Rev Up Your Metabolism
Your metabolic rate
determines how much energy you bum. In an oblique
way, it ultimately determines your body weight so it
is a primary concern. Here are some simple and quick
fixes to help keep it amped up.
As women age, their metabolic rate
slows and they find it harder to lose weight. Men
have it easier, as evident in reality television
shows like The Biggest Loser.
They have greater muscle mass and
a lower body fat percentage that translates to a
higher basal metabolic rate (BMR). Generally
speaking, BMR is the minimum amount of energy needed
for you to function daily.
We are bombarded with temptations
on a daily basis that makes losing weight or even
maintaining it a tricky business. The sights and
smells of a delicious spread can evaporate the most
determined resolve within seconds and turn most of
us into shameless bingers. The traditional fares
that appear during New Year are just the kind of
nefarious temptations that threaten to wreck such
havoc and derail the most disciplined diets. To
improvise for that inevitable binge fest, here are
some simple lifestyle adjustments you can make to
rev up your metabolic rate.
your calorie intake right.
Yes, we want to avoid too much,
but too little can also be detrimental. Eating too
little could very well lower your metabolic rate.
You need a sufficient amount of calories a day to
help burn fat and avoid burning muscle tissue needed
for energy. The average daily calorie intake needed
for men is approximately 2,500 and women need about
500 less a day. However, do note that this
number varies according to individuals, as you need
to factor in your height, weight, age and activity
level. There are many
websites on the Internet dedicated to weight loss
that can help you tabulate the right amount of daily
calories your body needs.
skip breakfast. Start
your day right with a healthy, generous breakfast to
kick start your metabolism. Skipping breakfast will
only lower your metabolism and your body's natural
defences take over, storing fat instead to save it
as fuel for later. Therefore, opt for a hearty
A study published in the American
Journal of Epidemiology noted that participants who
took in 22 to 55 per cent of their total calorie
intake during breakfast gained only 1.7 pounds on
average, over four years. In comparison, those who
ate zero to 11 per cent of their total calories in
the morning, gained nearly three pounds.
Opt for food with a low glycemic index
to help control your appetite,
Translated to ordinary parlance, it simply means
fill up on high fibre or protein-rich food. These
give off a steadier supply of energy compared to
food with a higher glycemic index, such as sweets
and processed food. The latter yummies give you a
sudden rush of energy but subsequently cause you to
feel lethargic. Fibre can also help burn more fat,
almost 30 per cent more in fact. Studies prove that
women who load up on fibre gain less weight over
time. While, protein-rich food helps improve your
lean muscle mass and the more lean muscle you have,
the higher your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Plump
for low-fat, protein food such as lean meat and
skinless chicken, as research indicates around 25
per cent of calories in
a protein-rich diet can be burnt off.
forget your cuppa.
Your daily dose of coffee can
rev up your metabolic rate by five to eight per cent
a day. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous
system by increasing your heart rate and breathing.
Green tea too is a good pick-me-up and some say, a
healthier choice. A cup of green tea can raise
metabolism by 12 per cent as it has thermogenic
properties (that help burn calories as food is
digested and absorbed). It also has a higher content
of catechin (versus other types of teas) to speed up
the brain and nervous system.
5. Amp up
your water intake. A
study in Germany found that participants who drank
about half a litre of water witnessed a 30% increase
in their metabolic rate. Water is also a natural
appetite suppressant, so drinking enough water helps
you from mistaking thirst for hunger, In fact, a
healthy way to start the day is by drinking a big
glass of water, preferably cold, for a report in the
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
stated that slightly more energy is needed to heat
the body this way, helping you burn off more from
the word go.
Spice it up. Add chillies to
your food as it will stimulate your taste buds and
make meals more satisfying, so you won't feel the
need to eat -more. However, do be cognisant about
calories. There are also certain spices that
increase metabolic rate by raising your body
temperature. Garlic, turmeric and black pepper are
stress-free. Easier said
than done, as
stress is a given
these days, But
exercising IS a great stress reliever-so run off
your worries in that morning jog, When you're
stressed out, the body releases a hormone known as
cortisol that increases your appetite and stimulates
the release of insulin, Increased insulin means
enough sleep. A good
night's rest is essential for your body and helps
you perform better the next day as it brings down
your cortisol levels and boosts your energy.
Research proves that people who don't get seven to
eight hours of daily sleep, are more prone to weight
gain. Besides, lean muscle regenerates in the final
couple of hours of sleep.
Start fidgeting. Yes,
you read it right. Fidgeting can trick your body
into thinking it has excess energy to work off,
hence boosting your metabolism. Fidgeting and
incidental movements throughout the day are called
non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). So the
less you move, the more your body thinks it needs to
conserve energy, thus slowing down metabolism.