Metabolism is one of the many natural processes that take place in the body. It is this biochemical process that converts the food we eat into energy by burning calories. The body needs energy even when at rest, for performing functions like breathing, blood circulation, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells, etc. This amount of energy spent by the body, while at rest, is termed the basal metabolic rate. In other words, it is the rate at which calories are burned by the body, while at rest. The basal metabolic rate, being a major part of the body’s total caloric expenditure, is often taken as the metabolic rate, as far as the metabolism of an individual is concerned.
Metabolism and Body Weight
The basal metabolic rate may vary from one person to another. It can be said that a person with a higher metabolic rate can burn calories faster, as compared to another with a slower metabolic rate. If both of them consume the same amount of calories, the person with a higher metabolic rate burns more calories, but the other one burns fewer calories and the remaining calories are stored as fat, which may lead to weight gain. However, weight loss and metabolism are not directly linked, because there are many factors that affect the metabolic rate of a person. These factors include age, sex, body size, type of foods consumed, physical activities, etc. It is the function of the body to control the metabolism as per the changes caused by the above factors. But you can indirectly control metabolism by controlling some of the above factors. By controlling these factors, you can also increase metabolism naturally. An increase in metabolism results in the burning of more calories, more energy, and less fat in your body. The following are some of the natural ways to increase metabolism.
How to Increase Metabolism Naturally?
Now, you know that metabolism is a natural process, which cannot be directly controlled by humans. But, we can control the factors that affect metabolism. We shall take a look at the various factors that affect the metabolism in a person and which are the factors that can be controlled, in order to increase metabolism naturally.
Never skip breakfast. This is one of the golden rules for increasing metabolism naturally. During the nighttime, the body is deprived of food and this results in a slow down of the metabolic rate. Skipping breakfast or eating a very less amount of food in the morning leads the body to store the calories as fat and as a result, you will experience a very low energy level. So, a hearty breakfast is very necessary to increase metabolism naturally.
Avoid three big meals per day and go for at least six small meals for increasing metabolism naturally. In the case of three big meals, the metabolic rates slow down in between the meals, leading to fat storage. This can be avoided by boosting the metabolism with six small meals.
Include more low-fat foods and foods which are less in calories, in your diet. While fish, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, blueberries, and other fruits and whole grains are considered as foods that boost metabolism, sugary foods, alcohol, caffeine, etc., slows down this process. Green tea is also believed to be good for boosting metabolism.
Now, you know the role of food in metabolism and how to control the food factor as one of the ways to increase metabolism naturally.
Apart from controlling the food factor, another golden rule for increasing metabolism is exercise. Exercise is good for reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. An increase in lean muscle mass helps to increase the metabolic rate and also aids in weight loss. This is because of the fact that muscle tissues use more calories than fat tissues and this enhances the metabolic rate. Among the various types of exercises, aerobic exercises are the best for increasing metabolism naturally. You may opt for walking, running, jogging, swimming, cycling, etc. According to some studies, these exercises increase the rate of metabolism for at least four to eight hours after stopping it. Apart from the calories you burn while exercising, more calories are burned for an extended period too. Expert opinion is that a combination of aerobic exercises along with weight lifting and strength training can be considered as the best option for increasing metabolism naturally. Exercise in the morning in order to increase metabolic rate throughout the day.
Now, you know how to increase metabolism naturally by controlling factors, like, food and exercise. Stress is another factor that controls metabolism and is known to slow down the metabolic rate. Too much stress stimulates the body to produce a steroid called cortisol, which reduces the rate of metabolism. So, avoid stress to boost metabolism naturally. Drink lots of water, i.e., at least eight glasses of water per day, as it is needed for many essential bodily functions. Lack of sufficient amounts of water may lead to a slow down of these processes, which include metabolism too. Lack of sleep may also slow down the metabolic rate. You can increase metabolism naturally by controlling the two most important factors – food and exercise. Along with these factors, take care of other factors, like sleep, stress, etc. You may also consult a dietitian for planning your diet accordingly. Some medical conditions, like the underactive thyroid gland, are also responsible for low metabolic rates. Such people must seek medical attention to counter this problem.
Tiffany is a Medical Student and also works as a fitness coach in part-time. She is also a writer and writes on health and fitness articles. Tiffany loves to engage with users and help them provide various useful information on General Health. She provides researched-based information and also featured on various blogs and magazines.