The word metabolism refers to the millions of chemical reactions that occur in a living organism, keeping the body alive and functioning. It has a direct relationship on weight because it influences the amount of energy the body needs at any point in time.

Is metabolism something that human beings are completely not in control of or is there anything they can do to influence it? There are factors that affect metabolism that are not entirely in one’s control but still it is possible to do something about them.

Genetics do dictate whether one has a slower or faster metabolism. Aging also slows down the metabolic rate. Other factors such as body size and environmental factors affect metabolism and might not be entirely in our control.

That does not mean that one is left at the mercy of these factors and the battle is not totally lost. There is a lot that can be done to speed up metabolism and keep excessive fat at bay.

Small, Frequent Meals

Eating 5 or 6 small meals a day can prevent hunger pangs and curb overeating. Food is also absorbed more efficiently and faster when meals are more regular. This keeps metabolic reactions working faster and calories are burnt more efficiently.

Eating five meals a day tunes the body to use food as fuel, unlike when food is eaten to the point of being stuffed as it happens with few, large meals. Knowing that one will have the next small meal in two to three hours curbs the craving to eat unhealthy things.

Healthy snacking can easily fit into one of these 5 or 6 daily meals. This works well if daily meals are planned ahead of time and snacks purposefully factored in to minimize the chance of overeating.

Timing the Meals

It is clear that the choice of food affects the body. What might not be obvious is that timing also has an effect. The timing of meals and snacks does have an effect on metabolism. Training oneself to eat meals early helps. This does not only refer to the last meal of the day but other meals too.

There is wisdom in eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. It is advisable to eat a nutrient rich meal during breakfast and to never skip this all important meal.

It is important to avoid eating 2 or 3 hours before going to bed. This is not about skipping the last meal of the day but is about planning and timing. It is about making sure to plan the last meal of the day such that it satisfies and protects against hunger pangs at night.

A meal consisting of fiber rich vegetables and a serving of lean protein such as chicken is great for the last meal of the day. Fiber is important because it boosts metabolism while also removing waste from the body. Ensuring that food is chewed slowly and thoroughly has the effect of keeping one from overeating.

Metabolism slows down at night and the extra calories get stored as fat. It makes no sense to load the body up with fuel that it does not have the capacity or time to burn. Besides the obvious negative impact on body weight, it can also cause morning gas and stomach discomfort such as bloating.

Drinking Water Burns Fat

Drinking water is really helpful for weight loss. For one, water is 100% calorie-free and it aids the body in burning up calories. It may even suppress appetite if consumed before meals. The benefits are even greater when water is used to replace sugary, calorie packed beverages. Increasing water intake makes it very easy way to cut back on sugar and extra calories. It is advisable to drink considerable amounts of water spread out throughout the day.

Engaging in physical exercise

Physical exercise increases the energy spent by the body as well as adjusting the energy balance that helps keep weight down. A minimum of 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day helps in weight loss and weight maintenance. More time spent exercising is better and it produces even better results. It is always good to talk to a doctor before beginning an exercise regime in case of an existing medical condition.

Exercise needs to be incorporated into personal lifestyle since a regular exercise regime increases muscle mass and encourages the body to burn calories at a faster rate, even when at rest. Also, if you are paranoid that fitness can be expensive, don’t be.

There are several websites out there that can give you best home gym ideas which can help you setup your own gym.

Getting Adequate Sleep

A habit of not getting adequate and good quality sleep affects metabolism leading to weight gain. Many factors come into play here. A sleep deprived person is likely to feel tired and skip physical exercise. It also becomes easier to consume extra coffee in an effort to stay awake. Having sleep debt also makes the brain prone to making bad decisions.

These are some ways where you can negate the effects of old age and food on your metabolism. You can also read articles about fitness motivation to stay healthy.

Author's Bio: 

Cathy helps people to live a happy and healthier life. She is an established Health and Fitness author (over 10 years of experience) and editor of She also loves writing about people and inspirational stories.