Giddy Up!: Give Your Metabolism A Boost
Staying slim seemed so much easier when you were in your 20s, didn’t it? Blame it on metabolism. With age, your metabolic rate starts to slow down. But fret not, because here we tell you our tips for getting it back on track!
- Eat a lot, and eat regularly — When you eat, your body starts working to digest it. That keeps your metabolic rate up — it’s that simple! When you don’t eat enough, your body is too tired to burn calories, so metabolism slows down. But this doesn’t mean you keep eating all the time — three square meals and one mid-morning sack, with another one mid-afternoon, should do the trick. And it goes without saying, eat healthy!
- Don’t just exercise, strength train — When you lift weights, you increase your resting metabolism. That means you are burning more calories than before even while you’re sitting and watching television!
- Don’t miss breakfast — While you sleep, your body is in resting phase, which means your metabolic rate is also lower. Have a nutrient-rich breakfast to kick-start your metabolism and keep your energy levels high through the day!
- Interval-training is your friend — While doing any sort of physical activity, rev up your speed for 30-second intervals and then come back to normal. This causes you to use more oxygen, and your cell powerhouses, or mitochondria, to work harder to burn energy.
- Drink up! — Your body needs to stay hydrated — more so when you are exercising. Even if you are mildly dehydrated, your metabolic rate can decrease. If you drink cold water, you burn more calories — probably from the extra work your body has to do to heat it to body temperature.
- Tea/coffee time — Drinking green tea is thought to increase your metabolism. The catechins found in green tea may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, the body’s production of energy from digestion, raising metabolism. Coffee provides a jolt to the system, which provides a short-term increase in the body’s metabolic rate. Have it just before your workout to increase your endurance and energy during it.
- Mommy was right — drink your milk — Calcium, along with other substances found in dairy, increases your metabolism. It may also reduce fat absorption from other foods. For best results, consume dairy rather than other calcium-rich foods.
- Skimp on the alcohol — Alcohol causes the body to burn less fat and to burn it slower, especially when you have it with your meals. That’s because the alcohol is burnt first, and the calories from the meal are stored as fat.
- Protein is a must — Protein is digested slower than fat or carbs, making you feel full for longer, and revving up your metabolism. Your body will use up more energy in absorbing the nutrients in a high-protein meal, increasing post-meal calorie burn by up to 35 per cent. Protein also preserves lean body mass, which helps burn fat.
- Fishy business — Omega-3 fatty acids balance your blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, which helps to increase metabolism. Don’t like fish? Try flaxseed oil, walnuts, or omega-3 fortified eggs.
- Spice it up — Studies show that having spicy foods raises your body temperature, speeds up fat loss, and gives a boost to your metabolism. Keep at it for long-term gains.
- Go organic — The toxins in non-organic food can lower your metabolism, probably because they interfere with the thyroid, and hence, with the energy-burning process. Some studies also say that pesticides can cause weight gain.
- Get some sun — Vitamin D is not something you can ignore when you’re looking to increase your metabolism. It preserves the metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Add salmon, tuna, shrimp, eggs, and tofu to your diet, or speak to your doctor for supplements.
- Iron in your veins — If your need to lose weight, you need iron. It is essential for the purpose of carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat.
- No trans-fat, please — Not only is trans-fat bad for your weight loss journey, it may even slow down your metabolism. It binds fat to liver cells and reduces the body’s metabolic rate.
With these simple steps, your body’s metabolism can increase significantly. Also remember to keep stress levels low, and get adequate and restful sleep. And don’t skimp on your workouts when you’re PMSing, because the extra oestrogen and progesterone produced during this time promote the body’s use of fat as energy.
-By Silky Wadhwa