What is metabolism?
Your body is a complex biological machine. It performs numerous functions, both externally and internally. Your body performs most of these functions, almost restlessly, without you having to decide.
Your body needs a constant supply of energy to carry out all its functions. This is where metabolism comes in. Metabolism is the process of breaking down complex food materials into energy that your body requires.
In general, metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions that take place inside you. However, it is not as simple as it seems. It is a complex phenomenon that is continuously happening inside your body.
Metabolism vs. metabolic rate
If you’ve researched how to reduce your body weight, you might have come across the term “metabolic rate.” Often, metabolism and metabolic rate are used interchangeably. Nonetheless, the distinction is clear and simple.
As metabolism refers to the process, the metabolic rate refers to how your body converts calories into energy. The faster your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn, and the more weight you lose.
However, apart from weight loss, maintaining a healthy metabolic rate benefits you in plenty of ways.
Can I increase my metabolic rate?
You cannot have complete control over your metabolism. One’s metabolic rate differs based on a variety of factors, such as:
- Body type
- Activity level
- Muscle mass
- Body fat
However, your role is still crucial in controlling your metabolic rate. There are a variety of foods that speed up your metabolism. You can also do exercise to increase metabolism.
What are the most effective ways to boost metabolism?
To make it simple for you, we have comprehensively listed 11 ways to enhance your metabolism as follows:
1. Break your meals
Along with what you eat, how you eat also becomes important. Instead of having a bulk meal, you can split up the meal into several segments.
Splitting up the bulk meals into smaller meals helps you maintain your blood sugar level and prevents a steep rise in insulin levels. This prevents you from gaining weight.
Splitting up your meal and consuming smaller portions constantly supply calories to your body instead of stuffing it all at once. This boosts your metabolism and supplies constant energy.
2. Intake more protein
Generally, your metabolism is high right after you eat food, and it continues for some hours. This effect is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). This TEF can go higher if you consume protein-rich foods.
In other words, high-protein foods result in a high metabolic rate. Studies show that protein contributes to around a 15%–30% increase in metabolic rate compared to a 0%–3% increase in fat and a 5%–10% increase in the case of carbohydrates.
Some protein-rich foods that you can add to your diet include:
- Egg white
- Meat and poultry
- Dairy products like milk, yoghurt, paneer, cottage cheese, etc.
3. Intake more calories
A common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is skipping meals. But this affects you inversely.
As we have already seen, metabolism is the process that converts calories into energy. If you do not eat, you will not have the necessary calories. If your calories are low, your metabolic rate will decelerate.
So, you need to look for foods that increase metabolism and burn fat simultaneously.
4. Vitamin B-rich foods
Vitamin B plays a crucial role in enhancing your metabolism. Your B vitamins, especially B1, B2, and B6, contribute to healthy metabolic activity and supply sufficient energy to your body.
Some vitamin B rich foods that accelerate your metabolism are:
- Orange juice
- Peas and peanut butter
- Whole-grain foods
5. Green tea
Apart from its numerous health benefits, a cup of green tea can highly help speed up your metabolism. Although there is a lack of conclusive studies, replacing other sugary beverages with green tea cannot harm.
6. Drinking more water is the key
Drinking more water boosts your metabolism. When you are dehydrated, the necessary chemical reaction that converts the calories into energy gets affected.
Your body often dehydrates at night because you cannot possibly intake fluids unless you’re awake. So, an ample amount of water before and after your sleep is essential to increase your metabolism.
Caffeine is a complex beverage. Some diets omit entirely it, while some recommend caffeine in small quantities. In the case of metabolism, a cup of coffee can contribute to its increase.
Coffee tends to boost your central nervous system. This keeps you active for a long time.
It also boosts your energy level so that you tend to workouts for longer hours and burn more calories. Hence, it is one of the effective foods that increase metabolism.
8. High-intensity workouts
If you wonder how to increase your metabolism rate permanently, the answer lies in physical training.
Especially in high-intensity workouts like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuit training, your body burns so many calories in a short period of time.
This amplifies your metabolic rate and helps you burn more fat. Both HIIT and circuit training are energy-demanding workouts, so it is essential to supplement your workouts with foods that speed up your metabolism as well.
9. Weight training
Although HIIT and circuit training are both beneficial, muscle-building workouts secure a special place when it comes to increasing metabolism. It is a great exercise to increase metabolism.
Your muscles’ metabolic rate is usually higher than that of fats. Lifting heavy weights or doing weight training builds your body muscles.
When your muscle mass increases, your metabolic rate will also increase, and you will burn more calories.
10. Stress reduction
Stress has numerous adverse effects on your health. When you’re under stress, your hormone levels will be disturbed. Moreover, your body will produce higher amounts of cortisol than usual.
Cortisol is a hormone that is responsible for regulating appetite. When its balance gets disturbed, you may tend to develop eating disorders and also sleep issues.
Both of these have adverse effects on your metabolism, and your body weight can become unregulated. Hence, it is important to track your stress level and indulge in stress-relieving activities often.
11. Getting sound sleep
Last but not least, there is no replacement for a good night’s sleep. As we all know, quality sleep has magical effects on us. However, its deprivation has serious effects on our health.
Lack of sleep is associated with a high risk of obesity. It is also attributed to high blood sugar levels. This can lead to an increased risk of diabetes.
But sound sleep enhances your metabolic rate and prevents the risk of weight-related and other chronic conditions.
Even though you cannot completely control your metabolism, you can influence it in a positive way. There are also a whole lot of Indian foods that increase metabolism, like ginger and paneer.
A good amount of food, sufficient physical activity, and quality sleep are the key factors to boosting your metabolism.