People often hold their metabolisms accountable. They frequently use “metabolism” in their conversations about diets and food intake. For example, it’s a common saying that metabolism makes one unable to eat chocolate without gaining weight. But before putting all the blame on your metabolism, you first need to understand what it is and how it works.
Like a fingerprint, every person has a different metabolism. It is a process by which your body transforms food into energy, with several variables affecting its speed. Age, sex, body fat, muscle mass, degree of activity, and genetics are some variables that affect metabolic speed. Having more lean muscle than body fat makes it possible to burn more calories while at rest.
On the contrary, age and under-eating will reduce your metabolism because your body will become less effective in breaking down the food you eat. Although no miracle pill exists that can increase your metabolism beyond its natural rate, there are a few practices you may adopt to your lifestyle to help rev it up. Read below to know more.
7 Effective Ways to Increase Your Metabolism
1. Eat enough
It’s common for people to eat less when they go on a diet. However, not consuming enough calories can make your body lose muscle mass, slowing your metabolism. Additionally, your body may reduce the pace at which it burns calories to conserve fuel if you don’t intake the required amount in a day.
Check to see if you’re eating enough and ensure you get the essential vitamins and minerals from it. Eat enough to meet your energy needs, but not excessively. Depending on the level of physical activity, adult women require between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day, while males require between 2,000 and 3,000.
2. Factor in protein
The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn—regardless of what you do. And you can acquire them by working out. Take a step further and include protein into your diet to prevent the breakdown of those gains and the resulting metabolic rate slowdown.
According to studies, protein has a higher thermic effect with 20%-30% compared to carbs and fat. In other words, it is harder for the body to digest and break down than other nutrients. Aim to include protein in each meal and snack you have during the day.
Protein-rich foods that promote metabolism include hard-boiled eggs, chicken breast, ground turkey, beans, and so on. The amount of protein needed varies from person to person. But generally, ingesting 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight daily should be enough to assist in weight loss efforts.
3. Get enough sleep
When a person does not get enough sleep, the body produces a hormone called ghrelin, which causes hunger. Meanwhile, leptin—a hormone that promotes feeling full—is also released at lower levels. Getting enough sleep can help keep these hormones in check. It can also help someone avoid overeating. While everyone needs a different amount of sleep, research indicates that adults need at least 7 to 8 hours per night.
4. Brew coffee
Coffee is one of the best weight-loss beverages since it speeds up your metabolism. According to a study, caffeine cranks up the sympathetic nervous system and boosts lipolysis (also known as a fat burn). Another study indicates that cyclists who took a caffeine supplement can cycle nearly a mile farther than those who took a placebo. A cup of black coffee is also a fantastic pre-workout beverage. Skip the sugars and order a venti instead.
5. Move your body
Compared to fat, muscle has a higher metabolic activity. Adding muscle can speed up metabolism and enhance daily calorie burn even when resting. Lifting weights can also prevent muscle loss and boost metabolism during your weight loss program. You may also try doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This training uses quick and highly intense bursts of activity. If this exercise is safe for you, it can help burn extra fat by boosting your metabolic rate even after your workout.
Studies have shown that HIIT can have this effect more than other forms of exercise. Additionally, research has demonstrated that HIIT can help with fat loss. You can start this workout with a modality you are currently comfortable with, like biking or jogging. Or you can also do home workout programs.
More often than not, people who opt for water over sugary beverages have better success with weight loss and maintenance. It may be because sugary drinks include calories. As such, switching to water automatically lowers your calorie consumption. If you’re trying to lose weight, water can also help you feel full. According to studies, drinking water 30 minutes before a meal will help you eat less.
7. Bid stressors goodbye
Stress can impact hormone levels and increase the production of cortisol, a hormone that regulates hunger. In fact, stress can slow down the body’s ability to digest food. Moreover, people usually crave fatty, sugary foods when they are stressed. According to research, significant weight gain may come from the interaction of high-calorie desires and a sluggish metabolic rate that stress brings. Switch it up with laughter. After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Keep it consistent
Avoid crash diets, as they can fluctuate your metabolism (and weight). Instead, adopt easy-to-maintain lifestyle changes like getting more sleep, starting a workout, and sticking to a healthy diet.
If you start getting adequate sleep and eating healthy meals instead of processed foods with high sodium or low fibre content, excessive sweets, or high fats, you may notice a difference within a few days. Making simple lifestyle adjustments and adopting these practices into your routine will help boost your metabolism and maintain a healthy body.
Other interesting topics: Everything You Need to Know About Functional Medicine
Author: Meghan Roces
Meghan Roces is considered a social butterfly due to her overwhelming energy and charisma, as proven by people who get to meet her. She’s a lifestyle blogger by day and TV geek by night.