Speeding up your body metabolism is the Holy Grail for those who want to watch their weight. However, your body metabolism or the speed at which the body burns calories depends on various factors. There are people who naturally inherit a speedy metabolism, with men tending towards higher metabolic rates compared to women. In addition, you also need to consider the age factor, as the metabolism slows down after the age of 40 or due to genetic factors. However, there are several ways in which you can increase and improve your metabolic rate.
What is Metabolism?
It refers to the biochemical process occurring in our bodies for maintaining life and it consists of catabolism and anabolism. During catabolism, the molecules are broken down for obtaining energy and during anabolism, all the compounds that the cells need are synthesized.
During metabolism, the body converts your food into energy and provides energy for functioning. The amount of calories made use of by the body for carrying out these functions is known as the metabolic rate. The rate depends on the body size, the sex, age and heredity factors.
Many people blame their weight on a slow metabolic rate. It is true that metabolism is related to weight and it does influence the energy needs of the body. However, it is also your food intake and physical activity that actually determine your weight.
How to Speed Up Metabolism
Kick up your Exercise
Aerobic exercises may not do much for your muscles, but it can enhance your metabolic rate. The idea is to push the body towards high intensity exercise, rather than moderate intensity workouts. You can include a short jog during your routine walk as well. When you run or swim, try increasing the intensity for half a minute and then return to your normal speed, as this will make the body consume more oxygen and make the mitochondria work harder.
Smart Snacking Habit
Instead of eating heavy spaced out meals, it is better to go in for eating more often. When a person has large meals with many hours in between the metabolism tends to slow down in between the meals, whereas it is better to have small snack every three hours, so that you can burn more calories though out the day. It has also been observed that those who snack smart throughout the day eat lesser amounts during mealtimes.
Spices in Meals
It is been proved that spices can increase the metabolism and put it in a higher gear. Cook your food including a teaspoon of red or green chilies or just add some red pepper flakes to your pasta dish to boost your metabolism.
Eating fish containing omega 3 fatty acids can increase the metabolism. It also reduces inflammation and balances your body blood sugar and reduces the body’s resistance to leptin, which is a hormone linked to the speed with which fat is burned.
Muscles are able to use more energy, so strength training can increase resting metabolism by up to 100 calories per day. The body burns more calories while maintaining muscle than maintaining fat, so by building muscles, your body will burn more calories, thereby increasing fat loss. Muscle mass is one important element of metabolism that you can change. By lifting weights, you can break down the muscles and this results in increased muscle cells. These muscles require energy and they are able to burn three times as many calories as fat cells, even while resting.
Even if you have inherited a slow metabolism rate, you need not despair, as you are not stuck with it. Research has shown that you can make your body burn more calories and even reverse the inevitable slow down that comes with age, by exercising and strength training and eating the right foods.
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