‘Metabolism’ is a term that describes all bodily, chemical reactions. These processes keep your body healthy and functioning. In nutrition, this term also refers to your body’s metabolic rate.
Your metabolic rate is the number of calories your body can burn and how fast you can do it. Having a high metabolic rate not only helps you burn calories faster, but also enables you to regain energy and make you feel healthier and more energized.
The speed of your metabolism depends on various factors such as sex, body fat, age, muscle mass, genetics, and your body’s activity level. Though you can’t change your genetic makeup, there are ways in which you can still increase the rate at which your body processes calories.
1) Have an Abundance of Protein in Your Diet
Eating, in general, naturally boosts your metabolism for a few hours. The increase that occurs is called the thermic effect of food. This effect happens because your body needs to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients with twice as many calories.
Eating foods rich in protein has a profound effect on your body’s metabolic rate. Protein forces your body to use more calories in digestion than those rich in carbohydrates or any other food type.
Your metabolic rate during digestion should increase depending on the composition of what you eat:
- Protein – 15 to 30 percent
- Carbohydrates – 5 to 10 percent
- Fats – 3 percent at most.
Studies also found that eating food rich in protein helps people feel fuller after every meal, preventing them from overeating. Protein-rich foods are heavy on the stomach. So if you want to eat something without feeling hungry later, protein-rich foods should be your first choice.
Additionally, eating more protein reduces the drop in your body’s metabolic rate that’s often associated with losing body fat. This happens by reducing muscle loss, which is a side effect of losing weight and rigorous diets.
Protein-rich foods also help build metabolically active muscles and prevent the storage of copious amounts of body fat.
2) Drink Green Tea
Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks you can take without any adverse effects. It has a lot of antioxidants and plant compounds that could benefit your health and wellbeing. Now, studies are looking into the fact that green tea can help your body lose weight and regulate metabolism.
Some studies suggest that the active compounds in green tea mobilizes fat from fat cells, and increases fat burning, especially during exercise. Studies also point out the possibility that the metabolism-boosting effect of green tea persists in the long term.
Additionally, green tea is also a great alternative to sugary drinks. You can help your body be healthier and lose weight without sacrificing drinks like green tea. Take it cold or hot and it will have the same metabolic boosting effects.
3) Drink Cold Water
Similar to drinking green tea instead of sugary drinks and carbonated soda, drinking water helps you regulate your eating habits.
Keeping yourself hydrated is important for your body to function well. Studies suggest that drinking water can temporarily speed up your metabolism. Drinking at least half a liter of water increases your resting metabolic rate by ten to 30 percent in just an hour.
Studies also suggest that this calorie burning process works better when you drink cold water because your body uses up more energy to heat the liquid up to body temperature.
As a conclusion, drinking water helps you from overeating and helps increase your resting metabolic rate. It helps fill you up before meals, resulting in minimal caloric intake every time you eat. Cold water also nudges water’s natural capacity to raise metabolism rate.
4) Balance and Maintain Your Calorie Intake
You should balance and maintain your calorie intake. Similar to skipping and prolonging meals, severely reducing your calorie intake can actually decrease your metabolic rate and might make it harder for your body to shed off fat and lose weight.
Some people might think skipping meals and eating the smallest portion of a meal available is a surefire way to lose weight, but it isn’t. Not only is it ineffective, but it’s largely unhealthy as well. This practice can negatively impact your metabolism.
Eating calories smaller than your daily recommended intake can cause the body to slow down its calorie burning process to conserve energy. Studies show that adult women need at least 1600 to 2400 calories a day to have enough energy to go through their day.
Maintaining at least 1600 calories a day ensures you don’t harm your body’s metabolic rate and provides you with enough energy to do your work without feeling starved.
5) Lift Weights
Building muscle helps increase your body’s metabolism because muscles are more metabolically active than fat. Building up your muscles through lifting weights and heavy muscle-tone exercises naturally help you burn more calories in a day, whether you are moving or at rest.
Studies on weight loss and muscle mass training suggest that focusing on your muscles can prolong the effects of increasing your metabolic rate. People who underwent intensive weightlifting training for their muscles maintained their weight and had better metabolism than those who merely focused on restrictive dieting.
If you are trying to lose weight, the combination of intensive exercises and restrictive dieting can seriously confuse your body’s circadian rhythm and mess with your metabolic rate.
Exercising and strengthening your muscles, on the other hand, help fortify your metabolism, so you don’t experience the natural dip in metabolic rate as a result of your dieting.
