“Boosting the metabolism” may be the holy grail of obtaining and maintaining a lean physique. Figuratively speaking, it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But what the heck is metabolism? Is it even possible to “boost” it by eating certain foods?
Generally speaking, metabolism is a word used interchangeably with total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), which is generally considered to consist of three main components:
Depending on activity level, it can account for 15% to 30% of overall energy expenditure. This component of metabolic rate consists of both structured exercise as well as non-structured activity, which includes doing household chores, walking to and from your car, shivering, fidgeting, etc. This non-structured activity is termed non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
Interestingly, in one study published in the journal Science, a Mayo Clinic research team led by endocrinologist Dr. James Levine examined the role of NEAT in weight management. Astonishingly, the researchers found, on average, obese folks sit for 2 ½ hours longer (each day) than lean individuals, who spend an equivalent amount of time upright (moving around) daily.