In this two part article we are going to look at what is metabolism and what you should eat in order to increase your metabolism. We will be investigating the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and how your body stores fat.
So what is metabolism then? -Metabolism is a very complicated process within your body, but to describe it simply, it is the process by which your body breaks down food and converts it into energy that your body then uses for all of your vital functions. So, if you think about this the old adage ìYou are what you eatî is really true since the foods you eat are metabolized and used to provide the energy that makes the new cells, that make up you!
When the metabolic process is going on in your body, the energy produced can be used right away or stored for later use. If it is stored, it becomes fat so, as you can see, if you are taking in more energy than you need, you are going to be putting on some extra weight. While the process is a lot more complex that that and involves hormones and other factors, the simple fact is that taking in more energy (or food) than your body needs to burn to maintain itself is going to result in excess pounds.
Your body needs a certain amount of energy in order to keep everything running smoothly. This is usually measured as the amount of energy your body needs to maintain itself while at rest and is called your Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR.
If you have a high BMR, consider yourself lucky as you will be able to eat a bit more food without gaining weight. If you have a low BMR, then every thing you eat might seem to go right to your hips. While genetics has a lot to do with your metabolic rate, there are some things you can do to speed it up.
The calories you burn while doing any activity, including doing nothing, is directly affected by the amount of muscle you have on your body. So, if you build muscle, you will raise your metabolism and since you are burning more calories doing the same things you did before you will be able to eat more – or, If you want to lose weight, eat the same and the extra energy your body needs will be taken from your fat stores.
Eat Smaller Meals
Eating smaller meals and more of them is another way to boost your metabolism. You see, your body is designed to eat like a caveman and back then it was feast or famine. There would be a plethora of food available after a hunt, but then you could go days without anything but a few berries.
In order to survive, nature made our bodies so that the metabolism would slow down when food is not plentiful. So, eating many smaller meals will give your body the signal that there is plenty of food so it can feel free to rev up the engines. The other advantage is that it also takes energy to digest food so by eating more meals, you will actually be expending more energy and there will be less left over to store as fat.
So, as you can see, metabolism is a critical process in our survival and is actually programmed to work in a way that isnít necessarily the best for modern times. However, if you understand how to eat so that your body makes the best use of the energy then you will have an important weapon for battling those extra pounds.
What Should you Eat In Order To Increase Your Metabolism?
Losing weight can be hard work, but one way to make it a little easier is to boost your metabolism. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to be stuck with a ìslowî metabolism and there are little things you can do to help speed it up and, therefore, burn more calories during the day.
Building more muscle
You’ve probably heard that one of those things is to build more muscle mass since it takes more energy to fuel muscle and fat and the way to do this is by beefing up your weightlifting program. However, you can also help give your metabolism of boost by eating certain types of foods and making sure you eat several small meals a day.
Your metabolism is the furnace for your body and when you starve yourself by skipping breakfast or any other meal, it goes into conservation mode and burns less calories overall. So, what you want to do is eat several small meals during the day which will keep your metabolism burning at a steady rate. If you do this, plus watch what you eat, you’ll actually be able to eat more while burning more calories.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
The foods you want to stick to include fruits and vegetables along with legumes and whole grains. You have to be careful with the fruits though because if you eat them in between meals your body will probably just turn them into fat as they are easy to digest. Eating foods that are high in fiber will help you to lose weight and several ways because they are digested slowly and therefore reduce your sugar cravings. High fiber foods will also actually encourage your body to absorb less fat because they bind with fat and help to escort it out of the body before your body can store it on your hips.
There are actually some foods that take more calories to digest than are actually in the food itself. These are great foods for weight loss since eating lots of them will help to boost your metabolism and can go a long way to helping you burn more than you ingest. Some of these foods include broccoli, zucchini, asparagus and cauliflower.
Avoid Saturated Fats
It’s best to avoid saturated fats because they are just too easy for your body to turn into fat. In fact, for every 100 calories of fat you eat, your body only needs to use 2 calories to store it. On the other hand, for every 100 calories of complex carbohydrates are proteins you eat, your body needs to use 25 calories to store it. So, you can see why most diet plans have you reduce fat, it’s not just because fat has a lot of calories but also because your body needs to burn less calories to process it.
Now there is one kind of fat that you do want to eat and that is omega-3 fatty acids. These can be found in cold water fish like salmon as well as flax seeds. Most people like to get their omega 3s from flax seed oil because almost all the salmon you find today is tainted with mercury and the flax seeds themselves need to be ground up in order to be useful so buying the oil is an easier and less toxic way to make sure you get enough of this important fat.
Herbs and Spices to boost your metabolism
There are also some herbs and spices that can help boost your metabolism. Ginseng and Gotu Kola are two of these and you’ve probably heard of ephedra which is actually a combination of herbs and is said to help boost metabolism. In addition, a lot of the “hot” spices like ginger and cayenne pepper are said to speed up your metabolism when eaten.
Generally, eating a nutritious diet and making sure to eat steadily throughout the day will help give your metabolism a little boost which can make your weight loss efforts a lot easier.