People often talk about metabolism in relation to weight loss. Metabolism is an essential part of your body, but there is a lot of confusion about the topic. Many people believe that your metabolism is largely dependent on your genes, and that there is little you can do to change it. Several people maintain that it is possible to change your metabolism and lose weight rapidly by making alterations to your lifestyle.
The umbrella term metabolism describes all the chemical reactions inside a living organism that help keep it alive. The way your body converts food into energy can be defined as your metabolism. The process of releasing energy from calories through the use of oxygen is complex. As per research, metabolism differs from person to person and depends on a variety of factors like:
Genetics: Your genetics largely determine your metabolism.
Age does not slow down metabolism, according to a new study. The average person’s BMR decreases by 2 percent every decade after they turn 20 years old.
Sex: On average, men have better metabolism than women.
The taller and heavier you are, the higher your Basal Metabolic Rate is likely to be. Your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest. You will burn more calories at rest if you have more muscle and less fat.
The better your metabolism, the more you engage in physical activity.
Metabolism can get divided into two categories:
- Catabolism: The breakdown of food molecules used to obtain energy.
- Anabolism: Synthesis of the compounds that the cells need.
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is generally used to measure metabolism. The minimum number of calories your body needs in order to perform basic functions while at rest.
The Significance of Metabolic Health
A good metabolism is important for the body to be able to carry out basic life processes. These bodily processes include breathing, digestion, blood circulation, cell repair, and body temperature regulation. A good metabolism is essential for weight loss.
Easy Ways to Improve Metabolism
High metabolism is key to maintaining good health. This means that you should try to improve your metabolism. There are several easy ways to increase your metabolism, which come with a variety of health benefits.
Increase Your Protein Intake
During meals, the metabolism rate increases. This is because your body burns additional calories to break down the food. Proteins burn more calories than any other macronutrient. Protein requires more energy to be digested than either carbohydrates or fats. Protein is especially important if you are trying to lose weight because it helps to prevent a decrease in metabolism that can occur when you lose weight.
Your metabolism increases temporarily when you have your meals. However, after that initial burst, it slows down and returns to normal levels. It’s a good idea to eat a small, light snack every few hours to keep your metabolism going. You should be careful about what you choose for a snack because it will also determine how many calories you consume.
You should also avoid eating too little. It may be tempting to cut down your calorie intake to reduce weight quickly and significantly. If you consume too few calories, it can negatively impact your metabolism. Having a quick metabolism will eventually lead to muscle loss.
Add Some Spice to Your Diet
This contrasts with the idea that you should eat more bland food. Although food that is not spicy can be good for you, eating spicy food sometimes can help to make your metabolism work better. A compound known as capsaicin helps improve metabolism. You can add peppers or chili powder to add spice to your food.
Build Muscle Mass
New research indicates that those who lose large amounts of weight may see a decrease in their metabolism. In other words, research has suggested that weight loss is more effective when it includes muscle building. This means that it burns more calories even when you are at rest. Muscle tissue has a higher metabolic rate than fat tissue, meaning that it burns more calories even when you are at rest. In addition, your body requires additional energy to maintain muscle mass. Your body’s muscles require six times as many calories as your body’s fat every day. There are a few different ways you can go about building muscle. There are several practical ways to make your muscles stronger, including strength training, bodyweight workouts, and HIIT.
Increase Caffeine Intake
Studies have shown that consuming caffeine can temporarily increase your metabolism. In addition, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are likely to see a greater impact. You can increase your caffeine intake by having coffee. Another option for staying awake is to drink energy drinks that are full of caffeine. It is beneficial to consume caffeine in moderation, as too much of it can cause negative side effects. If you moderate your intake of sugar or artificial sweeteners and consume caffeine-free drinks before workouts, you may see better results.
Drink Enough Water
Keeping your body hydrated can significantly improve your metabolism. Some research substantiates this claim. This is also because your body needs water in sufficient quantities so it can adequately process calories. Some estimates suggest that if you drink an adequate amount of water, you could lose up to 50 additional calories per day. You can increase your water intake in two ways: either drink more water or eat more fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water.
The Effect of Metabolism on Weight
As was mentioned before, metabolism is the process in which your body breaks down food and creates the energy needed for various activities. The body needs energy for purposes that are both: visible on the outside (like walking, talking, running, and so on) and processes that happen within the body and are not visible (blood circulation, digestion, cell repair, and so on).
It has been estimated that the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) accounts for around 70% of the daily energy expenditure in the average person. Processes such as breathing, digestion, and pumping of the heart are essential and must be sustained. The energy expended in these crucial processes is more or less constant. This means that it is not much you can do to change your BMR.
If you want to boost your metabolism, you can do so by increasing your physical activity. This will cause your body to burn more calories, resulting in improved metabolism. This, along with proper and regular exercise, can improve metabolism even further.
