Metabolism is the chemical reactions in the body that produce energy from sources such as fats, foods, etc. Energy is the life force of human beings that allows us to think, move, breathe, have normal body functions, live a daily life, etc.
Think of metabolism as the process that the body makes energy which is fueled by the food we eat. We need energy whether we are sitting, sleeping, working, etc. The energy we need just to stay alive is the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
When we eat, the food is digested and converted into fats, energy, blood, etc. As we need energy throughout the day, the body converts, foods, fats, muscle, etc. into energy
Metabolism is generally a genetic thing that differs among people. One is said to have high metabolism when their body requires much energy to function and live. When one’s body doesn’t need much energy to function, the body doesn’t need to convert fats, foods into energy to survive. Such a person is often known to have a slow metabolism.
It is crucial to have a moderate to high metabolism if we want to lose weight because we will need to eat less to maintain a healthy weight with a slow metabolism since the body doesn’t require much energy to survive. If we eat beyond that, excess food is stored as fat. You can read more on Vox.
It is possible to boost metabolism with foods and some methods. Remember, a high metabolism will increase your hunger pangs and the urge to eat and snack. The following will help you fight that though.
foods that boost metablism
- Tomatoes – it contains lycopene which helps in maintaining optimal metobolism operation. This is especially important for older adults when their metabolism naturally slows down due to age
- Peppery foods/spicy foods e.g blackpepper, chili, ginger, etc. Adding such foods raw to your diet or foods does speed up metabolism after eating them but not long term.
- Fiber and proteins are essential- foods with high fiber and proteins keep us feeling fuller for longer and require more energy to digest than other foods.
- Have a good healthy balanced diet. The body needs healthy fuel it can use to convert to energy. A poor diet will only slow down metabolism because it is easier to digest hence, less burning. It is also digested first to get rid of it from the body while not having enough nutrients to add to the energy storge of the body.
- Avoid sugary, processed, and junk foods. Simlarly to alcohol, they slow downs metabolism because the body tries to digest and get rid of it as soon as possible.
How to naturally Boost your metabolism
- Hydration – staying well hydrated thoughout the day does increase metabolic rate almost immediately.
- Avoid alcohol. You might be doing all the right things but even a little bit of alcohol can slow down slow down your metabolism for the day because its digestions takes precedence over the food we eat and decreases fat burning by over 70%
- Proteins are your friend and it keeps you feeling fuller. The body takes longer and requires more energy to digest and absorb proteins than carbs or fats. Do try to include proteins with every meal
- Eat breakfast. Make sure that you have a nutritious breakfast within an hour of waking up to wake up your system and get it to start burning energy immediately.
- Do not skip meals. It is a common habit that we often practice which can have awful consequences such as weight gain, spike in blood sugar, slowed metablism etc. This is because when we don’t eat for a while, our body gets into a survival mode and slows down its functions to preserve the energy it has and reduces its capacity to burn calories.
- Exercise. Exercise. It is fairly well known that muscle requires more energy to be mainatained and produced in the body than fat. Exercising regularly especially when you throw in strength training twice a week will help you burn all that fat, boost your metabolism because now you are gaining muscle, and improve your overal health
- Sleep and rest well. Beyond boosting metabolims, inadequate sleep and rest will detoriorate your health. When you are stressed or not rested, the body slows down to conserves energy. Being sleep deprives also leads to blood sugar spike which causes hunger pangs.
- Never eat below 1500-1800 calories in a day. For an adult, anything less than that will make the body go into survival mode which causes a slowed metablism and less burning of calories
- Food quality is more important than limiting your calories. Make effort to eat better, healthier calories everyday. These healthier calories will help fuel the metabolic process thus burning more calories
- Sit in the morning and evening sun as much as possible because vitamin D is crucial in maintaining healthy and optimal metablic process. The best vitamin D is the one which the body produces from the sunlight. Supplements or foods are not as goood of a source
- Crash diets are a big no-no. If you want to lose weight, you have to do it suustainably and through a healthy regimen. Else, your body will slow your metabolic process and start burning muscle to stay alive and provide itself with the energy it needs.
Even though people usually bring up metabolism when discussing weight loss, it affects many processes and functions in the body beyond that such as moods, libido, emotions, etc.
The above foods and advice are the healthy way to increase or boost your metabolic rate naturally without jeopardizing your health.
If you have any questions or comments, do let me know in the comments below. Have a nice day.