Are you doing everything possible to lose weight, but the scale pointer does not lower? This can mean a slow metabolism.
Increasingly, we understand that losing weight depends not only on what we eat but also on how our bodies function. Of course, you may have inherited your mother’s slow metabolism, but the good news is that you’re not stuck with it.
Research shows that you can speed up metabolism and help your body burn calories more efficiently, especially if you include some habits in your eating routine and physical activity. Take control and make your metabolism work in your favor.
Metabolism – What is it?
Metabolism is a term used for all chemical reactions in our bodies. The faster your metabolism works, the more calories your body needs and may be one reason why some people eat a lot without gaining weight, while others while restricting the amount of food in their meals, cannot lose weight.
Already the metabolic rate or caloric expenditure is the speed of metabolism. It is measured by the number of calories burned by the body over a given period of time.
The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn and the easier it will be to lose weight even when your body is at rest.
Metabolic Rate – Categories:
- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): This is the minimum metabolic rate to keep the body functioning when we are sleeping or at rest. It is necessary to keep the body warm, the lungs breathing, the pumping of the heart and the ticking of the brain.
- Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR): It is the minimum metabolic rate to keep you alive and all organs functioning while we are at rest. On average, the resting metabolic rate accounts for 50% to 75% of our total calorie expenditure.
- Food Heat Effect (EFT): It is the number of calories that are burned when the body is digesting and processing the ingested food. Commonly the metabolic rate increases after meals and this increase represent approximately 10% of total energy expenditure.
- Exercise Thermal Effect (TEE): This is the number of calories burned during exercise.
- Unexercised Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): This is the number of calories burned during other activities, those that do not include physical exercise. This burning includes movements, change of posture, standing, walking, among other daily activities
What factors affect the metabolic rate?
Metabolic rate can be affected by numerous factors, these include:
- Age: It is common for us to gain weight or to find it more difficult to eliminate this excess after a certain age. This is because the older we get, the slower our metabolism will be.
- Muscle Mass: Muscle mass contributes significantly to the speed of metabolism, because the leaner you have, the more calories your body will burn.
- Size: Size also interferes with metabolic rate – the higher you are, the more calories your metabolism usually burns.
- Ambient Temperature: Body temperature also dictates the speed of metabolism, because when your body is exposed to cold, for example, it needs to burn more calories to prevent body temperature from falling and to restore an appropriate temperature.
- Physical Activity: As we have seen, all body movements need calories. This means that the more active you are, the more calories your body will burn. Your metabolism will accelerate as needed.
- Hormonal Disorders: Some diseases usually reduce the metabolic rate, such as Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism. This decrease can cause weight gain.
Is it true that some people are born with a fast metabolism?
Metabolic rates are different for each. This means that some people are born with a faster metabolism than others.
Although genetics contribute to these differences, scientists do not agree with the impacts of metabolic rate on weight gain and obesity.
A study showed that most obese people have a higher total and resting metabolic rate compared to normal-weight individuals. The explanation is that obese people have larger amounts of muscle to help support the extra weight. In contrast, another study indicates that obese people have higher metabolic rates regardless of how much muscle mass they have.
The fact is that we are different when it comes to metabolism and most of this variation is due to age, environment and behavior.
Adaptive thermogenesis or mode of starvation are common terms to talk about metabolic adaptation, which plays a relevant role in the development of obesity.
Many people, when in the process of losing weight, usually eat every three hours, and one of the reasons is that if we spend long periods without eating our body will store the energy instead of burning. Although this method is not the norm in many other diets, our body’s response to a calorie deficit happens when the body does not get enough food, creating strategies to compensate, which reduces the metabolic rate and the number of calories the body burns.
This metabolic slowdown is most pronounced in some people, especially those who are obese. The greater the slowdown, the harder it is to lose weight with diet or fasting.
The “hunger mode” is probably affected by genetics, but the “concertina effect” and fitness also have their share of the blame.
What to do to speed up metabolism?
Below are some tips on how to speed up your metabolism in your daily life, especially related to your diet and exercise habits.
1. Increase protein intake with every meal
We have already seen that eating increases your metabolism after meals. This condition is necessary to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal. This happens with any food we eat, but protein causes the largest increase in EFT. Protein digestion usually increases metabolic rate by 15 to 30 percent, carbohydrates by 5 to 10 percent, and fat by 0 to 3 percent.
Studies have also shown that eating protein helps satiety, which means that you will feel fuller after meals, avoiding overeating.
Another smaller study found that people would probably eat about 441 calories less when 30% of their diet was based on protein.
Eating more protein also reduces the drop in metabolism, preventing you from losing muscle, a common side effect of restrictive diets.
2. Drink more ice water
Although the consumption of cold drinks is questioned by many peoples and cultures, science says that people who drink water instead of sugary drinks or sodas are more successful with weight loss, including resting metabolism. This is mainly because water contains no calories, so substitution significantly reduces calorie intake.
Studies have shown that drinking 0.5 l of water increases resting metabolism by 10 to 30% for about an hour. This effect can further enhance calorie burning if the water is cold, as your body will use more energy to warm it up to body temperature.
Also, water can help make you fuller. Studies show that drinking water half an hour before eating can help you eat less.
Another study of overweight adults found that those who drank half a liter of water before their meals lost 44 percent more weight than those who did not.
3. Do a high-intensity workout
The high-intensity interval training, known as HIIT involves rapid explosions and intense activity interspersed with moments of rest and can help you burn more fat and increase your metabolic rate, even after training completion.
