By Kim Duke NETA & AFAA Certified Trainer

Google the word “metabolism” and you will discover that you need to be a biology major to clearly understand the chemical transformation that takes place within the cell of living organisms. The process, like so many other processes that take place within us, is nothing short of a miracle.

So, to break this process down into understandable terms, here is a condensed glimpse into the human metabolism.

Metabolism 101

Metabolism is the rate you burn the calories you consume.

Any movement speeds

metabolism, including fidgeting.

Every increase in body temperature increases your metabolism by 14 percent.

Eating protein seems to do the same thing.

When you sleep, your metabolism rate decreases by 10 percent.

When you fast for more than 12 hours, your metabolic rate decreases 40 percent.

Some of your metabolism is genetic.

Adequate sleep helps you regulate your metabolism.

You can control your metabolic rate by:

Exercising – muscle burns more calories at rest than fat.

Eating steadily throughout the day to prevent overeating and spikes in insulin levels.

Staying hydrated!

Consuming green tea, grapefruit, broccoli, low-fat and low-sugar yogurt, lean turkey, oatmeal and chili. Also foods high in fiber, iron and calcium.

So here it is, in a nutshell — we need our metabolism to burn calories from food consumed. When we “mess” with our metabolism by eating poorly, eating too little and being too sedentary, our metabolism slows down. When we eat every two to three hours, control our portions, drink plenty of water, exercise and get a good night’s sleep, our metabolism works with us.

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld