Metabolism is the process by which the body breaks down food to create the energy it needs to keep the heart beating, the muscles contracting, the nerves relaying information and all the other numerous activities going on inside the body at any one time.
A person with a faster metabolic rate tends to burn more calories and thus lose weight faster than one with a more sluggish rate. Though the rate of metabolism is largely determined by genetics, there are several things that you can do to increase yours naturally.
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism since it increases the number of calories burns when you are exercising and even after you stop exercising in what is known as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Strength-training exercises are especially important since they build muscles and the more lean muscle mass a person has, the higher their resting metabolic rate.
This is due to the fact that a pound of fat burns 2 calories while a pound of muscle burns 6 calories each day just to sustain itself even if the person does not make it to the gym.
Studies have also shown that doing strength-training exercises for around 30 minutes several times a week can reverse a good portion of the metabolism slow-down that develops with age.
Aerobic exercises like brisk walking, jogging and swimming also increase the metabolic rate.
For the best results engage in interval training since it helps your body consume more oxygen, burn more energy and have a longer rise in your resting metabolic rate.
To do this increase the intensity of your activity for intervals of 30 seconds before returning to your normal speed.
In addition to doing aerobic and strength training exercises on a regular basis, ensure that you also perform small movements like taking the stairs and standing as you talk on the phone during your day since they can help you burn an extra 350 calories each day.
Consuming very little calories in an attempt to lose weight puts the body in starvation mode which makes it break down muscles to produce energy. By reducing the muscle mass, the metabolic rate is slowed down significantly.
Therefore even if you are on a diet, ensure that you consume enough calories for your body’s basic biologic functions which is around 1200 calories for women and 1800 for men.
Combine this with eating breakfast each day since this is a great way to kick start your metabolism and keep your energy levels high throughout the day.
The National Weight Control Registry has even found that 78% of persons who lost more than 60 pounds and kept them off for more than 5 years eat breakfast every day. Women who eat skip this meal have been shown to be more than 4 times likely to be obese.
Create time therefore to eat a healthy weight loss breakfast which can be as simple as a spinach omelet on whole grain toast or oatmeal with milk and berries.
Some studies suggest that eating fiber can help increase the fat burnt by the body by almost 30%. Other studies have shown that women who eat fiber-rich foods gain the least weight.
Increase your fiber intake to around 25 gram of fiber each day to reap these benefits by consuming liberal amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables.