All the chemical reactions and processes carried out within our bodies continuously can be termed metabolism. It is the process behind providing energy for carrying out the bodily functions essential for staying alive.
Basic science tells us that every chemical reaction in the world requires some amount of energy; this minimum amount of energy is necessary for carrying out the chemical reactions is called the Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR.
75% to 80% of a body's daily energy needs are the BMR, which also depends on various factors like lifestyle, age, sex, genetics, etc.
In simpler terms, a person's metabolism rate is how their body can efficiently burn calories and turn them into energy. Metabolic rate, the number of calories burned and converted into energy, is very frequently used in place of metabolism.
There is a difference in the metabolic rate among people due to various factors such as body size, gender, age, and even genes. People who are more muscular than fat generally tend to have a faster metabolism since the energy required to maintain a muscle cell is more than the energy needed for fat muscles. Another reason for a difference in metabolism is that a human body loses more muscle and gains fat with growing age.
Since men have more muscle mass, heavier bones, and lesser body fat than women, men generally have a faster metabolism. The make of a human body is largely determined by genetics. For example, the muscle cells, the rate at which these cells are generated, etc., are linked to a person's genes. Hence, the genes of a person can indirectly affect metabolism.
Here are some ways in which you can boost your metabolism:
Having Meals at Regular Intervals
The human body sustains consistency and uniformity. Eating at regular intervals can help you boost your metabolism. Let us discuss this further. Eating a lot and then doing hours without any food intake will only burn calories slower and store more fat cells.
However, consuming food at regular intervals can reduce this tendency, and you should consume small quantities of food every 3 to 4 hours.
Eating a Sufficient Amount of Protein with each Meal
Regularly eating food can boost your metabolism for some time. This is termed Thermic Effect of Food, or TEF, caused by the surplus calories needed to absorb, digest, and process the nutrients in your food.
It is found that protein causes the largest increase in TEF, which is 20% to 30%, which boosts your metabolism by 30%, which is significantly very high compared to carbohydrates and fats.
Another great benefit of consuming protein is that it keeps you full and stops you from eating unnecessarily.
Consuming an Adequate Amount of Calories
By eating enough calories, you can boost your metabolism. Some people have a misconception that skipping meals can help them lose weight faster; and however, this negatively impacts their bodies and does more harm than good. Eating only a handful of calories will signal the body to reduce the speed of burning calories to conserve energy.
An ample amount of water intake is a must to stay healthy and fit. Staying hydrated is crucial for the human body to function and carry out activities efficiently, and it is also an essential factor that helps boost your metabolism.
If you drink more cold water, the body will use up energy to warm it up to the body temperature, which helps boost your metabolism. Also, replacing sugary beverages with cold water cuts down on your calorie intake and results in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
Another property of water is that it is very filling. Studies have backed it up, stating that drinking water before eating any food can help you eat less.
Regular Physical Activity
Resistance training, also known as strength training or weight training, is a type of exercise where the use resistance to muscular contraction to improve anaerobic endurance and muscle mass size.
Physical activity like training helps build muscle and then eventually boost your metabolism since fat has a lower metabolic rate than muscle mass, which simply means that muscle mass needs more energy to maintain, which then leads to the burning of more calories.
As the human body ages, it loses muscles at the same rate. Hence, routine resistance training can help prevent this from happening. High-intensity workouts like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) include very intense and quick bursts of activities. It helps in burning out more fat by raising your metabolic rate, which eventually boosts your metabolism.
Lifting heavy things can also help in building muscle mass. In a study, 48 overweight women were instructed to consume only 800 calories per day, without any physical exercise or only resistance exercise.
Later after the diet, everyone who chose no physical activity experienced a decrease in weight and muscle mass, which in turn reduces the metabolism. However, the women who opted for resistance training maintained the same muscle mass, strength, and metabolism.
Cortisol is a hormone naturally produced in our bodies in the adrenal glands situated above our kidneys. It is released into the body when a person is under extreme stress. The basic function of cortisol is to send the body into fight or flight mode, which puts bodily functions on standby and slows down the metabolism.
People who had disordered eating habits were found to have unusual levels of cortisol. Stress causes the body to produce excess cortisol than usual since it affects the hormone level.
Managing stress can boost your metabolism as it easily affects the production levels of cortisol. Hence, it is advised to have a proper and sound sleep and not indulge in stressful activities often.
Getting a good night's sleep can effectively boost your metabolism. It is very important to ensure all hormones remain balanced. It is noticed that sleep deprivation is closely linked to the risk of obesity since it affects metabolism. Having a proper sleep schedule can also lower the sugar levels in the blood, which is directly related to developing serious health issues.
Not getting an adequate amount of sleep has also been shown to boost the production and release of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and reduces the release and production of leptin, the fullness hormone.
Therefore, getting a good amount of sleep is also equally responsible for boosting your metabolism.
According to researchers, an adult must sleep for approximately 7 hours to 8 hours; however, the right amount of sleep needed varies from person to person.
Research and studies have suggested that caffeine can boost your metabolism by approximately 3% to 11%. These effects can also contribute to weight loss and also maintenance. Although, it also comes to notice that this seems to affect slender and thin people more. A study also states that coffee accelerated the fat burning rate by 29% for thinner women, whereas only 10% for obese women.
Drinking coffee, green tea, or even oolong tea is advised to boost your metabolism. The teas help convert the fat stored in the body into free fatty acids, which raise fat burning by 10% to 17% and eventually boost your metabolism. Another reason they are very beneficial is that they have a very low-calorie count; they also aid in maintaining weight and also weight loss.
However, there is another argument that these teas do not affect metabolism; hence, their effect could be next to nothing or could only apply to a small number of people.
Capsaicin, a substance found in peppers, is known for boosting your metabolism, although most people cannot tolerate the spices at adequate doses to have a noticeable effect.
Even though the effects of adding spices may have very little advantage, but when mixed with other strategies, it can surely boost your metabolism.
Vital vitamins, especially vitamin B, play a very crucial role in boosting your metabolism. Vitamin B1, B2, and B6 are some of the key vitamins beneficial for boosting metabolism.
Some foods that are a rich source of vitamin B include bananas, orange juice, peas, spinach, whole-grain foods, peanut butter, etc.
To boost your metabolism, you need to make the necessary lifestyle changes that are healthier and feasible. Simple dietary changes and following a disciplined sleeping schedule can also go a long way. However, all these factors are crucial but one of the most important factors in properly handling stress and incorporating resistance training and HIIT into your day-to-day life. By boosting your metabolism, you can shed weight more easily and also be more energetic and fit.Authored By: Ankita Agarwal
About Author: Ankita Agarwal is a Health & Wellness Coach from Siliguri, India