Do you feel some people are naturally blessed with a lean body while you have to struggle hard to lose those extra kilos? Well, more than a blessing, their high metabolic rate plays a vital role in keeping them fit and healthy. Metabolism is the chemical reaction in our body that converts food into energy. This energy is what keeps us going and helps us perform our daily tasks efficiently. A high metabolism determines how quickly you burn calories or lose weight. But, at the same time, a slow metabolism can lead to unwanted weight gain and other health-related problems.
Metabolism is responsible for burning fat and calories, but it also helps regulate breathing, blood circulation, digestion, and body temperature. While age, gender, genetics, and weight gain can affect your metabolism, you can still boost it by adopting a healthy lifestyle.
If you want to lose weight quickly, boosting your metabolism is the first and the most critical step in your weight loss journey. However, if you are wondering how to boost it? Do not worry; this article will help you understand metabolism and the different ways to boost it naturally.
What is Metabolism?
It is a set of chemical reactions that occur in the cells of all living organisms. All chemical responses like breathing, digestion, blood circulation, reproduction, growth, etc., are part of it.
Types of Metabolism
Metabolism involves two kinds of activities:
- Anabolism – Anabolism is called constructive metabolism. It stores energy for future use in the form of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat molecules. In addition, it is responsible for the growth of new cells and the maintenance of other body tissues.
- Catabolism – It is different from anabolism. Catabolism is a destructive metabolism. The process produces energy for all the cell activity in the body. The large molecules of carbs and fats break down to create energy. It helps the muscles contract, generate heat in the body, and flush out toxins.
Factors that affect metabolism:
- Age – Age affects everything. Just like our skin, body, and bones, our metabolic rate also slows down with age. The loss of muscle mass, hormonal change, and neurological processes affect the metabolic rate. So as soon as you hit your 30s, your metabolism begins to slow down.
- Muscle Mass – Muscle mass is the number of muscle tissues in your body. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy your body needs. As you age, your muscle mass begins to decrease, causing your metabolic rate to slow down.
- Gender – Men have a higher metabolic rate than women have and burn more calories. Even while sitting or resting, men tend to burn more calories than women due to their high metabolic rate.
- Physical Activity – Exercise helps to boost your metabolism and burns calories at a faster rate. Strength training, lifting weight, muscle building, etc., can help you improve and maintain your metabolic rate.
- Hormonal Factors – Hormonal changes or imbalance like thyroid can affect your metabolism. So if you witness sudden weight gain or weight loss, get yourself checked for any hormonal imbalance.
Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
While some factors like age, gender, and genes are uncontrollable, we can still boost our metabolism by making few healthy changes in our daily life.
1. Eat Enough
Some people lower their calorie intake to lose weight quickly. However, eating less is a fallacy, as not consuming enough calories can cause muscle loss in your body. In addition, when you eat less, your body stops burning calories to preserve energy for vital functions. So instead, eat and exercise to burn excess calories.
2. Build More Muscle
Our body burns 60-80% calories each day to keep us alive. Each muscle utilizes six calories a day to keep it functional. So if you wish to lose weight quickly, build more muscle mass to speed up your metabolism.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Water is essential for burning calories. When our body is dehydrated, our metabolism automatically slows down. Drinking cold water also helps boost it. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day instead of sodas and beverages.
4. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants that help to flush out toxins from our bodies. Drinking green tea twice a day can help boost your metabolism and also keep you hydrated. Regular consumption of green tea can also help you lose that stubborn belly fat, provided you eat in moderation and combine some physical activity daily.
5. Strength Training
Strength training involves your muscles. It helps build muscle mass: more muscle mass, more energy to preserve, and more calorie deficit in the body. Lifting weights, pushing heavy objects, or exercising with weights on your body can help you build more muscle mass and enhance your metabolism.
6. Reduce Stress
Excess stress leads to the production of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol also regulates our appetite. Therefore, an increase in stress levels can directly affect our food intake and slow our metabolism. Practice mindful meditation to avoid stress. A short walk in the park or indulging in your favourite hobby can also help in reducing stress.
7. High-Intensity Interval Training HIIT
Just like strength training, high-intensity workouts can also help boost your metabolism. High-intensity exercises increase your heart rate, pump more blood throughout the body, and help to burn more calories in the process. You can also go for high-intensity cardio like swimming, cycling, or climbing to get your heart rate up and boost your metabolism.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can lead to binge eating due to releasing the ghrelin hormone, which makes one feel hungry. Getting enough sleep is crucial to maintain hormonal balance in the body and boost metabolism. Sleep deprivation can also lead to stress which in turn affects appetite. So get a good night’s sleep to increase your metabolic rate.
9. Take Vitamin B
B vitamins such as B1 thiamine, B2 riboflavin, and B6 pyridoxine play an essential role in boosting the metabolic rate. To get sufficient vitamin B, include bananas, eggs, potatoes, spinach, peanut butter, etc., in your diet. You can also take B vitamin supplements to fulfil your daily requirement.
10. Eat at Regular Intervals
Eating meals at regular and fixed intervals help the body to maintain metabolic rate. Eat small meals or snacks at regular intervals of 2-3 hours for boosting your metabolism. Not eating for long hours can starve your body and lead to a calorie deficit. In addition, long gaps between meals can slow down your metabolism in the long run.
Metabolism is the chemical reaction that controls other chemical reactions in our body. Therefore, a slow metabolic rate can mess up the entire system. However, you can tune back the rhythm of your body by incorporating some healthy lifestyle changes such as a proper sleep pattern or keeping active, eating well, and so on.
Every person is different and has a different metabolic rate. At the same time, some people might eat all they want and remain slim. On the other hand, some can gain weight in the blink of an eye. Before you start comparing yourself to others or starve yourself to achieve your body goals, pause for a moment. Understand your body, see what routine works the best for it, what food and exercise help it to remain fit, and do it accordingly. Eat more frequently if you want to lose weight. Never get into the rush, especially when it comes to your body and health.
Age is the most common factor that slows down our metabolism. So, do not worry if you suddenly find yourself a few kilograms above your usual weight; it is entirely natural. Just remain active, eat healthily, exercise daily and live a stress-free life to keep your metabolism rate at its optimum level. A high protein diet helps to boost metabolism by 80-90 per cent. More protein helps to build more muscle mass and increases the metabolic rate in your body. Consult your doctor in case of sudden weight gain or weight loss to check for hormonal imbalance.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A. Eating after a long gap can slow down your metabolism and lead to weight gain. Eat at regular intervals to lose weight.
A. There is no definite answer to this. Digestion is not directly related or linked to metabolism. People with a fast metabolism might not poop so frequently as someone with a slow metabolism.
A. Protein-rich foods such as eggs, milk, cheese, dairy, nuts, and seeds help boost metabolism. Then chilli, peppers, coffee, tea, beans, ginger, mineral-rich foods, apple cider vinegar, etc., can also help increase your metabolic rate.
A. Eggs are a great source of protein. A high protein diet helps to boost metabolism by 80-90 per cent. So yes, eating eggs boosts your metabolism.
A. All fruits are suitable for the body. Still, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are some fruits that naturally help boost your metabolism. Watermelon also helps in weight loss due to amino acid arginine, which reduces body fat.