Metabolism is simply the process by which your body converts the food you eat into energy. Managing your food, sleep, and stress levels can improve your metabolism and overall health.
What’s the Best Diet for Healthy Weight Loss?
You can find a diet book that claims to have all the answers you need to successfully lose weight and keep it off. The claims for how to lose weight vary, with some saying to eat less and exercise more, others saying low fat is the key, and others cutting out carbs. So, what should you believe?
The truth is there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss. Different people have different responses to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. The process of finding the most effective weight-loss strategy for you may take some time and necessitate perseverance, dedication, and trial of different foods and diets.
Some people respond more favorably to weight-loss programs that allow them more freedom in meal planning, as opposed to those that count calories or restrict certain foods. If they are able to avoid fried foods or eat less refined carbs, they will be more successful. Do not be discouraged if a diet that worked well for someone else does not work well for you. If a diet proves to be too restrictive for you to stick with, don’t berate yourself. The only diet that is right for you is the one that you can adhere to long-term.
Four popular weight loss strategies:
1. Cut calories.
If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in. Sounds easy, right? Then why is losing weight so hard?
- Weight loss isn’t a linear event over time. When you cut calories, you may drop weight for the first few weeks, for example, and then something changes. You eat the same number of calories, but you lose less weight or no weight at all. That’s because when you lose weight, you’re losing water and lean tissue as well as fat, your metabolism slows, and your body changes in other ways. So, in order to continue dropping weight each week, you need to continue cutting calories.
- A calorie isn’t always a calorie. Eating 100 calories of high fructose corn syrup, for example, can have a different effect on your body than eating 100 calories of broccoli. The trick for sustained weight loss is to ditch the foods that are packed with calories but don’t make you feel full (like candy) and replace them with foods that fill you up without being loaded with calories (like vegetables).
- Many of us don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We also turn to food for comfort or to relieve stress—which can quickly derail any weight loss plan.
2. Cut carbs.
Weight loss does not only depend on the number of calories a person consumes but also on the hormone insulin. When a person eats carbohydrates, the hormone insulin is released and can cause the body to store fat. The carbohydrates in the food you eat turn into glucose in your bloodstream. Your blood sugar levels are kept in check by your body burning off this glucose before burning off fat from a meal.
If you eat a meal with a lot of carbohydrates, your body releases insulin to help digest all the sugar. As well as regulating blood sugar levels, insulin also prevents your fat cells from releasing fat for the body to burn as fuel and creates more fat cells for storing everything that your body can’t burn off. You gain weight when your body requires more fuel, meaning you end up eating more. A cycle of craving and consuming carbs results in weight gain because insulin only burns carbohydrates. The logic is that in order to lose weight, you need to break the carb cycle.
3. Cut fat.
The main part of many diets is not eating fat if you don’t want to get fat. You will be bombarded with reduced-fat snacks, dairy, and packaged meals if you walk down any grocery store aisle. As the availability of low-fat options has increased, so have obesity rates. Low-fat diets haven’t worked for more of us because they are terrible, and no one wants to do them.
- Not all fat is bad. Healthy or “good” fats can actually help to control your weight, as well as manage your moods and fight fatigue. Unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, soy milk, tofu, and fatty fish can help fill you up, while adding a little tasty olive oil to a plate of vegetables, for example, can make it easier to eat healthy food and improve the overall quality of your diet.
- We often make the wrong trade-offs. Many of us make the mistake of swapping fat for the empty calories of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead of eating whole-fat yogurt, for example, we eat low- or no-fat versions that are packed with sugar to make up for the loss of taste. Or we swap our fatty breakfast bacon for a muffin or donut that causes rapid spikes in blood sugar.
4. Follow the Mediterranean diet.
A typical Mediterranean diet includes large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, and olive oil, with only moderate amounts of meat and cheese. This diet emphasizes consuming healthy fats and carbohydrates. The Mediterranean diet is not just about the food, it is also about the culture. Physical activity and sharing meals are also both major components.
It’s important to stay motivated when trying to lose weight and to avoid common dieting pitfalls such as eating for emotional reasons.
Control Emotional Eating
We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We often turn to food for comfort when we are feeling stressed or anxious, which can have negative consequences on our diets and lead to weight gain. Do you eat when you’re worried, bored, or lonely? Do you find yourself snacking in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day? Knowing your triggers for emotional eating can help you lose weight. If you eat when you’re:
Stressed – find healthier ways to calm yourself. Try yoga, meditation, or soaking in a hot bath.
Low on energy – find other mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. There are a few things you can do to perk yourself up if you’re feeling tired. Going for a walk, listening to some upbeat music, or taking a nap are all options.
If you’re feeling lonely or bored, reach out to others instead of going to the fridge. Do something that will get you out of the house and around other people. Maybe call a friend who makes you laugh, take your dog for a walk, or go to the library, mall, or park.