It is also worth increasing the intensity at intervals of 30 seconds the next time you run, swim or even walk, returning to your normal speed later. Using these strategies will help you consume more oxygen and turn your cells into mitochondria to burn off energy, explains Mark Hyman, author of Ultrametabolism: Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss.
As you increase the number of mitochondria and the efficiency with which they burn calories throughout the day, you can exercise for less time than necessary and get great results.
Another interesting point is that when we perform a potent workout, one that is intense enough that you cannot keep up a conversation, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) conditions our body to recover before returning to its metabolic rate. previous rest. And it can take hours and the body will continue to burn more calories even after exercise.
There is only one caveat to this – the better you are in your form, the less benefit you will have because your body will already be used to finding ways to efficiently replenish your energies. This is one more reason for you to include in your activity routine a high-intensity workout if you seek to speed up metabolism.
Here’s how: Exercise for 5 minutes at a speed of 3.5 km / h. Increase your speed to 4 for 60 seconds. Then return to 3.5 km / h for 90 seconds.
Repeat the whole sequence five times, twice every week. If you want to get a more challenging workout, you can increase the incline or your pace.
4. Lifting Weights
Metabolically speaking, muscle is more active than fat, and muscle building demands a lot more from the body and can help those seeking how to speed up metabolism. Having more muscle mass represents a higher number of calories burned, even if the metabolism is at rest.
Doing activities that bring the muscle to a contraction such as lifting heavy objects will also help to counteract the drop in metabolism that can happen during weight loss.
In one study, 48 overweight women were placed on an 800 – calorie daily diet, one group doing no exercise, regardless of aerobic or resistance training, and the other with. After the diet, women who exercised maintained muscle mass, metabolism, and strength, while others lost weight, but also lost muscle mass and decreased metabolism.
5. Get around
Technology has been very helpful in reducing the efforts we need to make to carry out our activities. But if you want to know how to speed up metabolism, get moving. Sitting too long is too bad for your health.
Long sitting periods burn fewer calories and can lead to weight gain. To make a comparison, a standing period at work can burn 174 calories more than when your standstill.
If your routine involves sitting for long periods, try to stand for short periods and thus divide the time you spend sitting. This will contribute not only to your metabolism but also to your circulation.
6. Drink Green Tea
Teas are companions of many important diets and allies when it comes to speeding up metabolism. In studies, green tea has been shown to increase metabolic rate by 4-5%. It also helps turn some of the fat stored in your body into free fatty acids, which can increase body fat burning by 10 to 17%. This is due to the catechins present in its composition and which can improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body’s energy production or heat from digestion.
Also, teas are low in calories and go a long way with weight loss diets. It is believed that its metabolism-enhancing properties may help to prevent stagnation of weight loss, which occurs due to a decrease in metabolism.
It is noteworthy that there are controversies. Some studies argue that green tea does not affect metabolism, or that its effect may be small or applied only to some people.
7. Drink Coffee
Caffeine in coffee can increase metabolism by 3 to 11%. Like green tea, coffee also promotes fat burning. However, studies have shown that coffee seems to affect thin people the most, as it has increased fat burning by 29% for thin women, but only 10% for obese women.
The effects of coffee on metabolism and fat burning can also contribute to successful weight loss and maintenance.
8. Eat spicy foods
Peppers contain chemical irritant a substance which will boost your metabolism. However, many people do not tolerate these spices in the doses required to have a relevant effect.
A study of capsaicin showed that at acceptable doses, eating peppers burns about 10 additional calories per meal.
On their own, the effects of adding pepper to spices, food, and other foods can be quite small. However, they can contribute when combined with other strategies on how to speed up metabolism.
9. Have a good night sleep
Insomnia or sleepless nights are both related to the increased risk of obesity. Metabolism can suffer the negative effects of sleep deprivation. This is also associated with increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, resulting in an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as increasing the ghrelin hunger hormone and decreasing the leptin fullness hormone.
This may explain why many people who are sleep deprived feel hungry and struggle to lose weight.
10. Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been gaining a lot of weight in diets for weight reduction, or even for those who want to consume healthier products. Among its benefits, coconut oil contains many medium-chain fats, different from saturated fats. Medium-chain fats can increase metabolism at a faster rate than long-chain fats found in foods such as butter.
The researchers found that medium-chain fats increased metabolism by 12% compared to long-chain fats, which increased by only 4%.
Because of the unique fatty acid profile present in coconut oil, replacing some cooking fats with it can have modest weight loss benefits.
11. Have Breakfast
According to the National Weight Control Register, a study that tracked 5,000 people who lost weight and maintained it for more than five years, 78% eating breakfast every day.
Be sure not to skip this meal. Having a nutrient-rich morning diet like oats, almonds, fruits, eggs, and cheese awakens your metabolism and adds energy to get your engine running well.
12. Don’t starve
Eating less is a key method for reducing weight, but eating too little has the opposite result of long-term expectations.
At the beginning of the article, we talked about metabolic adaptation, and how calorie restriction causes a decrease in your metabolic rate, ie reduces the number of calories burned.
Research has shown that eating less than 1,000 calories daily leads to a significant drop in metabolic rate, which continues after the diet for weight loss ends.
In obese people, the hunger response can significantly reduce the number of calories burned. For example, one study suggests that this slowdown in metabolic rate saves up to 504 calories per day. However, if you perform intermittent fasting, interestingly it seems to minimize this effect.
Keep in mind that making minor lifestyle changes and incorporating these tips on how to speed up the metabolism in your routine can really contribute to a higher metabolic rate.