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What is Metabolism & The Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Contributed by: Nancy Dixit

Introduction

You must have heard of metabolism, especially if you are someone trying to shed the extra kilos. People usually blame a slow metabolism for their weight. 

Did you know that men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting?

It’s true that metabolism is somehow connected to weight loss. Not only one metabolism, but there are many different ones like sugar metabolism, protein metabolism and fat metabolism, which deals with fat cells.

What exactly is metabolism?

For the unversed, Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.

It refers to all the biochemical processes that take place in our cells, such as breaking down nutrients from food, providing energy when the body needs it, or transporting waste products out of the organism. 

There are many other factors that can affect how your metabolism functions such as muscle mass, genes, sex, smoking, physical etc.

Metabolism is further classified into two categories:

  • Catabolism

Uses energy to break down 

Examples: Aerobic activities like running, swimming, biking etc.

Requires energy to grow and build.

Examples: Weight-bearing exercises like weight-lifting, pushups, squats etc.

Your body needs energy to perform basic functions like breathing, circulation, cell repair, and even rest.

Your body’s metabolic rate at rest is called basal metabolic rate and is a vital component for those looking to lose weight.

What causes weight gain?

The body stores extra food-based energy if we provide it with more energy in the form of food than what it requires at the time. It gets stored in muscles and subcutaneous fat tissues.

When we perform any physical activity like exercise or consume a low-carbohydrate diet, the body withdraws this stored energy and breaks it down.

Apparently, when this stored energy remains unused; it leads to putting on weight.

Hormones and enzymes also play an important role in metabolism. Sometimes metabolism is too slow and does not work properly; the reason may be hypothyroidism or Cushing’s syndrome. This can lead to obesity and other metabolic syndromes.

Need of boosting metabolism

Boosting metabolism is a holy grail for weight watchers, but how fast your body burns calories, depends on several other things including your diet, activity level, health status etc. 

An activated metabolism is therefore a good basis for losing weight, but also for a healthy lifestyle in general.

In this article, you can find out the effective ways to boost your metabolism.

Although you can’t control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to improve your metabolism, which include:

Good quality protein diet

Eating more protein can boost your metabolism by as much as 15 to 30% so that you burn more calories.

The body takes more time to break down your proteins as compared to fats and carbs; thus providing you with a greater sense of fullness and preventing overeating.

As per studies, eating a protein-rich diet increases your metabolism by as much as 15 to 30%.

Drink plenty of water

If you wish to maintain your metabolism rate and lose weight at the same time, you must drink plenty of water.

Even some studies have shown that drinking water half an hour before you eat can help you eat less, and provide you with a feeling of fullness if you are looking to lose weight.

Smart snacking

Eating at consistent times may help maintain metabolic balance. Do you know eating smaller meals or snacks often can help you lose weight also?

If you eat small meals (every 4 to 5 hours), your metabolism keeps on going and you tend to lose more calories over the day.

Do a high-intensity workout (but smartly)

When you do a basic cardio exercise (excluding high-intensity workout), your calorie burn only while you’re active. However, high-intensity workouts and strength training will keep your metabolism elevated for hours afterwards, increasing fat burn for far longer than just the time you were exercising.

Crank up the spice in your meals

It has been found that spicy foods contain natural chemicals like capsaicin that increase your metabolism and can help you maintain a healthy weight by shedding some extra weight.

Swap ultra-processed food for whole foods

Highly processed food typically contains added sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, chemical additives, and low fibre & high-quality protein.

These types of foods require less energy to digest, which means that you will burn fewer calories when you eat them. 

In fact, clinical studies show that you tend to gain weight if you eat processed food.

Drink coffee or green tea

Caffeine present in coffee and tea speeds up your central nervous system, and that can boost your metabolism by as much as 4 to 5%. Thus, coffee and tea may significantly help you lose weight if that is your goal.

Reducing stress

Our metabolism is also affected by hormones. When we are stressed, our body releases a hormone, called cortisol than usual.

This hormone regulates the appetite and when it is secreted in an excess amount it may lead to an unhealthy eating pattern (or eating disorder), which can interfere with the metabolism process.

Also, stress can actually cause the body to metabolize food more slowly.

According to National Sleep Foundation, stress is also closely related to the quality of sleep, which can influence metabolism.

Therefore it is recommended to avoid taking unnecessary stress and try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.

Final thoughts

A sedentary lifestyle can slow down your metabolism and take a toll on your health.

Also, keep in mind that a healthy diet, resting and training are all important aspects that help you stay healthy.

For most people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. It is always best to speak to a doctor before adjusting the diet or making changes to an exercise routine.

As an add-on, make a habit of taking preventive health checkups as they can help you in getting a complete insight into your health.

This will also help you with taking measures to promote your overall well-being. 

Book The Full Body Health Checkup Today!

Source: HEALTHIANS

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