What is Metabolism?
The term “metabolism” refers to the function of enzymes in the body’s ability to digest food, function, grow and adapt to a variety of situations. It converts the food we eat into usable energy for our body. So if your metabolism is slow, it directly or indirectly affects your ability to lose weight.
Health Shots spoke to Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker, consultant bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon at Saifee, Namaha, Apollo Spectra and Currae Specialty Hospitals, to find ways to boost metabolism.
How to increase metabolism?
Metabolism refers to how effectively the body performs all its activities, including the digestion and absorption of food that fuels the body. Metabolism does not improve overnight just by consuming supplements such as L-carnitine/fat burners or green tea. It requires a holistic and consistent approach.
Tips to improve metabolism:
1. Do intense exercise
To keep the metabolism and fat burning rate high for hours, longer than just the time you exercise, you need to train intensely. Dr. Says Bhasker, “HIIT, running, swimming, and cycling are some workouts you can try to boost your metabolism and grill that fat.” It can also burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
2. Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals or eating very little is not the right way to lose weight. In fact, it can disrupt your metabolism in the long run. According to Dr. Bhasker, “Eating regularly helps to keep the metabolism in balance. Eating 1-2 small meals or snacks between main meals stimulates the metabolism.” According to research, those who snack between main meals eat less during meals. Otherwise, long breaks between meals slow down metabolism and increase the body’s ability to store fat. Get the help of a nutritionist about when and what to eat between main meals.
3. Sip green tea
According to a review study from the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, green tea may increase your energy expenditure, or the number of calories and fat you burn each day. Consuming 2-3 cups of green tea per day can stimulate the body to burn calories faster than it otherwise would. It is a good option compared to sugary juices.
4. Eat protein-rich foods with every meal
The body expends more energy breaking down proteins compared to carbohydrates and fats. This causes an increase in metabolism, known as the thermic effect of food. “High protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism and increase calories burned,” says Dr. Bhaker. In addition, protein also provides satiety and prevents the feeling of hunger and overeating at subsequent meals.
5. Sleep well
Do you know that sleep may not lower or increase metabolism, but a lack of sleep can lead to imbalance and dysregulation of the hormones associated with hunger and appetite? Insufficient sleep can make you feel hungry, lead to middle-of-the-night snacking, sugar cravings, and you’ll end up going over your calorie intake. This energy surplus will lead to a gradual weight gain by affecting the metabolism.
6. Drink plenty of water
Water helps increase metabolism, detoxify the body of waste and control appetite. Plus, increasing your water intake encourages your body to stop retaining water, helping you lose those extra pounds of water weight. However, your metabolism slows down when you’re dehydrated. Drink at least 10 to 12 glasses of water every day to try and stay hydrated.
Your regular diet should be full of fat-burning foods that can speed up your metabolism. Apples, dairy products (rich in protein), fish, eggs, lentils, avocado, red fruits (rich in antioxidants), pineapple, kiwi, lemon, ginger, cinnamon, grapefruit, etc. Make sure you eat a healthy diet and follow a healthy exercise routine .