Rev Up Your Metabolism   

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.

1. Get 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.

2. Don't 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 breakfast.

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. 

3. 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.

4. Don't 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.

6. 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 great condiments.

7. Stay 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 decreased metabolism.

8. Get 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.

9. 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.


Happy reading,

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