How to Boost Your Metabolism
Are you finding it difficult to maintain good health in these turbulent times? Doing regular workouts but not happy with the readings on your weighing machine? Or, are you gaining weight despite not eating much?
The key reason could be a slow metabolism. Boosting your metabolism can help you burn your calories and be in good shape.
The pandemic has forced upon us a sedentary lifestyle and staying indoors for most of the time has restricted our physical activity. It has also increased the risk of lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders.
The good news is that a little change in your diet and lifestyle can boost your metabolism and make you healthy.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism refers to the biochemical processes in our body that allow the normal functioning of the body like breathing, functioning of the heart and brain. It includes the breakdown of the nutrients and providing energy to the body cells along with building and repairing the body.
It is the number of calories you burn to maintain the vital functions of your body. Higher the metabolism, higher the energy levels, and easier it is to keep off weight and maintain good health.
Factors affecting metabolism
Many factors affect metabolism. Some of them are-
Busting a few myths around metabolism
Metabolic rates can’t be changed
This is a big myth. Though genetics plays a part in your metabolism, you can always increase your muscle mass to boost it. As we age, our muscle mass reduces which contributes to the slow down of metabolism. By maintaining a proper diet and doing strength training we can build muscle mass to boost metabolism.
Eating less boosts metabolism rate
Some people have a notion that if you eat less, your metabolism will be faster. But, that is not true as the body goes into starvation mode and starts using fewer calories to perform various body functions. This actually lowers your metabolism.
Long and exhaustive workout sessions boost metabolism
Exercising helps us to burn calories. But, working out for longer hours or just doing a lot of cardio workouts doesn’t actually help speed up metabolism. We need to focus on building muscles to boost our metabolism and do proper strength training.
How to rev up your metabolism?
Here are 5 simple ways to rev up your metabolism:
Having enough calories and eating at regular times
We have already learned that eating less doesn’t do much good to our bodies. It is very important to have enough calories to boost your metabolism and be energetic. Men need around 2000-3000 calories per day whereas, women need 1600-2400 calories per day.
Maintaining a time for your meals is equally important. Eating at regular times helps to burn more calories and store fewer fat cells.
2. Ensure a protein-rich diet for every meal
Out of the three major components of a balanced diet (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), proteins contribute to the growth of muscle mass in our body. If your muscle mass is higher, it boosts your metabolism as more calories are required to build and repair your muscles.
Also, as protein keeps us full for longer periods, it prevents us from overeating, thereby helping us maintain our body weight.
Lean meat, fish, eggs, pulses, beans, soya, and milk are rich sources of protein.
3. Drink plenty of water
Having plenty of water aids in digestion and helps in burning more calories. Having water half an hour before meals prevents you from eating too much as you already feel fuller. Drink at least 3-4 liters of water every day.
4. Sleep well and reduce stress
Having a good sleep for 7-8 hours every night maintains hormonal balance and also aids in digestion, thereby contributing to good metabolism.
Taking too much stress also causes hormonal imbalance. More stress causes more secretion of cortisol which regulates appetite. This may lead to disordered eating and affect metabolism.
5. Do strength training
Doing cardio workouts definitely burns your calories, but strength training builds your muscle mass thereby boosting your resting metabolism. This means that your body burns calories even when you are not exercising.
A well-balanced strength training program targets major muscle groups in your body and helps to shed the extra pounds by boosting metabolism.
At-home Strength training Exercises that boost your metabolism
Doing strength training boosts metabolism. But, can we do it at home without equipment?
The answer is “Yes”.
Let us learn about some at-home strength exercises that target your upper body, core, and lower body and work out all the 5 major muscle groups. They are chest muscles, back muscles, arms and shoulder muscles, abdominal muscles, and leg muscles.