6) Eat Regularly
Contrary to popular belief, eating regularly at the right time and without skipping meals helps your body increase its metabolic rate. Your body relies on balance and regularity. Studies show that eating right on time helps maintain your body’s metabolic balance.
Your body depends on its circadian rhythm and routine. It thrives better when it knows when to expect food coming in. Feeding yourself at regular times helps your body anticipate this and helps digest food better and faster.
If you eat at irregular times of the day and sometimes let your body go so long without eating, your body might burn calories slower than it had before and resort to storing more fat cells to draw energy from.
You can avoid this by eating regularly and on time. Experts agree that ideally, in a day, a person can healthily eat several small meals and snacks with an interval of three to four hours apart.
Practice eating healthily and don’t starve yourself! That won’t help you lose weight any more than cause problems for your digestive system sometime later. Eat on time, even several small meals spaced out in a day, and help your body maintain a healthy, functional metabolism.
7) Reduce Stress
Reducing stress and your exposure to stressors help you boost your metabolic rate. Stress affects the body’s hormone levels, producing more cortisol than the norm. Cortisol, which is the hormone that controls appetite, induces a craving to eat every time you are stressed.
High levels of cortisol can cause you to:
- crave food and eat more,
- develop unhealthy eating patterns and habits,
- and get less sleep than necessary.
Prevent this from happening through participating in activities that relieve stress. You can go on a vacation and try not to think about your work too much, or about any other problems that might be causing you to have huge food cravings.
You can also try and meditate to clear your mind, help you focus, and reduce your stress. Successfully reducing stress not only helps with your metabolism but also results in a healthier mind and body as well.
8) Do High-Intensity Exercises
High-intensity exercises build up your metabolism, similar to lifting weights. High-intensity workouts, which involve increasing your cardio activities, are proven to help you lose weight. Quick and intense bursts of activity help keep you fit and build up your muscles.
Better muscle mass ultimately helps increase your metabolic rate, even after your workout has finished. It helps you maintain your weight and also helps prevent the inevitable weight gain.
Additionally, as you age, your body naturally loses muscle mass. Strengthening your core muscles through high-intensity exercises help keep your body fit and healthy, as well as prolong losing your muscle mass.
Muscle mass has a higher metabolic rate than fat, which means that it takes a lot more energy to keep your muscles strong and the cells replenished. This translates to your body burning more calories to make up for muscle build up.
You should try out resistance training and resistant bands to help build your muscles for maximum effort and the best possible results.
9) Eat and Don’t Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast does more harm than good in maintaining your body’s metabolism. You need to jumpstart your day with a healthy, hearty meal to get your body’s natural gears up and running.
You should eat breakfast to start your metabolism early in the morning and help you maximize the calories you burn in a day. Studies suggest that the simple act of eating breakfast helps boosts your resting metabolism by at least 10 percent.
To alert your body to start working, a simple meal of toast, coffee, fruits, yogurt, and eggs does the trick. The trick is to ease your body into consuming calories faster, and what better way than by eating breakfast to jumpstart your day?
Skipping breakfast, on the other hand, disrupts your body’s natural rhythm and causes your body to lessen the calories it consumes to help you conserve energy. Easily fight this off by eating breakfast and keeping a steady routine of doing so.
10) Get Those 8 Hours of Sleep
Studies suggest that sleeping the recommended amount of time, seven to eight hours daily for adults, keeps your hormone levels balanced. Balanced hormone levels also mean that the chemical processes in your body involved with eating and feeling full do their job.
When a person gets little to no sleep, the body releases a hormone called ghrelin, which can make you hungry and crave food more than what you’re used to. Inadequate sleep also reduces the release of leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full.
Getting enough sleep helps your body function properly the following day. The quality of your sleep influences all bodily processes, especially chemical processes like your metabolism. Prevent yourself from craving food and overeating by getting at least seven hours of sleep the day before.
Increasing your metabolism is both easy and challenging. If you have read through these tips, they are pretty basic activities that impact your body’s metabolism. Live healthier and increase your metabolism by taking good care of your body; this includes engaging in exercise more frequently, eating properly, drinking water and other healthy fluids, and resting your body.
Keeping track of your health will help you achieve your desired body faster and will help you regulate and maintain said body, too. There are many other ways to help your body naturally boost its metabolic rate. These tips are merely suggestions to help you succeed in your goal of losing weight and achieving a healthy body.