Metabolism refers to the physical and chemical processes that occur in the body responsible for normal functioning, keeping us alive. Such functions include breathing, blood circulation and nerve function. To carry out these processes, our body converts energy from the food we eat.
The total amount of energy your body burns is referred to as your metabolic rate and is broken down in to three categories: basal metabolic rate, physical activity and thermic affect of food. Our age, gender, size and activity level all factor into our metabolic rate, however there are additional ways to independently control its speed. So if you were born with a sluggish metabolism, have damaged your metabolism or simply want to speed it up, pay attention. Here are 5 solid ways to keep that body burning:
Get more sleep (quality sleep, that is)
Sleep is connected to various hormonal and metabolic processes in the body and is consequently important in maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Research shows that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders may have profound metabolic implications. A lack of high quality sleep, <6.5 hours, appears to impact energy balance affecting physiological drivers of hunger, appetite and energy expenditure.
Drink green tea
Increase your metabolic rate by drinking green tea! Studies have found that green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation. It contains flavonoids and antioxidants that combat free radicals and inflammation and is a natural diuretic which may help to unmask fat loss. Green tea is calorie-free so you can enjoy this beverage while your dieting- just don’t add sweeteners such as sugar or honey. If you don t like the taste of this tea without the sweetener, we suggest a green tea supplement instead.
With so many benefits there is no reason why you shouldn’t add green tea to your diet.
Do some HIIT!
LISS increases your metabolism while you are performing it, however HIIT not only burns more calories in a shorter period of time, it continues to burn them even after the workout is over. This is called the ‘after burn’ effect, and it can last for up to 24 hours or more.
Try the following: On a stationary bike find a resistance that you can control without having to forcefully push the pedals forward. You will keep this resistance for the entirety of the workout so you don’t want it to be too difficult, but you don’t want to be cycling out of control either. The idea is to adequately engage your legs and glutes.
Sprint: 30 seconds
Rest: 60 seconds
Repeat 10 times for a total of 15 minutes.
Eat spicy foods
Did you know that spicy foods speed up the metabolism?
Various studies have shown that spicy foods raise body temperature and this heat generation causes more calories to be burned immediately following the spicy meal. Ginger and black pepper have similar effects so give those a try if you want something milder.
Additional to the thermic affect of spicy food, it also increases feelings of satiety and is consequently beneficial when dieting. Capsaicin is an active component of peppers responsible for their spiciness. This is why capsaicin is found in many supplements that claim to suppress appetite.
Try adding cayenne pepper to your chicken breast, or adding chilli flakes to your stir fries.
If your looking to shed some weight by increasing your metabolism please keep the following in mind- more physical activity means a faster metabolism and less food equals a slower metabolism. When the body is low on fuel (food, body fat) it goes into starvation mode and conserves energy by slowing down the metabolism so that less calories are burned. So if your thinking of dramatically reducing your calories we suggest the slow and steady approach.
Not everyone is the same; we all react differently to certain stimuli. Try the above metabolic boosters and continue what works for you!