Here at the Smarter Science of Slim Blog Metabolism is king. We recognize that it is the foundational function of our bodies. Many think of it as just the way your younger sister-in-law can eat absolutely anything she wants and never gain a pound, ‘I just have a high metabolism!’ she says. But metabolism doesn’t quite work that way and it means a whole lot more than just how your body burns calories. If metabolism is so vital, so crucial, what’s a good BMR? What makes metabolism good or bad?
Metabolism is literally the function of life. Some biological functions can be considered non-vital, say the ability to distinguish between reds and greens, or even the senses! No matter how important we feel they are, the truth is our bodies can keep chugging along, keep living without some of them. The same cannot be said for metabolism. If you didn’t have a metabolism you would not be alive, it is as simple as that.
Metabolism is the process by which your body breaks down energy and converts them into usable fuel for the body. Breaking down, say eggs, into their base level components, then sending those bits of fuel to the systems in your body that need it.
The Basal Metabolic Rate
Before we answer that let us look at one more piece of the metabolism puzzle. You may have heard the term BMR thrown around in your time on the web, heck it is probably what lead you to search ‘What is a good BMR’ on Google. BMR, meaning basal metabolic rate, is a measure of how many calories the body would burn in a day of inactivity. Meaning, with no other external factors such as exercise, what’s the baseline for calories burned in a day. If you’d like, there are various good BMR estimate tools on the web.
This rate is not static of course. It fluctuates from person to person with, men on average have higher BMRs than women for instance, and then within each of those larger groups there is more variation based on numerous things, muscle mass, age, body size, even environmental factors can play a role.
So then, with all these variations what is a good BMR? The truth is there is no such thing as a perfect basal metabolic rate. You might say having a high BMR is better, it does mean your body burns more calories in an inactive state but that does not make a lower BMR worse. They just are.
What is a good BMR?
Any BMR can be good, so long as you adapt your lifestyle to it. If your body has a lower BMR but you ingest fewer calories throughout the day, then you have a good BMR, because you are working with your body ensuring that you are using energy efficiently. That is the most important, and yet most often confused aspect of metabolism and BMR, ‘good’ is entirely subjective.
Let us say, after all, that you are still thinking ‘Well, whatever Metabolism Info, I want a high BMR!’ To which I would say, I understand the desire completely. It feels like a superpower, being able to burn through more calories in your day-to-day. There are in fact some things you can do to try and give your metabolism a boost.
This is a subject for its own blog really, but we will give a quick overview here. There are two principal areas of improvement if you want to see your metabolism spike, improving what and how you eat and improving your exercise. Diet and exercise, go figure, right?
How to kick start your metabolism
When it comes to metabolism, it should be no surprise that food plays a huge role in it. To see your metabolism get a jumpstart in the morning, eat breakfast every day. The introduction of food will cause your metabolism to start up early and get to work. Likewise, the timing of meals can help your metabolism stay at peak performance. Pacing your meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism constantly burning at its best, with no time to slouch or slow down.
If your meals are timed right, healthy and properly portioned, the next thing to hone in on is exercise. By burning more calories throughout the day via exercise, you are increasing the need your body has for energy, which in turn sends signals to your metabolism to get cooking! If you specifically train for muscle building, you can ever increase your BMR! By adding on a solid frame of muscle, your body will have a higher base need of calorie and energy to maintain it.
To reiterate, any BMR can be a good one, so long as it works for your lifestyle, diet, and activity levels. Too often, unfortunately, that isn’t properly addressed and the metabolism takes the blame.