate" representing about one-half the value of the basal metabolic rate
Step 2. Hang out with other friends
Move to the hottest area available, or create a shelter if you are outdoors.
Step 3. Remain lying down
Everything you do can burn calories. Even small things like picking up sticks or jumping over rocks. After you exercise for a while, your metabolism will stay high for some time, even when you are resting. Every 100 miles you walk will burn 100 calories, and this does not cause the increase in metabolism due to exercise. Try to sleep if possible.
Step 4. Don't drink cold water or eat snow
Your body will expend energy to warm the water. This is energy that you can save for more critical living conditions, such as hunting for food, or finding a way out.
- Keep yourself warm, but don't let your body overheat. Make sure that whatever you're wearing lets some air circulate. A body that is too warm will cause you to sweat and force your body to burn more calories, just as if you were too cold.
- Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, speeds up your heart rate and increases your metabolism.
- Try to relax. Even if you are in a scary situation, stress will only cause your body to use more energy. Stress increases levels of adrenaline and thyroxine, two hormones that are very useful for increasing metabolism. This is called the fight-or-flight response.
- Keep in mind that a comfortable temperature (neither too cold nor too hot) is the best temperature for saving energy. Research shows that the body uses energy most efficiently at 24-27°C (75, 2-80.6°F). The temperature range of 20-22°C (68-71.6°F) which is the room temperature range, causes the body to generate additional body heat. Only this slight difference has been shown to increase metabolism by 2-5%. The temperature range of 28-30°C (82.4-86°F) increases metabolism by the same amount and causes heat due to thermogenesis. The body doesn't make less heat when the weather is hot (body heat production is regulated by thyroid hormone, which the body produces at a constant rate) but makes more, due to energy-consuming processes such as sweating. Your body can't reduce mandatory thermogenesis to make the body feel cool or to conserve energy.
- If you have hyperthyroidism, consider taking potassium iodide (120-300 mg iodine/day). Prior to the development of antithyroid drugs in the 1940s, potassium iodide was the only chemical known to treat hyperthyroidism. The antithyroid drugs methimazole and propylthiouracil took weeks to reduce thyroid hormone levels. The thyroid gland has a large supply of hormones that have been formed and can be released into the bloodstream, even when production of new thyroid hormones is suppressed. Methimazole and propylthiouracil reduce thyroid hormone production, but do not block the release of preformed hormones. In contrast, Potassium iodide blocks both the production of new thyroid hormones and the release of previously formed hormones. This can result in a decrease in metabolic rate comparable to that seen at thyroidectomy within 24 hours. The ability of potassium iodide to immediately block the absorption and organification of iodide in the thyroid gland (the first step in thyroid hormone production) is the reason why potassium iodide is used during nuclear emergencies to protect the thyroid gland from iodine 131, a cancer-causing form of radioactive iodine.
- You can make your metabolism go up or down, but only within certain limits. Sleep, for example, will definitely lower metabolism, but this decrease may be smaller than some people think: sleep lowers metabolism by 5-10% compared to rest awake. Food. Genes also play a role, but this role has been exaggerated. On the other hand, body composition can be a significant factor. Tall and thin people lose heat more easily than stocky people. People with greater muscle mass are stronger and healthier, but also need more food. This is why men tend to need more calories than women. Age is another factor out of control, with metabolism going down, about 2% every decade. Older people have slightly lower calorie requirements. There are several factors that control metabolism (such as the ion pump for example, the sodium-potassium pump), and researchers are still investigating this. Illness and menstruation are some of the factors that we cannot change and that can increase metabolism and energy requirements.