Our busy schedule and hectic life style often leaves us stressed and tired which results in the reduction of speed of our metabolism. What we eat and drink is converted into energy through the process of metabolism. It is a complex biochemical process in which calories in foods and beverages are perfectly blended with oxygen to release the energy needed for the proper functioning of our body. Even when we are at rest, the performance of certain essential functions like circulating blood, adjusting hormones, breathing, growing and repairing cells, our body needs energy. The basal metabolic rate or BMR is the number of calories that our body uses while performing these very essential basic functions.
Metabolism can be divided into two categories – Catabolism and Anabolism. In Anabolism the cells of components like proteins and nucleic acids are constructed through energy and in Catabolism the organic matter and harvested energy are broken down by way of cellular respiration. By making following boosters the part of our routine we can control our metabolism very well.
When we are at rest then also our body constantly burns calories. The resting metabolic rate is higher in those people who have more muscles than others. Daily two calories are burnt by each pound of fat and six calories are used by every pound of muscles just to maintain their sustenance. After a period of strength training muscles are activated that helps to raise the average daily metabolic rate of our body. It also helps in the process of weight loss by burning fat.
Speeding up our metabolism is one of the main steps to losing weight. Eating more protein with regular exercise will help you burn more calories. Eating of five to six mini meals per day including protein source like cheese, beans, turkey, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, low fat dairy products, chicken and fish in every meal is the best way to increase metabolism and keep you feeling energized and fueled throughout the day. By digesting protein our body burns more calories than it does breaking down fat or carbohydrates.
Eating lots of fish possessing Omega 3 fatty acids also helps to speed up our metabolism. Omega 3 lowers inflammation and balances blood sugar, thus it increases our metabolic power. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseed, walnuts, salmon, sardines, beef, soybeans, tofu, shrimp, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. They reduce resistance to the hormone leptin which researchers have linked as a fat burner. Leptin is a protein produced by fatty tissue and believed to regulate fat storage in the body.
Aerobic exercises increase metabolism in the hours after a workout. High intensity exercise regulates a bigger, longer rise in resting metabolic rate than low or moderate intensity workouts. It will be really beneficial to your health if you try a more intense class at the gym or yoga centre and the inclusion of short bursts of jogging during your regular walk will also help to increase metabolism. Plymoteric exercises include explosive, high intensity jumping exercises that increases athletic performance and helps in weight reduction by speeding up metabolism.
Our metabolism may slow down because of slight dehydration as our body immensely needs water to process calories. Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluid as it should. It has been proved that even small levels of dehydration can create lethargy, headache and constipation. A severe dehydration is a life threatening emergency. Adults who drank four glasses of water a day burned less calories than those who drank eight or more glasses of water a day. Water is the best way to rehydrate our body. Sodas, iced tea, coffee and other drinks also help us to stay hydrated. Some other sources of hydration include soup, stew, jell-o, grape fruit, grapes, watermelon, fruit juice, smoothies and sports drinks.
The presence of some ingredients in energy drinks boost metabolism. Caffeine is the main ingredient in most energy drinks. Energy drinks contain more caffeine than tea, coffee and soft drinks. Caffeine does not only increase energy expenditure or metabolic rate but also decreases reaction time and alertness. They sometime contain ingredients like taurine, an amino acid that is included in many energy drinks as it is really beneficial to athletic activity. It also helps in fat oxidation which not only improves athletic performance but also stimulates an increase in the rate of metabolism and acts as a fat burner. Many doctors don’t recommend energy drinks for kids as it can cause high blood pressure, anxiety and insomnia.
Eating snacks with right ratio of nutrients, with the right amount of calories will help keep our body energized and help lose weight. Healthy snacks in a perfect diet include an apple, skim milk and cottage cheese filled with avocado. Healthy snacks ensure that you will not be ravenous during mealtime and keep up fat burning metabolism. If we eat meals after long gaps our metabolism slows down during this period of time but if we eat a small meal or snack every 3 or 4 hours it helps in boosting metabolism.
The presence of antioxidant polyphenols in green tea increases our metabolic power. The presence of ingredient like catechin helps the process of fat loss and also increases metabolism. Catechin is a plant secondary metabolic and it belongs to a type of natural phenol and antioxidant. It improves fat oxidation and thermogenesis, our body’s production of energy or heat from digestion. The habit of drinking green tea makes easy the process of weight reduction in men than those who don’t.
It has been said that spicy foods boost metabolism. It has been proven that a bowl of chili provides temporary rise in metabolism of about 8% greater than a person’s typical metabolic rate. Capsicum creates heat generation and raises body temperature upon consumption that increases metabolism. The inclusion of spicy foods or red/green chili peppers which have natural chemicals speeds up metabolism as well.
Coffee contains several substances like caffeine, theobromine, theophylline and cholorogenic acid. Coffee contains caffeine which is highly acclaimed as a psychoactive substance worldwide. Caffeine is known to surpass fats from the fat tissues and increase metabolism. It has been proved that caffeine can increase the metabolic rate by 3-11 % , with larger doses having an even bigger effect. The increase in metabolism is caused by an increase in the burning of fat and the renowned energy drink coffee helps in this process.
Fruits like strawberries and blackberries are rich in fiber and micronutrients that help our digestive system. Foods containing vitamin C such as guavas, dark green leafy vegetables, kiwi, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas and papaya help our body to burn fat quickly and help to increase metabolism. Insulin levels are decreased through the intake of fruits like lemons, limes, oranges and grape fruits. Broccoli contains calcium, fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C and the presence of powerful phytochemicals which strengthen the immune system of our body. It is a cruciferous vegetable that enhances metabolism and ensures weight reduction.
It is important to consume some dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt as they are packed with essential nutrients that help keep us healthy. They are good sources of protein, zinc, vitamin B and calcium in a diet, a mineral that gives strength to our bones. Switching to low fat dairy products does not mean you will get less calcium. Interestingly, it contains more calcium than full fat milk. They contain additional nutrients which are vital for health and they also help to reduce unwanted weight. The presence of amino acids in high quality protein foods comprises the essential constructing blocks of proteins. Calcitrol is a hormone that stimulates fat storage and it is released when someone is suffering from calcium deficiency.
Now that you know the secret to a fit body enjoy it and lead a beautiful and healthy life!
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Devi Gajendran is a Post Graduate in Nutrition (University of Madras, Tamil Nadu) and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She is the chief advisor and full time contributor at the Fit Indian and has the final say on all the segments under the Fit Indian paradigm, such as beauty, fitness, home remedies, diseases, diet tips, weight loss, weight gain and so on. A foodie herself, she believes in the Hippocrates quote,” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A fitness enthusiast, she believes that the combination of diet and exercise can work wonders. When she is not sharing her valuable knowledge about food and fitness, she likes to spend quality time with her family members, do some healthy baking and listen to soft soulful music.