Finding the best ways to boost your metabolism can increase the quality of your life in many ways. The functionality and efficiency of your metabolism plays a huge role in your overall health. An improperly functioning metabolism can cause a series of cascading ailments and illnesses. In fact, metabolic rates that are too slow can lead to things like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke. You have complete control over you metabolism so embrace your health and continue reading on how to take control.
What Is Metabolism?
Understanding metabolism is the key to unlocking its potential. According to nutritional experts, metabolism is defined as:
“the chemical reactions which take place while living organisms maintain their living state.”
In simpler terms, metabolism helps control the inner workings of your body by supporting its most vital systems. Divided into two distinct categories, metabolism functions in an extremely efficient way:
- Anabolism – the body’s precise synthesis of compounds needs for cellular growth and maintenance.
- Catabolism – the body’s resourceful breakdown of energy-dense molecules.
Anabolism and catabolism are both sub-functions of metabolism, but all three are closely tied to the foods you eat. In fact, inadequate nutrition and the subsequent unavailability of nutrients can cause a person’s metabolism to slow down, malfunction or even reverse.
Nutrition and Metabolism: Understanding the Connection
The foods you eat directly affect your metabolism. Nutrients get absorbed by the body during digestion. This activates your metabolic pathways to break down the carb-rich molecules in the food for energy. That energy, often measured in calories, is then used for things like cellular maintenance, protein synthesis and the production of DNA and RNA.
Basically, your metabolism is like an internal factory, complete with a production facility and assembly line. The essential nutrients from your food supply vital energy to the factory, giving it the chemicals it needs but cannot produce on its own. In short, your metabolism is responsible for the construction, maintenance and repair of bodily tissues, but it needs the right nutrients to get the job done.
Although every person is different, metabolic nutrition requirements are relatively similar across the board. In general, the body needs things like oxygen, carbon, iron, vitamin D and phosphorus to function properly. There are over 20 other vitamins, minerals and compounds needed by the human body. Many of these nutrients are ONLY supplied through the carbohydrates, proteins and lipids found in foods and beverages. A metabolism supplied with the right nutrients is one that works in tandem with the rest of your body.
10 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism
Metabolic rates aren’t that difficult to understand, nor are the effects of a sped-up metabolism. Your BMR, or basal metabolic rate, describes the minimum amount of energy required by your body to complete its necessary chemical processes. Once you grasp how that works, manipulating your metabolic rate through nutrition will be much easier.
A person’s BMR typically accounts for about 2/3 of their body’s daily energy requirements. However, this figure depends on a person’s age, weight and lifestyle. A “slow” metabolism could therefore be more accurately defined as a low BMR.
According to modern-day nutritional experts, there are at least 10 foods that speed up metabolism. Below is a list of those foods and a brief explanation about what they do to your body once consumed:
Blueberries are packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants. These free-radical antioxidants erase oxidative stress to promote muscle growth, support weight loss and reduce the risk of many diseases. Unlike most foods on this list, blueberries can be added to almost any dish or turned into a beverage.
Almonds are considered a “super food” for a very good reason. First of all, they’re packed with essential vitamins and minerals, plus they’re low in fat and high in good cholesterol.
This delicious fish is nutrient dense, with incredible amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, phosphorus and other vital minerals that optimize metabolic efficiency to support proper brain and body functioning.
Leafy green veggies like spinach, cabbage and kale provide more nutrients than any other food. Regular spinach consumption accounts for a significant reduction in numerous life-threatening diseases. Adding spinach to your favorite dish is also one of the best ways to boost metabolism.
Oats are not only packed with fiber but they’re also a terrific source of protein and carbohydrates. Both nutrients speed up metabolism by supporting proper digestion and nutrient distribution.
The world’s favorite clear liquid cleanses the body of harmful toxins, free radicals and fat cells. Studies have show drinking hot water in the morning will cause your metabolism to speed up.
