What Factors Affect Metabolism?

factors-affect-metabolism Credit: Johner Images/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Body size, weight gain, age, gender and hormones can affect metabolism, according to WebMD. People can control some of these factors and increase metabolism. "Metabolism" refers to how quickly the body utilizes energy.

According to WebMD, the older people get, the slower the metabolism becomes. This is why people gain weight as they age. Extra body fat that is gained further decreases metabolism. By burning extra calories of food before they are stored as fat as well as burning the existing extra fat, metabolism can be increased. To achieve weight loss and boost metabolism, more calories need to be burned than consumed. Exercising speeds up the metabolism, and for hours after, calories can still be burned. Eventually, muscle is formed and in turn promotes a boost in metabolism.

WebMD reports that eating a healthy diet increases metabolism as well. It is essential to eat more fiber and complex carbohydrates and consume less fat. A smart diet includes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and meat, and whole grains. Drinking plenty of water also plays a role in speeding up metabolism. Keeping sugar and alcohol to a minimum is important as well.

WebMD warns against skipping meals as eating to little causes a slow down of metabolism. Breakfast is particularly important, increasing resting metabolism by 10 percent.