Metabolism is one of the most misunderstood concepts. It is the key to losing weight easily, and can actually be increased or decreased depending on the food you eat and the activities you engage in (or avoid).
You metabolic rate is the speed with which your body burns calories, just to maintain its daily functions. Our body needs to constantly burn calories just to function, that is even to sleep, breathe, etc.
Once the basic bodily needs are met, any unused calories are stored, generally in the form of fat cells. This is why you gain weight when you eat too much. People with a higher metabolic rate find it difficult to gain weight, since their body burns so many calories so quickly, just to function. Increasing your metabolic rate can help to burn fat throughout the day and lose more weight.
People with more muscle percentage in their body have a higher metabolic rate. Muscle consumes more calories just to maintain itself. This is why people who are fit and active tend to find it harder to put on weight. Some other things that affect your natural metabolic rate include your age, physical condition, sex and amount of muscle. In general, women tend to have a lower natural metabolic rate than men.
Some things that lower your metabolic rate include:
- Consistently eating a low calorie diet
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Under-active thyroid
- Snacking on sugary foods throughout the day
A few tips to increase your metabolic rate and lose fat quicker are:
- Never skip meals. Skipping even a single meal will slow down your metabolism. Instead eat four to five smaller meals during the day.
- Don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise every day in order to keep your body moving. Remember that you will expend more energy if you have to move some weight about when you are exercising.
- Avoid foods that are high in processed sugars such as candy, cake and ice cream
- Avoid alcohol, it has been proven to reduce your metabolic rate.
- Build your muscles. One pound of fat burns only 2 calories per day, but one pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day! The higher your body percentage of muscle, the higher will be the rate at which you burn calories. Remember, these are calories that you burn when you are at rest (e.g. sleeping or reading), and not just when you are exercising. When you have a lower muscle mass, you will have a lower metabolic rate.
- Drink lots of water each day, 8 or 10 glasses is ideal.
- Make sure you eat the right foods. Remember to avoid fast food, and eat lots of healthy foods that have a low GI and high nutritional value.
- A natural remedy for increasing metabolism is to drink a mixture of apple cider vinegar, honey and garlic.
- Try to eat chilli, mustard, and green tea throughout the day. These are all foods that are natural metabolism boosters.
By paying attention to your diet and exercise, you should be able to increase your natural metabolic rate gradually. Over time, you’ll find it easier to lose weight, since your body will be burning more calories even when you’re not exercising.
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