Speed Up Your Metabolism
Metabolism is the complex process your body uses to change the food and drink you take in into energy. To do this, your body takes calories and combines them with oxygen to supply the fuel to keep your body functioning. This means supporting obvious functions (like walking or talking) and the ones you may not think about like digestion, breathing and circulating blood through your body.
Sometimes people will blame a “slow metabolism” for changes in their weight. While it is true that metabolism controls how your body uses calories, the larger influence on your weight comes from your diet and how much you move. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight—take in more than you burn, and you’ll gain. These factors can also influence how you gain weight:
- How much muscle you have.Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re sitting still.
- Your gender.Because men tend to have more muscle than women, they burn more calories.
- Your age.Muscle mass drops as we get older and slows down calorie use.
Unless you are under a medical provider’s care for a condition like Cushing’s syndrome or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), chances are your metabolism probably isn’t working against you. But just like everyone’s body is different, so is the metabolic rate —making it easier to gain or lose weight depending on who you are.
How to Speed Up Metabolism?
Most of the processes that make up your body’s metabolism are natural and happening inside your body without any effort—they are not something you can control. However, there are a few ways you can help boost your calorie burn:
- The best way to speed up your metabolism is to exercise. Exercise builds muscle and muscles burn more calories. This leads to a faster metabolism.
- Remember to eat every three to four hours.Eating high quality foods (not junk food and empty calories) every few hours helps keep your body from entering starvation mode. Eating on an unpredictable schedule tells your body to start storing calories as fat (since your body is unsure when the next meal will come) instead of using them.
- Stay away from junk food. Highly processed foods (high in sugar or fat; low in fiber and water) slow down digestion and metabolism, and leave you feeling like a slow motion version of yourself. While they may provide a quick pick-me-up, the end result is nothing but bad. Stay away from the junk and choose fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats (like avocado) and lean meats like fish or grilled chicken.
- Get plenty of rest. Researchers say that people who don’t get enough sleep will burn fewer calories at rest than those who do. Try to get 7 or 8 hours a night if you can.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydrated cells will not burn as many calories as those which are meeting their need for fluids. Stick with water to avoid extra calories. Try to drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
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