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How to Increase your Metabolism
What causes a slow metabolism?
Metabolism is the process developing energy from consumed food. A slow metabolism is the result in which the body is unable to convert the calories it consumes into usable energy. Therefore an excess amount of calories is excreted or stored as fat in the body. A slow
metabolic rate is can be caused by many factors such as skipping meals, older age and a lack of exercise. Some of the other causes for a slowing metabolism include:
- Extreme fasting
- Excessive dieting
- Physical ailment
- Incorrect ratio of macronutrients such as protein, fat and carbs in a meal (too much saturated fat and simple carbohydrates in a single meal can slow your metabolism)
- Skipping meals
- Poor sleeping habits
- Too much gap between meals
- Eating too many foods that are loaded with sugar (sodas, candies, etc)
One thing to note is that your metabolism can actually slowdown on a calorie reduced diet. This also includes people on a low-carb diet as the net effect of the low-carb is also a calorie reduced intake. A slow metabolism is often the reason why dieters experience a sticking point in their weight loss results. This does not mean that reducing your carbohydrate intake is a bad idea. Choosing when to ingest those carbohydrates is the key to increasing your metabolism. Some tips are:
- Complex carbohydrates and a high fibre meal in the morning
- Small amounts of carbs at lunch
- Simple carbohydrates (yes sugars) during or after an intense workout. This is when your body requires it. There is NO other time ingest carbohydrates to increase your metabolism.
Hypothyroidism may also be a cause of a slow metabolism. This happens when the thyroid gland produces too little of the hormone thyroxine. This may be result in weight gain, slow body processing including a slow heart rate and fatigue.
How can I increase my metabolism?
There are many ways to increase or maintain a stable metabolic condition. Some best methods for increasing your metabolism are stated below.
The more you increase your muscle mass the more your metabolism will increase: Your lean body mass is by far the most important factor of metabolism. Muscle burns up to 90% more calories than fat.
Keep yourself in motion regularly: After regular exercise such as walking, biking and swimming your metabolism rate will increase not only during the activity but for several hours after. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great and natural way to embody exercise in your daily life.
Eat more often, don't ever skip a meal :If you try to lose weight by skipping meals or not eat at all, your metabolism will decrease which is the opposite of losing fat. The body goes into 'starvation mode' when there isn't a high enough calories available and becomes more efficient by storing high calorie macronutrients like fat.
Determine what is influencing your metabolism: There are some factors that you can change, and some factors that you can't. You should be recognize them.
Calculate your resting metabolic rate (RMR): RMR is often used interchangeably with basal metabolic rate (BMR); although they are slightly different, estimating either is sufficient for the purpose of losing weight.
Adjust your diet accordingly: Your RMR or BMR will tell you how many calories you need to maintain your body at rest.
Eat small, frequent meals: Extending the time between meals makes your body go into "starvation mode", which means it'll hold onto as many calories as possible and store them as fat.
Drink water: As with food, depriving your body of water can encourage it to "store" rather than "burn". In order to encourage your liver to focus on metabolism rather than water retention, make sure you drink an appropriate amount of water.
Boost metabolism temporarily with aerobic exercise: Boost metabolism in the long run with weight training. Muscle burns more calories than fat does (73 more calories per kilogram per day).
Foods that increase metabolism
Foods that speed metabolism include those foods that have an elevated level of complex carbohydrates and proteins. Complex carbohydrates and proteins require more energy for the body to break down and use. This results in extra calories being burned just for the sake of digestion and cellular metabolism. The breakdown of complex carbohydrates results in less insulin being released into the blood stream and a more balanced energy flow during our waking hours resulting in less snacking or craving of sugary sweets. Fruits and vegetables can help increase our metabolism in one other way. They are high in fiber and our bodies’ burn more calories digesting fiber then just about anything else.
Asparagus, Aubergine, Beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Chicory, Chives, Cress, Cucumbers, Fennel, Garlic, Gourd, Leek, Lettuce, Marrow, Peppers, Radish, Spinach, Tomatoes, Turnip, Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blackcurrant, Blueberries, Clementines, Cranberries, Damsons, Grapefruit, Guava, Honeydew Melons, Lemon, Melon Cantaloupes, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangerines, Cayenne pepper, Cinnamon, Curry, Extra virgin olive oil, Fish, Flaxseed, Green tea, Hot peppers, Hot mustard, Kelp etc. are the main food items which can increase the metabolic rate. Here is a complete list of foods that speed metabolism.
Increasing metabolism and exercise
Metabolism can be increased by calorie expenditure through exercise. One of the best ways to increase your metabolism after exercise is through high intensity interval training. HIIT is a series of intense workouts followed by a period of rest. The following will increase your metabolic rate:
- Get into a regular exercise or workout plan. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. One of the best workout plans we can suggest is a circuit training workout.
- Do aerobic exercise such as walking, biking or using a stair-climbing machine for at least 30 minutes.
- Incorporate weight lifting exercises or other muscle-building or maintenance programs. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism.
- Exercise twice a day if possible. Do your vigorous workout in the morning, and then take a walk after dinner. This way you will continue to burn calories at a higher pace for almost the entire 24 hours.
Your energy expenditure or metabolism remains elevated above 'normal' for a period of time after we stop exercising. The amount of this post-exercise elevation of energy expenditure depends primarily on how hard you exercise (i.e., intensity) and to a lesser degree on how long you exercise (i.e., duration). This is why a HIIT workout plan is so important for increasing your metabolism.
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