The body constantly drains energy no matter what your body is doing. Every activity you perform, like walking, exercising, or even sleeping, requires energy. Functions like the beating of your heart, respiration, or cellular functions, which you can not see, also use energy. The body dedicates 80 % of energy to the resting phase, while only 10 to 20 percent of energy is being used for activities like walking. Where does that energy come from?
We already know that our energy source is what we eat or drink. But how does a loaf of bread give us energy? The simple answer to this is the breakdown of everything we eat. The body attains its required amounts of energy by breaking down everything that we put in our mouths. The chemicals and nutrients are digested and eventually obtained in their simplest state. In this article, let us briefly understand what metabolism is.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism refers to all physiological processes happening inside a living body. In simple words, let us understand this as all the processes that convert whatever you consume (food or beverages) into energy. The importance of metabolism is inevitable. Metabolism provides energy for the simplest or the most complex of body functions like breathing or digestion.
Metabolism serves three main purposes. The first purpose is to convert whatever you consume into energy. This energy is later consumed to derive all the necessary cellular processes. The second purpose served by metabolism is to convert food into basic units of proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, or carbohydrates. Metabolism also involves the removal of substances like nitrogenous wastes. Metabolism is so important that if our body stops metabolizing, we could probably die.
A measure to quantify metabolism is the metabolic rate which describes the rate of occurrence of metabolism in living systems. A person with a high metabolic rate burns calories faster than a person that has a lower metabolic rate. People with high metabolic rates may have trouble gaining weight.
Factors controlling metabolism
We already know that metabolism is crucial for living systems. The metabolic rate among populations varies. The variation in metabolic rates is not restricted to any particular factor. Different factors like muscle mass, age, gender, and body size can determine the metabolic rate of an individual.
Genetics also plays an important role in controlling the metabolism of an individual. Physical activity is important in determining how fast the metabolism of an individual is. Some other factors like environmental, hormonal, or physical factors also can be a controlling factor for the determination of metabolic rate. The ratio of fat & muscle too can determine the metabolic rate of the body.
People with lower metabolism have trouble burning calories. It can lead to gaining excessive weight or obesity. Hormonal imbalance can be a reason for lower metabolism. Some factors like diet and lifestyle can also affect metabolism, which can be controlled. Here are 9 Actionable Ways to boost your metabolism.
1. Regulating your protein intake
Protein is an essential part of our diet. Protein has a higher thermic value when compared with fat or carbohydrates. Thermic value refers to the elevation in metabolism after the consumption of a meal. It provides an indication of the energy required for digestion and absorption of nutrients present in the particular meal. Protein, having a high thermal effect, aids in boosting metabolism.
It requires more calories for digestion and absorption of a protein diet, which results in increased metabolism. A protein diet is recommended for people willing to lose weight. The reason is it prevents a drop in metabolic rate. Foods like lean meat, eggs, nuts, and avocados have high thermic values.
2. Drinking enough water
One secret to aiding the health of your body is by drinking sufficient water. Water is crucial for different reasons like flushing out toxins, maintenance of body temperature, homeostasis, etc. One interesting fact about hydrating yourself is that it can boost your metabolism as well.
One study concluded that increased water uptake boosted metabolism. This happens by escalating lipolysis (Lipolysis is the metabolic breakdown of biomolecules like fat and lipids, resulting in the production of fatty acids.) Drinking a cup of water hourly can have beneficial results in improving metabolism in your system.
3. Eating meals at irregular time intervals
Eating a healthy diet is inevitable. But so is consuming healthy diets at regular intervals. What you eat, how you eat, and when you eat have effects on your health. Our body follows a circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle. Consuming meals at irregular intervals are known to affect this biological cycle of the living systems.
The 24-hour pattern of repetition controls metabolic processes, which include appetite, digestion, or metabolism of different biomolecules. For regulation of metabolic processes or boosting up metabolism, it is important to avoid irregular meal timings.
4. The benefits of drinking green tea
Green tea is recommended because it has multiple benefits to offer. It is rich in antioxidants, and nutrients like Vitamin E. Green tea contains catechins, which is a type of flavonoid. Green tea is also rich in caffeine.
Both of the compounds present in green tea have promising results in boosting metabolism. It increases the thermic energy expenditure, which means it is increasing thermogenesis. Hence, we can conclude that green tea is also a good choice for boosting metabolism.
5. Benefits of High-Intensity workout
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout refers to a workout involving very intense but quick or short intervals of exercises. During a HIIT workout, the heart capacity of an individual reaches up to 80 percent of its total capacity. The ideal session length for a HIIT workout is generally 30 minutes.
Experts recommend this type of exercise for boosting metabolism rather than jogging or weight training. One study also found that HIIT shifts the metabolism of the body using fat instead of carbohydrates. This means it also involves burning fat in comparatively greater amounts.
6. Adding pepper to your diet
The love for chilly and its spice is well known across the globe. The confirming part here is that black pepper can be used to boost metabolism. The reason why it helps in boosting metabolism can be conferred to its richness of alkaloid piperine. This molecule is responsible for improving the metabolic rate. It helps in boosting metabolism by helping the extraction of nutrients from food.
The phytonutrients present in black pepper also aid in the fat breakdown in the system. Another compound present in pepper (Cayenne pepper) is capsaicinoids. This causes an increase in thermogenic energy expenditure and increased oxidation of fat and is also known to reduce appetite.
7. Good sleep
You might be shocked to see sleep as a way to boost your metabolism. But yes, lack of sleep (sleep deprivation) can disturb the balance of hormones responsible for controlling appetite and hunger. One study found that people who slept for 5 hours had increased levels of ghrelin by 20% and suppressed levels of leptin by 15.5%.
Ghrelin is responsible for inducing hunger, while leptin suppresses hunger. This leads to the consumption of food more than the required amounts by your body. There are promising results that link sleep health and metabolism together. One research claims that poor sleep degrades the body’s ability to derive energy from fat.
Exercising offers a plethora of health benefits like improving the heart, enlightening mood, controlling weight, etc. One of the benefits of exercising is that it can boost metabolism as well. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to inefficient burning of calories. Cardiovascular exercise helps in reviving your metabolism.
Some of the exercises you can consider for boosting metabolism are swimming, cycling, running, or aerobics. Exercising results in an increased demand for energy which eventually leads to increased metabolism. One thing to note here is that exercise can help in boosting metabolism, but it only adds up to a smaller part of the metabolism in our body.
9. Restriction of calorie intake affecting metabolism
Consumption of calories less than the amounts demanded by our bodies can lower the metabolic rate of the body. Many people prefer to cut calories from their diet to achieve weight loss. The body’s deficit in calories suppresses the rate of metabolizing the biomolecules of the body. The recommended daily intake for calories is 2000 and 2500 for women and men, respectively. While some resources say that increased calorie intake results in boosted metabolic rate, strong evidence still does not exist.
Wrapping It Up
Metabolism plays a crucial role in maintaining weight. At the same time, people with fast metabolism take it as an advantage because it is easier for them to burn the calories they take. We do not say fast metabolism is the best. Having a healthy metabolic rate is what matters the most such that the requirements of energy are met. An individual can not control metabolism but can choose healthier ways to live a healthy life.