We’ve all heard it before: in order to lose weight, we need to increase our metabolism. But what does that exactly mean? What is the metabolism and how can we boost it? Most people picture a physical process that takes place in the body, but in fact, metabolism refers to the chemical processes that occur when the body uses fuel, such as carbohydrates and fat.
Have you ever wondered why a friend, family member, or relative is a lot slimmer and fitter than you, even though you eat less and lead a more active life? You are not alone, as many people have experienced this scenario and complained about how life is unfair. Many blame it upon genes, which can only be partially responsible in some cases. The real reason behind the sluggish rate of weight loss is a low metabolic rate. Metabolic rate can be defined as the number of calories your body burns per unit time at rest. Your daily food choices and water consumption have a huge impact on your metabolism.
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Why do we need to boost metabolism?
In our modern world people tend to be more sedentary and spend much of their day at a desk and on the computer. After work, they go home and, in front of the TV set , most will snack instead of cooking a healthy meal for themselves and sitting down to enjoy it with their loved ones. This is all very well but it is not very good for your body. Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food you eat into energy. When your metabolism is high your body will be burning calories at a much faster rate resulting in weight loss .
So how can you boost your metabolism so that you are losing weight? The best way to do it is through exercise! Any kind of exercise will do- but some activities are more effective than others when it comes to boosting your metabolism. If you want to lose weight then what you need are short bursts of high intensity workouts throughout the day.
Individuals with a higher muscle mass tend to have greater metabolic rates; also, men have a higher metabolism than women, which explains why they are able to lose weight more efficiently. Stress, hormonal disorders, aging, thyroid problems, and some health conditions like diabetes can lower a person’s metabolism. Fortunately, most people can improve their metabolism by making healthy changes to their lifestyle and diet. The first thing you should do is drink more plain water – 2 liters a day is a fair amount.
Foods to boost Metabolism and accelerate Weight Loss
Incorporating the following foods in your daily meals will boost your metabolism and speed up your weight loss journey:
1. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like Salmon, Tuna, and Mackerel is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is a class of polyunsaturated fats that are good for health. Fish is a lean protein, i.e. it is low and calories and easy to digest. Nutritionists recommend eating fatty fish at least twice a week; 3-5 servings per week are a good standard. If you don’t like seafood, you may opt for a fish oil supplement. Fish is rich in protein and thereby helps build muscle mass.
Berries like blueberries and strawberries have the lowest carb content among fruits, which is why they can be incorporated in every trending diet, including the Ketogenic and Mediterranean diet. Berries are full of anti-oxidants and essential minerals that strengthen the immune system, thereby averting health conditions that compromise our metabolism. They are also high in fiber, which regulates the digestive system and prevents constipation.
3. Legumes & Lentils
Legumes and Lentils are an ideal source of protein, particularly for vegetarians and vegans. They are also packed with iron, potassium, and magnesium, i.e. minerals that play an important role in improving metabolism. There’s a wide range to choose from, so you can prepare a variety of healthy dishes. Beans, chickpeas, and other pulses are very filling fiber-laden foods. They will keep you full for extended hours, so you can shun untimely urges to binge on unhealthy snacks. The energy procured from legumes is long-lasting, which shall motivate you to workout with fervor.
4. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is superior to regular yogurt and curd because it is void of whey. Whey is a fluid containing lactose (a natural sugar), so when it is removed, the yogurt acquires a thicker and creamy texture, as well as a tart flavor. Greek yogurt has lower calories, higher protein content, and an abundance of probiotics that are excellent for gut health; adding a portion of it to your everyday meals helps burn calories at a faster rate.
5. Cacao and Cocoa
Believe it or not, chocolate can actually aid in weight loss. Cacao and cocoa both refer to pure unsweetened chocolate, but cocoa is less bitter because it is roasted. Cacao is processed at low temperatures, and sustains greater nutritional value. Both compounds are rich in polyphenols, which lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar level. They also contain flavanols that are known to eliminate stress, improve mood, and alleviate other symptoms of depression. Regular intake reduces appetite, prevents weight gain, and reduces the risk of developing Diabetes.
According to scientific research, cacao/cocoa extracts promote expression of genes that stimulate fat burn. Other studies suggest that they inhibit enzymes required to break down fat, so the body doesn’t absorb the calories from fat.
Coffee contains caffeine that invigorates the body and boosts metabolism. People who drink about 3 cups of coffee a day may lose an additional 100 calories, as compared to those who don’t. Coffee stimulates the senses and eradicates fatigue, thereby uplifting your performance at the gym. Coffee without milk and sugar is more effective for losing weight. Coffee drinkers are fitter and live longer, as it protects against medical decline, diabetes, heart diseases, depression, and various types of cancer.
7. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is the best kind of cheese as it is fresh, unprocessed, rich in protein, and low in fat. It has proven to be beneficial for blood sugar management, thyroid health, and muscle recovery. It contains a variety of minerals/nutrients that boost several bodily functions and boost metabolism. Phosphates facilitate the digestive tract, Calcium fortifies bones, B-complex vitamins promote weight loss, and Riboflavin expedites conversion of carbohydrates to energy.
8. Chili Peppers
Chili peppers contain a chemical called ‘capsaicin’ improves metabolism by increasing the rate at which the body burns calories; doses as low as 9-10 mg can help burn about 50 extra calories in a day. When you eat peppers, you can feel the heat. This heat raises the internal temperature and accelerates burning of fat.
A bowl of oatmeal in the morning will keep you satisfied and active throughout the day. You will get rid of hunger pangs, as it slows down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Oatmeal is a whole grain with soluble fiber, which is responsible for the full feeling. The best time to eat oatmeal is early in the morning for breakfast, especially if you aim to lose weight.
Matcha is derived from high quality green tea leaves that are processed and ground into a fine powder. The caffeine content in matcha is less than coffee, but greater than that in regular green tea. It is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber; the tea has detoxifying, mood boosting, and relaxing properties. Matcha can be prepared in a variety of ways and incorporating it in your daily diet can substantially raise metabolism. It also lowers cholesterol, controls blood sugar, and accelerates burning of fat.
John Adams is a paralegal and lifestyle blogger who concentrates on health, fitness, personal injury law, and self-development. He encourages readers to fight for their rights and overcome obstacles holding them back. He believes that every person can improve the quality of his/her life by thinking positive and making better choices.