The internet is full of advice on how to speed up your metabolism. However, it is very natural for various body systems, including your metabolism, to begin to slow down as you age. Unfortunately this can lead to weight gain and excess fat that none of us want!
There are also thousands of weight loss supplements and formulas that claim your body burns fat faster. In fact, there is no “magic pill” that can change your body’s ability to burn fat. Much of it boils down to your own efforts in terms of diet, exercise and self-care.
Metabolism is simply the process by which the body converts food into energy. This is a complex biochemical process in which calories in food and beverages combine with oxygen to release the energy needed to perform various activities.
Your body always needs energy, even when it’s resting. Dozens of other unthinkable functions are taking place within you, such as breathing, blood circulation, hormonal regulation, cell repair and recovery.
Likewise, the body needs certain calories to perform these basic functions. This is known as basal metabolic rate or metabolism.
Several factors determine your metabolic rate, including:
- Body size and composition-People with more muscles burn more calories while resting.
- Gender-Men generally burn more calories because they have less body fat and more muscle than women.
- Age-As you age, your body’s muscle content decreases and fat begins to increase, which can slow your metabolism.
Can you change your metabolic rate? Well, your metabolism is generally fairly stable, but there are ways to increase it in small increments. Learn more here: 4 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
If your metabolism is working at its best, you can experience many health benefits. It’s important to remember that many factors are involved in your metabolic rate, and your weight is just one of them!
Faster metabolism means your energy levels are much more stable and you rarely feel tired. This is because the food your body eats is efficiently converted into fuel, providing a stable source of energy.
Even people with excellent metabolism can focus mentally. You are less likely to gain weight and can quickly lose weight when needed.
It may seem counterintuitive to think that certain foods can speed up your metabolism, but it’s true. Your body needs several nutrients to start the fat burning process. That’s why skipping meals may not really help you lose weight in the long run.
The following foods have been shown to boost your metabolism and help keep your weight loss journey smooth.
1. lean meat
Digesting protein takes more effort than digesting carbohydrates or fats. That’s why experts recommend eating fresh, lean meat such as poultry and fish. The digestive process requires a lot of energy, so we burn it to break down calories. Research has shown that protein can increase calorie burn by 35% after eating.
In addition, protein is needed to build muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. So, we aim to include protein in every meal and snack throughout the day.
Legumes and legumes are excellent sources of plant protein. It is also rich in soluble and insoluble fibers. Your body consumes a lot of energy when breaking down fiber and protein, which keeps your metabolism in good shape.
The high fiber content of soy also helps keep blood sugar levels constant and prevents mid-afternoon sugar cravings.
In addition, legumes provide iron, zinc and selenium. These are the minerals your thyroid needs to produce enough hormones. Without them, your metabolism can be slowed down or damaged.
Nuts are another great source of protein and fiber. Studies have shown that people who eat nuts regularly have a lower risk of insulin resistance and have a smaller waist size than those who do not. Low insulin resistance makes your body less likely to store fat or get type 2 diabetes. Again, nuts take longer to break down, so they are more satisfied and better with their metabolism.
Most importantly, research has also shown that nuts can boost your metabolism. In several experiments, nuts provide increased energy consumption, which can help burn an additional 10% of total energy production.
4. Whole grain
Whole grains are complex carbohydrates made up of a longer series of sugars. Since the body takes longer to break down, the metabolism is burning steadily for a longer period of time. Researchers have found that eating whole grains increases your postprandial energy consumption by up to 50% compared to eating processed foods.
Foods with complex carbohydrates generally contain more nutrients, especially B vitamins. They play an important role in converting the food you eat into energy, the essence of your metabolic function. Specifically, vitamin B12 has been linked to weight loss because it promotes metabolism and provides long-lasting energy.
You should choose whole grains over processed grains. Look for whole wheat flour, quinoa, brown rice, barley, corn, and oats.
5. Probiotic Food
Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut can help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. These bacteria play a big role in digesting food in the gut and promoting nutrient intake.
A 2012 study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that when adults ate about 1/2 cup of probiotic yogurt at dinner each night for 6 weeks, they lost 3 to 4% body fat. This compared to adults who ate plain yogurt and lost only 1% of their body fat.
It is suggested that probiotics change the way the body metabolizes bile acids. This acid is made by the liver and its main function is to break down the fat in the upper intestine. If probiotics can affect the way bile acids are metabolized, they can change the amount of fat the body can absorb from food.
Caffeine is a powerful stimulant known to help “wake up” and boost metabolism. Blocks a neurotransmitter called adenosine, which causes other neurotransmitters to release more dopamine and norepinephrine.
This helps you feel more agile and energetic, and consequently allows you to exercise longer. However, drinking too much caffeine can trigger a chronic stress response and feel tired, so it should be consumed in small amounts.
Studies have shown that caffeine can increase your resting metabolic rate by about 3-11%, depending on your dosage. It also shows that this can help you burn fat faster. One study found that people who took caffeine-based supplements increased fat burning by 29%. Hence, researchers have suggested that caffeine has a significant effect on energy balance and may accelerate metabolism.
This article focuses on what to eat, speeds up your metabolism and burns fat, you should also work in terms of exercise and self-care. Start a healthy diet with the above foods I suggest and exercise regularly to keep moving.
Featured photo credits: Jo. via unsplash.com