Contrary to what many people believe, metabolism occurs round the clock, even while we’re in deep slumber. As long as there’s an organ inside our bodies that is functioning – the heart beating, the lungs expanding and deflating, the brain thinking, and the kidneys producing urine, among others – there will always be metabolism involved. You see, metabolism is simply the sum total of all chemical processes that occur inside the body to maintain life. The speed in which these chemical processes occur can spell whether we will gain or lose weight. Typically, the slower our metabolism, the greater is the chance for weight gain. However, even if you are genetically predisposed to a sluggish metabolic rate, it doesn’t mean that you’re destined to be overweight or obese for the rest of your life. You can crank your metabolism several notches higher. To help you in this aspect, here are 5 tips to help boost metabolism.
Take a healthier breakfast.
Most of us skip breakfast thinking that this will help us lose weight. However, this is actually counterproductive. You see, our body has not received food for the last 8 hours or so. If we skip breakfast we inadvertently send our bodies into starvation mode. What this simply means is that it will slow its metabolic processes to help conserve energy. One particular study showed that having as much as 55 percent of your daily calories at breakfast can only lead to modest increases in weight over a period of 4 years, with an average weight gain of about 1.7 pounds. If you skip your meals altogether or consume less than 11 percent of your daily calories at breakfast, the weight gain is more pronounced, typically averaging around 3 pounds within the same 4-year period. Other studies also point to a greater risk of obesity among individuals who regularly skip breakfast, around 4.5 times higher than those who eat breakfast.
One way to really boost your metabolism by having your breakfast is to consume only healthier foods. Mixing lean protein with healthier fats as well as complex carbohydrates should last you the whole day as well as jumpstarting your metabolism. Getting your eggs plus oats and berries should do the trick. Adding a cup of black coffee should also increase your metabolism by as much as 16 percent. Say no to decaffeinated cups or even those with plenty of sugar. Adding soy milk should be fine, though. If you don’t like coffee, you can always sip hot tea. Also, don’t forget to drink at least a glass of ice-cold water even before you get up and out of bed. While it won’t take too much energy to heat up the cold temperature of the water, making it a habit can surely lead to a more efficient weight loss in the long run.
Increase your intake of protein-rich foods.
The key to boosting your metabolism is by eating foods that contain a lot of proteins. Why? Proteins are very large molecules that require very complex processes to break down into their component parts, first into peptides, before eventually being broken down further into amino acids. The length of time that it will take to process these large molecules easily translates into longer-lasting metabolism that can run for a few hours. But, there is actually a more laudable explanation why protein-rich foods are excellent for boosting metabolism. This is inherently tied to the muscle-building function of proteins. These molecules provide the necessary building blocks for the formation and development of all cells in the body, most especially the muscle cells. The more muscle tissues we have, the greater is the rate of metabolism. Muscles are more efficient when it comes to burning calories. In fact, even while resting, our muscles keep on burning those calories. Research shows that protein can continue burning calories by up to 35 percent even a few hours after meals.
Consuming around 30 grams of protein per meal should be enough. Adding 4 ounces of boneless chicken breast, 2 tablespoons of your favorite nuts, or even a cup of your favorite low-fat cottage cheese to your meal should suffice. Other excellent sources of protein are fish especially the fatty ones as these also contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as other substances that can do a lot in boosting your metabolism. Lean meats will always be included in any high-protein diets.
Strive for some high intensity interval training.
Exercise is one way to boost metabolism. By improving the way our bodies are able to replenish oxygen to help in the various chemical processes that occur while our bodies are stretched to their limits, we are also able to keep these metabolic processes at a very efficient rate. However, to really boost your metabolism and lose weight in the process, you’ll have to rev up your exercise regimen.
The idea is for you to combine strength training with endurance training. You need to improve your body’s capacity for oxygen and the accompanying enhancements in metabolism to help provide the foundation for a more efficient burning of calories. Strength training tones your muscles which, as we already learned, can help provide for a more efficient and longer-lasting calorie burning effect. As such, it is often a lot better to include both of these types of exercises in your regimen. However, it is often important to do these exercises properly as injuring yourself is also not fun.
To really boost your metabolism, it is often suggested that you alternate your usual exercises with bursts of high intensity ones. For instance, when you go jogging, you can add a 30-second sprint with each 5 minutes or so of continuous jog. This helps increase the fat-burning response of your muscles such that it will keep on burning calories long after you have finished your circuit. The whole point is to go all-out in one explosive motion for very brief periods to somehow shock your body into burning those calories. You can always start it easy though. You can start with a 12 second regular or normal pacing then followed by an 8 second all-out effort on your part before resting for about ten seconds then doing the whole cycle again. Slowly increase this until you can perform a lot of alternating intensity exercises within 20 minutes.
Include fatty fish in your diet.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are known to improve the activity of the enzymes of the body needed for burning fat. Studies reveal that individuals who supplement their exercise routines with fish oil supplements typically lost around 3.4 pounds after 3 months. While fish oil supplements are very convenient, a healthier approach would be to include fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and tuna as well as other cold water fatty fish species in your diet as these can also provide you with other nutrients that can help boost your metabolism. For example, these fishes are great sources of Vitamin D which has been shown to help preserve the integrity of muscle tissues. You are now aware that one of the most important aspects of increasing one’s metabolism is the amount of fully functional muscle tissues that we have. The more muscle mass we have, the greater is the need for energy. And whenever there is a need for energy, your metabolism gets cranked up. That’s why muscled individuals are always believed to have higher metabolic rates than those who more love handles in different parts of their bodies.
Choose foods that have natural metabolism-boosting properties.
If you don’t like spicy food, perhaps now is the time to add some spice in your life. Despite numerous foods that have been dubbed as fat-burners, there’s only one type of food that has been proven by a host of clinical studies to have superb thermogenic effects. This means these foods have the ability to raise the core temperature of the body which effectively revs up your metabolic rate. Spicy foods, particularly those that are high in capsaicin, are known to exhibit true thermogenic properties. A tablespoon of chopped green or red chilies is enough to boost your metabolism by up to 23 percent. And get this. The fat burning process will continue up to several hours after your last consumption of this particular spice.
Other foods worth considering for their fat-burning effects include grapefruit, tomatoes, ginger, mustard seeds, and turmeric. For the most part, hot peppers like jalapenos, chipotles, and habaneros will really crank your metabolism up several notches. If you can take the ghost chili, then you’d really be able to boost your metabolism.
There are a variety of ways in which we can boost our metabolism. It can be by choosing the right kinds of foods that we include in our meals or increasing our levels of physical activities. In many instances, however, it’s all about dedication and having a high degree of motivation to boost one’s metabolism. Without this commitment, no amount of supplements nor weight loss programs will ever result in the much-desired outcome. For more great diet foods, check out our post on the 10 best foods for weight loss.