Turkey and Chicken
White meats are naturally low in fat but high in things like protein, folic acid, zinc and phosphorus – nutrients that are primarily responsible for energy synthesis and cellular maintenance.
Commonly used in diet products, green tea is one of the most delicious and versatile foods that increase metabolism. Rich in antioxidants and brimming with caffeine, this tasty beverage only needs to be consumed in small amounts for big results.
Due to their density of a metabolism-boosting chemical called capsaicin, peppers of all sorts can help increase your metabolic rate. Especially when the peppers are spicy, your metabolism gets boosted significantly without a bunch of unnecessary calories or fat.
Whey protein is chalk full of essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Enhanced consumption of whey can speed up your metabolism if it’s paired with the right habits.
While good nutrition may be the best metabolism booster, there are certain lifestyle choices you can make as well. A well-rounded routine is the best way to boost metabolism and reap the benefits for the long-term.
The Top 5 Ways to Increase Metabolism
You may be asking yourself, “How can I boost my metabolism with lifestyle changes if my metabolism is directly linked to my nutrition?” That’s not only a valid question but also the reason why so many people fail to permanently alter their metabolic rate. To truly take advantage of the way your body works, a multi-directional approach is important.
Get started on your way to a boosted metabolism with these 5 simple tips and tricks:
1. Spruce Up Your Diet
You might enjoy eating the same foods every day but your body certainly doesn’t appreciate it. Did you know that it’s possible for your body to become accustomed to receiving certain vitamins and minerals, making your metabolism go into a “lazy” mode (a.k.a. slow down)? Perk it back up with some new foods. Start by adding some of the items from the list above to your favorite dishes.
2. Get Moving
Even at rest, studies have shown that people who are physically active on a regular basis have a better metabolic rate on average than those that aren’t active. It’s recommended that adults participate in at least 20-30 minutes of high-energy activity each day. Start out slow to avoid injuries then gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise.
3. Count Plenty of Sheep
Research on the connection between sleep and metabolism has turned up some surprising findings. According to data from the National Library of Medicine, sleep deprivation and sleep disruptions have a significant effect on metabolic functionality. Circadian rhythm imbalances are believed to be a primary cause of metabolic dysregulation. In some instances this can lead to rather serious health problems.
4. Remember that Your Mood Matters
A low BMR, or slow metabolism, can make you feel tired, fatigued and short on energy. On top of that, it can contribute to the development of depression, anxiety, mood swings and other temperament disorders. Furthermore, the subsequent chemical and hormonal imbalance can make it difficult to regulate your disposition. So by using natural ways to boost metabolism, you will improve your mood and enjoy a better quality of life.
5. Drink Some Caffeine
As a powerful stimulant, caffeine will simultaneously boost your metabolic speed and digestive processes temporarily. This is why it’s a common ingredient in many fat-burning products and weight loss supplements.
As it turns out, your lifestyle choices matter just as much as your eating habits. A well-balanced diet is only effective at boosting your metabolism if it’s paired with the right daily routine. If your nutrition and physical activity do not seem to affect the speed of your metabolism in any way despite your best efforts, contact a doctor right away.
The Final Verdict: Food VS Lifestyle
There are numerous ways to increase metabolism rates, some natural and some with the help of synthetic products. However, the safest and most effective ways to speed up metabolism are centered on proper nutrition, adequate physical activity, ample sleep and balanced hormones. Its hard to say whether food or lifestyle contribute more to a person’s metabolic rate. Generally, they work together equally.
A person’s normal BMR is based primarily on their age, sex, race and other genetic factors. Diet and lifestyle habits are considered as well, but the importance of each is determined by an individual’s unique physical characteristics. Therefore, it’s fair to say that nutrition and routine play equal roles in the speed and efficiency of anyone’s metabolism.
You should be able to boost your metabolism almost immediately without the need for supplements by combining a well-balanced diet with an active lifestyle and an adequate sleep.