What is metabolism? How does it work, what does it mean for overall health and happiness, and how do you increase it? Boosting metabolism is the first course of action for weight watchers everywhere, but how fast your body burns calories depends on many factors. Some people inherit a fast metabolism. Due to muscle mass make-up, men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting. And for most people (if not all), metabolism slows steadily after age 20 and decreases after reaching 40 years of age.
But don’t worry. With a little hard work and dedication, there are several ways to increase metabolism at any age. Mostly, the answers can be found in what you eat and how much you exercise.
Diet is one of the most talked-about topics in any discussion about losing weight or increasing metabolism. It is said that “you are what you eat,” which is somewhat true. Your health and how you feel depend primarily on what you consume to fuel your body.
One of the first things is to drink the recommended amount of water daily. Your body needs water. Even if you are mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may decrease. Adults who drink eight or more glasses of water a day burn more calories than those who drink four glasses. Stay hydrated throughout the day and drink a glass of water before meals and snacks. This will also help you feel fuller when eating and balance out sensible portion control measures.
Coffee and tea are big winners in the metabolism-boosting category. One of coffee’s benefits, when consumed in moderation, perhaps a temporary rise in your metabolic rate through the caffeine boost. Green tea or oolong tea combines caffeine and catechins, a substance shown to provide a short-term increase in metabolism. Both are beneficial for increasing metabolism.
When it comes to snacking, be smart about it. When you eat large meals, your metabolism slows down. Instead, try eating a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours. This will keep your metabolism going stronger, burning more calories over the day.
As part of a balanced diet, reduce carbs and increase lean, protein-rich foods. This can boost metabolism at mealtimes. Your body burns more calories by digesting proteins than by eating fat or carbohydrates. Protein sources include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat, chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products. Regarding meals, focus on proteins, and don’t be afraid to spice them up. Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can increase your metabolism. Cooking foods with chopped red or green chili pepper can also increase metabolism.
On the flip side of the metabolism-boosting process is exercise. How much and the exercise will determine how much boost you are giving your metabolism. Building muscle mass and getting plenty of cardio should do the trick. After a strength training session, muscles are activated all over your body, raising your average daily metabolic rate. Your body burns calories, even when resting.
Aerobic exercise may not increase muscle mass, but it can increase metabolism. High-intensity training significantly affects resting metabolic rates more than low- or moderate-intensity workouts. Try a more intense workout regimen to get the full benefit.
A strong metabolism can be achieved at any age with the proper diet and exercise. There are no substitutions for a well-balanced, clean diet and a good mix of activities. This leads to an active, healthy lifestyle that will serve your body and metabolism well. Vitamins and medications are designed to support overall health and wellness and help treat a list a variety of medical indications. Whether you take vitamins, supplements, or prescribed medications, if you suspect your metabolism may be affected by what you put into your body, research, learn and speak with your physician.