Medically reviewed by Shanmukha Priya, M.Phil and Ph.D. in Food Science and Nutrition
Most of us find ourselves struggling first with weight loss and then with weight management. Therefore, it is important to understand what metabolism means, how to boost metabolism and how it influences weight control.
The rate of metabolism differs from person to person; some of us mtanage to burn lesser calories as compared to others. For those of you who have a sluggish metabolic rate, a slight change in your lifestyle can do wonders.
It is seen that regular exercise boosts the basal metabolic rate. Walking and running can prove to be beneficial but strength training helps boost the rate of metabolism greatly.
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How to increase metabolism with food?
Food can play a major role in boosting your metabolism; it revs up energy levels and helps to improve metabolic functions.
Looking for how to increase metabolism rate with diet? Here’s a checklist of 8 metabolism boosting foods that you should definitely sneak in your diet.
Almonds are truly one of nature’s miracle foods. You get such a big bang for your buck. First of all, almonds are nutritionally dense. This means that for a small portion size, you get a large number of healthy macronutrients and calories (but GOOD calories).
Nine clinical studies over the last thirteen years have shown that almonds can lower cholesterol as part of a diet low in saturated fat. These groundbreaking studies show how a handful of almonds a day consistently lowered LDL cholesterol levels.
Eating almonds is a filling snack. Almonds contain protein, fiber and monounsaturated fat, all of which may help keep you satisfied and your digestive juices churning. In all, helps in boosting metabolism.
2. GREEN TEA AND COFFEE
According to a study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, men who consumed a combination of caffeine and green tea extracts burned more energy due to an accretion in metabolism.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols which have numerous health benefits and also aid in weight loss. Caffeine helps in warding off lethargy and can even increase your endurance during workouts.
Green tea also contains a plant compound called EGCG that helps in fat loss. Not convinced yet? Then read up on why you should drink green tea.
Oily fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids which can increase your metabolism significantly. Fish oil can increase the levels of fat burning enzymes in your body. Fish like salmon are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm water fish.
In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, salmon is an excellent source of selenium, protein, niacin and vitamin B12, phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
Just to clarify, we are not talking about the sugar-laden or flavored single-servings packages of instant oatmeal. I’m talking about plain, boring, large, slow-cooking rolled oats. Oats are a great source of both insoluble and soluble fiber.
Insoluble fibers are harder to digest and hence keeps the digestive system and also the metabolism active. Soluble fiber may reduce LDL or bad cholesterol without lowering HDL or good cholesterol.
Soluble fiber also slows down the digestion of starch. This may be beneficial for people with diabetes because, when you slow down the digestion of starch, you avoid the sharp rises in your blood sugar level (insulin spikes) that usually occur following a meal.
Almost 2/3rds of our body weight is “water weight”. Blood is 83% water, muscles are 75% water, the brain is 74% water, and bone is 22% water.
So what do you think happens when we aren’t adequately hydrated? Our bodily processes can’t function optimally leading to a sluggish metabolism.
Your body needs water to burn calories. If you are even slightly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down.
In one research, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. So drink more water if you want to boost your metabolism
6. LENTILS AND WHOLE GRAINS
Lentils are a great source of proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber that helps in good digestion. The iron content facilitates the flow of oxygen throughout the body which further helps in boosting metabolism and energy production.
Also, include whole grains in your diet as they require extra energy to break down and digest and help in losing fat and weight loss. Definite metabolism booster we must say.
7. MILK AND YOGURT
Milk is a rich source of calcium and some of the recent studies hold that regular calcium intake can help improve metabolism the body metabolize fat efficiently.
Yogurt is well known for being rich in probiotic bacteria, the good bacteria that helps in digestion and keeps you cool.
Cottage cheese is rich in protein and it can help you build, maintain and repair muscles.
8. LEAN MEAT
Having three to four servings of lean meat every day is recommended. Chicken and other fortified foods are loaded with iron, lack of which causes slow metabolism.
It actually takes energy to digest food, and your body burns more calories digesting and metabolizing protein than it does while breaking down carbs and fats.
Keep in mind that it’s not necessary to switch your diet to only these foods or do anything extreme. Then how to increase metabolism rate without much hassle?
Just try to get more of them into your daily diet than you currently do and you should start to see the results of your efforts.
Revving up your metabolism is not something that happens overnight, so don’t look for a quantum leap. Your body needs time to adjust to your new way of eating. But if you’re consistent it will get the hint and start paying dividends.
Additional read: 9 superfoods for weight loss.