Metabolism is the term for all the chemical reactions in your body. These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning. However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with metabolic rate or a number of calories you burn. The higher it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Having a high metabolism can also give you energy and make you feel better.
It’s the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. It’s such a big concept that it's understandable to feel as if it's beyond your control. Not true! There are a bunch of quick and easy diet and lifestyle changes you can make to boost your metabolism, make your body run more efficiently, and reach your weight-loss and fitness goals faster.
Here are 6 ways to support a healthy metabolism:
1. Eat Plenty Of Protein At Every Meal
Eating food can increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It's caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.
Protein causes the largest rise in TEF. It increases your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats. Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel fuller and prevent you from overeating.
One small study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet. Eating more protein can also reduce the drop-in metabolism often associated with losing fat. This is because it helps prevent you from losing muscle, a common side effect of dieting.
2. Make Some Muscle
Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but it uses more energy, too. The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That means you're resetting your thermostat to keep running at that rate even on the days when you don't make it to the gym.
3. Do A High-Intensity Workout
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves quick and very intense bursts of activity. It can help you burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate, even after your workout has finished.
This effect is believed to be greater for HIIT than for other types of exercise. What's more, HIIT has also been shown to help you burn fat. One study in overweight young men found that 12 weeks of high-intensity exercise reduced fat mass by 4.4 lbs (2 kg) and belly fat by 17%.
4. Drink Green Tea
Green tea has long been heralded for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin, may crank up metabolism. Researchers conducted a series of studies in dieters and found that those who went green lost more weight than those who didn't, suggesting that catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body's production of energy, or heat, from digestion. But how much do you have to drink? According to one study, if you drink five eight-ounce cups of green tea a day, you can increase your energy expenditure by 90 calories a day. Sounds like a lot of tea, but it's not hard to do if you also drink it iced.
5. Eat Spicy Foods
Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can boost your metabolism. However, many people can't tolerate these spices at the doses required to have a significant effect. One study of capsaicin, at acceptable doses, predicted that eating peppers would burn around 10 additional calories per meal. Over 6.5 years, this could account for 1 lb (0.5 kg) of weight loss for an average-weight male. Alone, the effects of adding spices to your food may be quite small. However, it may be slightly useful when combined with other metabolism-boosting strategies.
6. Get Your Omega-3's
Why does eating lots of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, and tuna) help amp up metabolism? Omega-3s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate metabolism. They may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which researchers have linked to how fast fat is burned.
Revving up your metabolism naturally can help to increase the chances of losing more weight in a short span of time. In this post, I shared with you 6 ways to support a healthy metabolism.
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