Natural Ways To Boost Your Metabolism
The word “metabolism” is almost everywhere – in weight loss articles, fitness blogs, anti aging talks, and healthy eating advices. What exactly is metabolism? Once you know the basics well, it becomes easier to heed the advices and understand better what experts are talking about.
According to medical science, metabolism is a sum of chemical reactions happening in a living being on a daily basis to keep the body alive. To put it simply, it is a process that converts calories into energy.
There is much commotion about calories in weight loss discussions. So, what are calories actually? They are nothing but a measure of energy, a life force that keeps our body functioning.
Each body system is connected to the rate of energy production in body cells. Wish a svelte body? Get a strong metabolism. It increases immunity, enhances lean muscle mass, improves brain functions and body stamina and vitality, maintains sexual health and fertility, and reduces risk of catching infections and degenerative conditions.
Do you know the brain benefits the most through a strong metabolism? Its energy demands are super high. It needs about 16 times more energy to function than to support skeletal muscle.
After 30, body metabolism begins to slow down. So, this is the age when you must alter your food habits and lifestyle to suit your age, irrespective of how you lived and ate in the earlier years of life.
How do you know whether your metabolism is good or bad?
Metabolism rate depends on genes, gender, body composition, diet, age, hormones, and level of physical activity. Factors like physical activity and diet are under your control; while genes, age, gender, and others are not.
According to doctors, rate of metabolism is the rate at which your body can burn calories. This impacts your physical appearance, energy level, body weight, and moods.
Here are certain symptoms that indicate your metabolism needs a boost:
- You feel your body going cold often.
- Your hair are thinning with no other reason.
- Your skin becomes extremely dry and cracked.
- You feel fatigue throughout the day.
- You have low sex drive with no other reason.
- Your nails become brittle and stunted in growth.
- You find difficult to fall asleep at night.
- You suffer from constipation often.
- Your stomach usually bloats after eating a meal.
- You urinate frequently.
- You feel excessively thirsty and have dryness in mouth.
- Your menstrual cycles are irregular.
- You suffer from depression and anxiety for no particular reason.
- You feel low energy and low interest in physical activities.
- You fall sick often.
How crash diets “crash” your metabolism
Crash diets, say doctors, deprive your body of nutrients, proper fluids, and calories of course. This sends a signal to your brain that your body is starving. Your body perceives this as an emergency situation – a life and death matter. It cannot differentiate between dieting on purpose and lack of food availability like in famine. This puts your boy in defense mode. It starts preparing to “handle the crisis.”
Your body starts preserving every calorie you eat, which is now precious to it to survive. This means your body is now burning few or no calories. Due to the availability of fewer calories, your metabolism slows down, as it has little work to do. This makes your body vulnerable to infections, mood swings, and common colds, as the body has concentrated its energy to protect its vital organs as a defense gesture against the “food crisis.”
That’s why people on crash diets usually experience mood swings, loss of interest in sports or activities that engage their brain and muscles. They often feel lethargic. Prolonged dieting can make your body enter into a catabolic state. Doctors also call it the “starvation mode.”
This state causes cellular and hormonal alterations that increase thirst and hunger. This also slows down your body’s fat burning ability and stunts growth of muscles. So, your very purpose of crash dieting fails here.
Experts are against crash diets. Eat well, they say. Focus on nutritious foods. Take a healthy breakfast to kickstart your metabolism. Do not skip meals. A well-fed body displays strong immunity, good digestion, regulated blood pressure and sugar, healthier libido, good stamina, and stable emotional status. Such a body burns fat faster and gains muscle mass and strength faster too.
Expert advice to improve metabolism:
- Eat a balanced diet. Experts advise to eat everything in moderation. Plan a sensible diet chart that suits your age, gender, body type, and health status.
- Catch sound sleep of 6-8 hours every night. Those who take inadequate sleep find their metabolism slowing down, as the body, instead of burning calories, starts conserving them when it is fatigued. Also, lack of sleep increases level of cortisol hormone that makes the body store fat.
- Do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). These are exercises that feature quick bursts of high intensity workouts followed by short intervals of rest. This jumpstarts your metabolism and the body continues to burn fat even during the rest stage.
- Lift weights. This helps to boost metabolism and build lean muscle mass, which uses more energy than that used in burning fat.
- Avoid sugary drinks, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, artificial sweeteners, and low quality dairy products. They speed up aging. Body perceives processed foods as toxins and activates production of stress hormones, which decrease rate of metabolism.
- Eat high protein foods, garlic, green tea, antioxidant-rich foods, and warming foods like pepper and other spices. They increase thermogenic rate of the body. This speeds up body’s ability to burn fat.
Modern weight loss pills, too, work by increasing thermogenic rate and rate of metabolism. The pills are no magic. They work on basic principles that affect fat burning ability of the body. Not everybody requires pills. If you carry out the above mentioned expert suggestions, you will notice weight loss results sooner or later.