When it comes to losing weight, the first thing that comes to mind is how to increase metabolism. This is the ultimate question for the simplest weight loss solution. But most people don’t know how metabolism works. So, let’s start by understanding what metabolism is and then learn how to boost it.
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 various situations. It turns 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, a consultant bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon at Saifee, Namaha, Apollo Spectra and Currae Specialty Hospitals, to find ways to speed up metabolism.
How to increase metabolism?
Metabolism refers to how efficiently the body performs all of its activities, including the digestion and absorption of food that provides fuel to the body. Metabolism does not improve overnight by simply consuming supplements like L-carnitine/fat burners or green tea. This requires a holistic and consistent approach.
Tips for improving metabolism:
1. Do high-intensity exercise
In order to keep the metabolism and fat burning rate high for hours, longer than the time you train, you need to engage in high intensity training. Dr. Bhasker says, “HIIT, running, swimming, and cycling are exercises you can try to speed up your metabolism and burn off that fat.” It can also burn a lot of calories in a short 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 at regular intervals helps maintain metabolic balance. Eating a small meal or snack 1-2 times between main meals boosts metabolism. According to research, those who snack between main meals eat less during meals. Otherwise, long intervals between meals slow down the metabolism and increase the body’s ability to store fat. Take the help of a nutritionist to know when and what you should eat between main meals.
3. Sip green tea
According to a study from Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands, green tea can increase your energy expenditure, or the number of calories and fat you burn each day. Consuming 2-3 cups of green tea each day can encourage the body to burn calories faster than it otherwise would. It is a good option compared to sugary juices.
4. Eat Protein-Rich Foods at Every Meal
The body spends more energy breaking down proteins than carbohydrates and fats. This causes an increase in metabolism, called the thermic food effect. “Rich in protein intake has been shown to significantly boost metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn,” says Dr. Bhasker. In addition, protein also provides satiety and prevents hunger pangs and overeating at subsequent meals.
5. Sleep well
Do you know that sleep may not decrease or increase metabolism, but lack of sleep can lead to an imbalance and dysregulation of hormones associated with hunger and appetite? Insufficient sleep can make you hungry, lead to mid-night snacking, sugar cravings, and you’ll eventually go over your calorie intake. This excess energy will lead to progressive weight gain by affecting the metabolism.
6. Drink enough water
Water helps increase metabolism, detoxify the body of wastes and control appetite. Plus, increasing your water intake encourages your body to stop retaining water, leading you to shed those extra pounds of water weight. However, your metabolism will slow down if you are dehydrated. Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water every day to try to 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. Be sure to eat healthy and follow a healthy workout routine.