RALEIGH, N.C. — Why are some people always thin while others struggle with their weight? The answer has to do with metabolism -- the way your body burns calories. Some people just burn them faster than others. However, anyone can do things to help speed up their metabolism.
Every day, Cristina Macias tries to pump and pace and pedal her way to a faster metabolism.
"I've noticed that throughout the years, it does tend to slow down especially after you have children," she said.
Health experts have found women naturally have slower metabolisms than men. Plus for both sexes, the ability to burn calories wanes as people get older.
People's metabolic rate is also influenced by genes, so one's metabolic rate is out of their control. However, there are ways to dramatically improve metabolism with a good exercise and diet plan.
"Metabolism is fairly stable but there are things that we can do to rev it up," said Pamela Downer, a registered dietician. "The first step to mastering your metabolism is mastering your meal time, beginning with breakfast. "When you eat breakfast, you end up eating less throughout the day."
Studies show three light meals placed about four hours apart are the best way to boost your metabolism, with light snacks in-between. The best metabolic meals follow the fuel formula -- 30 percent protein, 30 percent good fats and 40 percent carbs.
With the addition of regular workouts, most people
Pair that with regular work outs.
"Most people can really influence their metabolism," said sports physiologist Rob Herzog.
Once you get good at any cardio exercise, Herzog said it is time to step it up or change it up. Plus, health officials suggest adding weight training.
Some research suggests that not getting enough sleep can disturb a person's normal metabolism.