Metabolism can either be your friend or your foe. This health buzzword refers to the chemical reaction of converting what you eat and drink into energy that the body can use for cell building, blood circulation, and digestion.
The term metabolism is also used to refer to metabolic rate or the amount of calories burned. All in all, metabolism influences how you might feel about your body. A fast metabolism means your body’s cells can burn more calories, which is usually tied to weight loss while a slow metabolism does the opposite.
One might burn calories faster than the others because of genetics, age, gender, diet, or overall lifestyle. For example, the fact that women have less calorie-burning muscle than men may slow the former’s metabolism more.
Being inactive also leads to metabolic slowdown since calories are turning into fat. Or you could simply be lucky, genetically speaking, if you can eat anything you want and still not gain weight.
The good news is that you can boost your metabolism with a few tricks here and there to help you keep that much-dreaded weight gain at bay.
Here are some low-key metabolism-inducing methods you can try:
1. Start your day with a hearty breakfast.
Starting your day with a hearty breakfast makes up for the slow rate of metabolism that takes place when you were asleep. When you deprive your body of breakfast, your body will react in such a way that it further slows down your metabolism to help itself conserve energy.
An ideal breakfast includes a mix of lean protein, high-fiber carbohydrates, and healthy fats, all of which work together leaving you feeling fuller until your next meal at lunchtime.
2. Drink lots of cold water.
We all know the benefits of drinking water, but if your goal is to up your metabolism, you might as well gobble up more of cold water. Studies affirm that drinking at least 96 ounces of cold water daily facilitates higher metabolic rates, and the logic behind it is that your body tends to burn calories as it heats the cold water at levels suitable to your body temperature.
It’s best to drink half a liter of water 30 minutes before every meal to fill you up and help you eat less.
3. Load up on omega-3.
Omega-3 has fatty acids that may be classified into three types: α-linolenic acid (ALA) found in plant oils, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), anddocosahexaenoic acid (DHA)—with EPA and DHA commonly found in fish oils.
The healthy fats in omega-3 can manipulate your brain so that it goes to first check your appetite and consequently receive signals that your body is feeling full. Omega-3 fatty acids are also linked to reduced resistance to leptin, the hormone that’s responsible for burning fats fast. Salmon is naturally rich in omega-3 and helps you meet up to 90 percent of your required Vitamin D intake daily.
4. Go for spicy foods.
The peppers that you use to spice up your meals are a good source of the so-called capsaicin, a metabolism-boosting substance. Specifically, capsaicin temporarily raises body temperature and speeds upfat loss in small percentages or about 10 calories per meal.
Then again, research studies suggest putting spices into your dishes may cause you to have less of an appetite as an aftereffect of ingesting the food’s spiciness.
5. Get quality sleep.
What else could be more appealing than the idea of getting a good night’s sleep to regulate your metabolism? When you hit the sack early and sleep well enough, you’re helping your body rest and recover from all the day’s activities.
By contrast, a tired, sleep-deprived body produces more of the hunger-inducing ghrelin hormone and less of leptin, the hormone that is associated with a decrease in one’s appetite.
To help you get enough quality, uninterrupted sleep, you could work out early in the day instead of deep into the night and soak in a hot tub before bedtime. You might want to turn down the temperature in your bedroom as well to help release more of the so-called brown fat, which is good for your body, as it helps burn calories to generate heat that will keep your body warm from cold temperatures.
6. Enrich your diet with iron.
This is true especially for women who lose iron to their monthly period. Lack of iron can disrupt metabolism because you have less energy, which can cause you to burn fewer calories.
Some of the best sources of iron include beans and dark greens like spinach and broccoli.
Keeping your metabolism under control is one of the most important steps that you should take to stay healthy. You don’t really need radical, life-changing decisions to get it done, as consistent, small efforts can work wonders for your health and fitness goals.