Trying to lose weight but not sure what’s going wrong and why aren’t you losing weight? There might be a problem with your body metabolism – it might be a slower one! Lets know what is metabolism, how is faster metabolism important in losing weight and how to increase metabolism rate?
When people say, they have the tendency to gain weight in spite of having a low fat diet, they themselves don’t know that their problem is due to a slow metabolism (an inefficient metabolism, to be technically correct). There are people who, no matter, what they eat do not have to bother about gaining weight. These people have an effective and fast metabolism rate. However, anyone can increase metabolism of his/her body by taking certain measures but before knowing the tricks to increase metabolism, it is desirable to know what is metabolism and what factors are responsible for a slow or a fast metabolism.
What is Metabolism?
Whatever food we eat gets converted into energy that is known as ‘calories.’ Our body needs this energy or calories to perform various functions- basic body maintenance as well as other physical activities too. Metabolism is the way our food (that we eat) is burnt or converted into energy by our body. This energy is then used in keeping ourselves going. Thus, metabolism is how the food converted into energy is used by our body? About 65% of the calories are used for carrying on the basic bodily activities like breathing, sleeping, and keeping the body organs functioning. This is called Basal Metabolism. Some of you will be amazed to know that even if you keep lying in the bed the whole day then also you need this much calories to support your basic body functions. About 25% of energy is spent in physical activities we perform during the day. About 10% is spent in processing the food we eat and in digesting that food. This is known as thermal effect of food.
This is an average calculation of energy used by the body or the metabolic rate of body. Now, if your body needs lesser energy to perform all the above mentioned functions, the extra calories or energy gets stored in the form of fat. Here is where you can interfere by various means to increase metabolism rate so that your body uses up more energy and you could lose weight fast! The magic mantra to lose weight and maintain the reduced weight is- what you take in should equal the calories you spend.
How to Increase Metabolism?
You have to work on all the fronts- increase basal metabolism rate, increase physical activities, increase thermal effect of food through metabolism diet.
Exercising and Building Muscles- Increased physical activities will require more calories and this will speed up metabolism. Do regular exercises in whatever form you can- running, walking, jogging, swimming, aerobics, yoga or any other form of exercising. Keep the forms of exercises changing so as to present your body with new challenges that will require more energy. This will build your body muscles too. Muscles burn more calories and thus help increase metabolism which, in turn, helps in loosing weight fast. Thus, include weight-bearing or resistance exercise like weightlifting etc. into your daily exercise routine to build muscles.
Avoid Fasting- Fasting contributes in slowing down you metabolism. Therefore, avoid fasting. Also avoid larger gaps in between meals. Do not have two or three large meals. Instead, have five to six small meals spanned equally over the day. When having snacks as small meals avoid sweet food and junk food.
Drink Enough Water throughout Day-
Dehydration contributes in slowing down your body metabolism rate by affecting body temperature. When your body is devoid of water (dehydrated), its temperature drops slightly which leads the body to store fat as a measure to raise or maintain the temperature. Ensure that you drink enough water and/or liquids according to your body needs. If you can’t make up as to how much water is enough for a day, read How much water should you drink in a day?
Take Foods that Increase Metabolism- You must take foods that are high on nutritional value with sufficient antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and B vitamins. Instead of having more carbohydrates and fat, take foods with more proteins as they increase metabolism by 2-3 times as compared to carbs and fats. However, complex and high-fiber carbohydrates such as high-fiber vegetables and cereals, burn more calories than simple carbohydrates and can help you increase metabolism. So, your metabolism diet must include quality protein, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, with an occasional high-fiber grain in order to increase metabolism. Chilli, mustard, green tea, water, dietary fibers, foods that are complex carbohydrates and proteins are best foods that increase metabolism.
You must, however, remember that foods can increase metabolism only to a certain level. Lifestyle changes by including exercises and avoiding certain habits like smoking, excessive alcohol intake, junk foods etc. can only increase metabolism to a level where you are able to lose weight fast and also maintain optimum body weight.
If all these measures too don’t help you in losing weight effectively, there might be some other reasons. To know, read Why Aren’t You Losing Weight?