Metabolism

PROF. DR. MED. VERENA BRINER, FRCP
PROF. DR. MED. VERENA BRINER, FRCP
Body & Mind
“Is weight gain down to a genetically slow metabolism? This can be true but other factors affect our metabolism besides genes - age, muscle, diet and lifestyle. The good news is everyone can boost their metabolism and be healthier.” Says Professor Dr. Med Briner of Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence.  



 

When you’re lying down at rest, just breathing, your body is like an idling engine, still ticking over, burning calories to stay alive. This is your ‘basal metabolic rate’ (BMR) and it is true, some are ticking faster than others and burning more calories. Anything we don’t burn off overnight with our BMR, or in daily activity, we store as fat around our body. But you can have more control over your metabolic rate.

Protein powers your metabolism

Your body burns more calories digesting high-protein foods than it does on carbs and fats. So if you increase the balance of proteins in your diet such as lean beef, tofu, nuts, or beans you can increase your metabolic rate.

Maintain your youthful lifestyle

As we age our BMR, that resting metabolism, naturally slows down and so we need less calories. This slowing down can begin as young as 35 years. For those who have had long busy lives it’s especially tempting to take it more easy. So yes with years passing it does get harder to keep weight off. But muscle burns more energy than fat, so if you don’t want rising  weight, keep an eye on your exercise regime. It takes more effort but this is well spent preventative healthcare.

Diet and HIIT

We recommend that you don’t suddenly slash your calories. It is counter-productive as your metabolism will think food is scarce and will slow down, burning less fat to conserve energy. Keep a balanced diet as usual, reduce some calories and bear in mind that protein burns more energy than carbs, so shift that balance. You can really rev up your metabolism with some high intensity interval training; a 30 minute HIIT session rapidly burns more calories than most other forms of exercise. Weight training is best for building muscles, and more muscle increases your metabolic rate, consequently burning more calories. Interval fasting might be another option to add. Eat during only 8 hours and fast during 16 hours a day.

The thyroid effect on weight

Thyroid issues do directly affect your metabolic rate and consequently your weight. If your thyroid gland is underactive it can slow your metabolic rate causing weight gain. Conversely if it's overactive you can find it difficult to gain weight. So it’s important to have your thyroid analysed in your annual health-check before it becomes an issue.

Reversing Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is a serious state of health when you have a combination of insulin resistance due to being overweight and often causing diabetes and high blood pressure. It can also lead to cardiovascular disease. The positive news is you can reverse metabolic syndrome by making lifestyle changes. Make dietary choices to keep your body weight in the normal range. Often blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels improve even without medication. Do more exercise, and it goes without saying that alcohol and smoking are negatives.

Metabolism nurture and nature

You can speed up your natural metabolism. Try a spell in relaxing nature with a concentrated health programme at Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence. The Metabolism, Weight Loss and in-depth Diagnostics Programmes range from four days to two weeks, staying in gorgeous scenic countryside between alpine forests and green meadows. They are run by a team of Swiss medical experts who will create a new lifestyle for your future health.