Metabolism is your body’s chemical processes. We also use the word informally for how fast or slow your body burns calories. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you burn, and the easier it is to lose weight – and keep it off. The girl who eats all that junk food and doesn’t gain a pound? She’s got that enviable high metabolism. A high metabolism also keeps you feeling energetic. The question is, is it possible to boost metabolism?
In a way, metabolism is genetic. It is as unique as your fingerprint. You could have a low basal metabolic rate (BMR) – the calories you burn when you’re at rest – because it’s in your genes. BUT the good news is, it is not out of your hands entirely. Studies suggest there are ways to increase your body’s metabolic rate.
What burns calories when the body is resting? That’s right, fat and muscles. For every pound of muscle, the body burns thirty-five calories a day. For the same mass of fat, it’s two calories. The next time you do bicep curls, bodyweight squats and tricep extensions, know that you’re building the bulk that will help you lose weight.
Keep your blood sugar and insulin levels steady and your metabolism primed by snacking often. Starving won’t boost your metabolism. Eating oftener will. Good news for the foodies!
If you love chilli, you’ll be pleased to know capsaicin – the stuff that makes chillies so spicy – helps burn energy. A process called thermogenesis brings your body heat up, and burns energy as a result.
Even breathing deeply for a few minutes a day will send more oxygen to your cells. More energy will be used up and your body’s insulin resistance will fall. This will max your metabolism.
Green tea instead of milk and sugar in your tea can, apparently, burn calories. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea contains catechins that can boost your calorie-burning rate by 4 percent!
The warning not to eat after eight seems to be a myth. Some Florida State University researchers found that a light snack before bed can speed up your body’s metabolism. Try to eat a protein-rich snack under 150 calories.
You probably know drinking water before your meals will make you feel fuller, and likely to eat less. But if it’s cold water from the fridge, then it’s likely to speed up your metabolism further. Chilled water cools your body and forces the body to burn calories to warm up. You can lose up to 95 calories a day from two liters of ice-cold water, according to researchers from Humboldt University.
One study at the university found that chocolate with a cocoa percentage of over 70 percent speed up metabolism over a period of 2 weeks. This is very likely because of theobromine, which is present in dark chocolate. Theobromine stimulates adrenaline, which boosts metabolism.
Researchers at Stanford and the University of Wisconsin found that not sleeping enough will throw your body’s levels of leptin out of whack. Leptin is the hormone that regulates appetite and energy use. If you sleep less than 8 hours, the levels of leptin in your body will go down by 15.5 percent.
One study by the American National Institute of Health Clinical Center found that you’ll burn 7 percent more calories when you’re lounging about if you turn the thermostat down to 17 degrees C, instead of at 23 degrees C! Plenty of reason to keep chill while you watch your favorite TV shows.
Which of these tips are you already following?
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