What Is Your Metabolism — And Can You Actually Make It Faster?

A man stretching his hamstrings in the Gym

BY CHRISTINE BYRNE | Men’s Health

“Metabolism” is one of those buzz words that gets thrown around a lot.

Effortlessly thin people, for example, are often said to be blessed with “fast metabolisms.” And, the key to weight loss is to “boost your metabolism“…right?

Kind of. But that’s easier said than done, friend.

First things first: What exactly is your metabolism?

Basically, your metabolism is all the energy (a.k.a. calories) that you burn every day.

But burning calories doesn’t just happen when you exercise—you burn calories every minute as your body keeps you alive, says Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., CSCS*D, associate professor and director of the applied physiology laboratory at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

That means all of your body’s processes, voluntary or not, contribute to your metabolism—everything from digesting food to breathing to punching out a text message on your phone.

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