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Weight loss is not just about eating less or following a strenuous fitness regimen. Although an open secret, very few of us work to harness the body’s very own ability to burn fat to power the various body functions as better known as metabolism.
Metabolic activity systematically breaks down food to energise the body. The minimum amount of energy needed to stay functional is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR), which accounts for 40 % to 70 % of the body’s energy needs.
The rate of metabolism usually varies based on the gender, age and other genetic factors, and generally caters to the energy requirements for the daily routine.
People who have a higher muscle-to-fat ratio naturally tend to have a higher BMR, as muscles demand more energy to stay in shape. It is, however, possible to boost the metabolism of the body so that it can, in effect, burn a few extra calories to help shed excess flab, especially when combined with suitable exercises and food habits.
1. Have A Nutritious Breakfast
Dietary control not only leaves one famished but also tends to slow down the metabolism, as the body tends to preserve energy in these cases. Instead of fasting or going on diets, going with a well-planned meal is bound to be more beneficial.
A good breakfast is essential to start the day. Breakfast menus may vary based on personal preferences, but it should include food packed with nutrients, and must be filling enough to weed out junk snacks.
An ideal mix of saturated fats, complex carbs and proteins will meet the energy needs, while improving the metabolism by about 10 %.
2. Opt for Protein-rich Foods
Foods rich in protein help build lean muscles, and muscles needing more energy to stay fit are capable of burning more calories. A protein-rich post-workout snack is more ideal, as muscles get tested to their limits during the workout sessions.
They tend to rebuild later, even when the body is resting. Sprucing up each meal with about 30 grams of protein should help.
3. Train For Strength
Resistance exercises are again a great way to build muscles. Short rigorous repetitive strength training causes muscle trauma, forcing the body to rebuild these muscles long after the routine has been completed.
The recovery of muscles may take several days, continuing to burn up calories for the energy. In fact, slowing down the pace of the lift increases the muscle breakdown, forcing it to draw more energy to heal. Not to worry, such damage is very much repairable.
4. Follow up with Cardio
Strength training followed by cardio training helps keep up the momentum of the metabolic process, forcing the body to work just a tad harder to power the cardio regimen. Aerobic exercises have proved to be quite effective in real time, especially when the long routine is broken into smaller sessions.
5. Take A Break
Taking breaks between intensive short no-break routines has been known to boost the metabolism of the body. Ramping up the pace of the exercise, slowing down to take a break before the next repetition, etc. definitely works to speed up the fat-burn process needed to power the pace of action.
6. Spice Up Food
Those who love spicy foods may well benefit from their ability to boost body heat, metabolism, as well as ramp up the production of the fat-burning hormones. A small amount of heat-generating foods such as mustard, chili peppers, and red chili flakes incorporated into the daily diet is reported to be quite effective, causing the metabolism to temporarily shoot up by 23 %.
7. Drink Cold Water
It is a well-known fact that consuming eight to twelve glasses of water is good for the body. Research has proved that drinking cold water also forces the body to burn a few calories, in order to bring the water’s thermal reading on par with the temperature of the body for easy assimilation.
This simple process enables the body to burn up to 50 calories a day, even when it is physically at rest. Alternatively, resorting to frozen pieces of fruit also will do the job. Turning down the thermostat is yet another way to force the body generate sufficient heat for keeping warm.
8. Only Opt for Necessary Dietary Supplements
Fish oil pre-workout supplements that are rich in omega 3 fats help boost the activity of fat-burning enzymes in the body. These not only help by providing additional energy to complete a workout routine, especially the more demanding CrossFit workouts, but also help lose excess fat in the process.
9. Catch up on Sleep
The body needs adequate rest to recoup for the next day. It is important to catch up with at least eight hours of sleep each night to maintain healthy levels of hormones, which control the appetite and energy use in the body. It is possible for many of us to survive on very little sleep, but irregular sleep patterns are bound to upset the normal functioning of the body.
10. Get Active
Studies have revealed that sitting in the same place for over four hours may well affect the body’s metabolism, as there is hardly any activity that demands extra energy. Simply staying on ones feet is sufficient to slightly improve an otherwise sluggish metabolism.
Going organic by including fish in food, switching to drinks such as coffee, green tea, low-fat milk are other alternatives that serve to boost the metabolism rate of the body. While organic foods help avoid accidental ingestion of chemical fertilisers that may affect the normal functioning of the body, diet planning generally aims at developing and maintaining a healthy muscular structure, which is more efficient in burning fat to maintain its tone.
Dairy products are rich in calcium, which apart from strengthening bones, also helps the body to process fat more effectively, by boosting elimination of fat in the form of waste. It is also worth noting that yoga is quite effective in boosting the metabolic rate in practitioners. Yoga reportedly controls the production of the stress hormone cortisol – which is also known for slowing down the fat-burning process.
People with select medical conditions such as thyroid problems are bound to have problems with their metabolic functions. Optimising thyroid functions and addressing other medical conditions are bound to improve metabolism. Similarly, the aged and the obese may battle with low BMR; however, it is to some extent possible to remedy such cases by opting for a suitable way to naturally boost the body metabolism.
Health by choice, not by chance.