Can you speed up your metabolism? This is the million-dollar question that plagues people and literally affords the diet industry billions of dollars in profits every year. According to Web Md, and weight loss market research firms, around 80% of the population is striving to lose weight. And most people, don’t blame their extra donut around the middle or the 10-pound per year weight gain on poor lifestyle habits or poor choices, but on their ‘slow metabolism.’
This is precisely why so many diet industry products boast that they can speed up your metabolism and help you to lose weight fast! Some even claim that by taking their supplements you can literally eat anything you want, and your body will burn off the fat and calories so fast – without you making a change, that you will lose tons of weight. And then of course, there are shows like the Dr. Oz Show, that are constantly introducing some miracle food, or berry, or shake, or exotic fruit, or combination of foods that will help to boost your metabolism. Sadly, the amount of mis-information in regard to speeding up the metabolism is grotesque. Maybe, this article will help.
Can you speed up your metabolism? The answer is YES.
But before you do, you need to understand what your metabolism is and how it works.
Plainly put your metabolism is the amount of energy that your body burns. Energy meaning calories. For every single person, their metabolic rate is different, because the metabolism depends on literally dozens and dozens of factors. Such as age, amount of muscle versus fat, hormone function, and balance, chemical compounds in the brain and body etc. In other words, nearly every physiological function of your body ways your metabolism in one way or another.
One great example of this is the thyroid. If you have an undiagnosed, under active thyroid chances are you will find it damn near impossible to lose weight even while cutting calories and increasing your amount of aerobic exercise. According to WebMd, 7 out of every 10 people have a medical condition that affects their metabolism. So the obvious first step if you are trying to lose weight and increase the amount of energy your body burns, is to visit with a doctor and have some routine blood work done. Even a deficiency in a vital vitamin or nutrient can deter your metabolism from working properly. And so, can excess amounts of stress.
The next thing, or should we say, the next most natural thing to boost your metabolism to start exercising and eating right. The better condition your body is in, the more muscle mass you have compared to fat, the more efficient your body will be at burning calories. Muscle burns calories tenfold over fat. You have to move. The more your body is in motion, the more you sweat, the better your heart works – the faster your body will burn energy and the faster your metabolism will be. This is not a one-week cure. Exercise, to keep your metabolism working at optimum levels should be a lifestyle choice. One of the reasons that many people have a slower metabolism as they age is because they greatly reduce the amount of time they spend moving and exercising. Age, will naturally slow down your metabolism, as lean muscle is easily lost during the aging process. However, this can all be naturally off set by remaining active.
You also have to eat. Starvation diets, pills that curb your appetite, and extremely reduced caloric intake actually slow down your metabolism. While you might see some weight loss in the beginning, eventually, your body will go into starvation mode and will hand on to every ounce of fat that you have. You may find that you will eat less and gain more. The key is to eat 5 smaller meals per day, and eat foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Excess sugar foods such as starches and sugars – will throw your insulin levels off and again, will destroy your metabolism. Remember this one thing! When you eat, you actually kick-start your metabolism. If you don’t eat all day – or eat one meal all day long, your body will be sluggish in starvation mode, and will not burn the calories that you have consumed.
Of course, you also want to know if some of the hype about metabolic boosters are real, right? Essentially, protein foods are metabolism uppers. Because they take more work for your body to digest, they do tend to temporarily boost your metabolism. One small study in Exercise Magazine, also showed that red pepper temporarily boosted the metabolism of men and women when eaten after a meal. And green tea, also called EGCG, has also been studied, and proven to provide a metabolic boost. These stimulants have the same affect as caffeine on the body, and although they may not lead to long lasting weight loss – they CAN help to increase your metabolic rate.
In the end, slow and steady wins the race to increasing your metabolism. Eating a well balanced diet, exercising every day for 30 minutes to increase the heart rate, increasing muscle mass, and having routine check ups with your doctors to look for silent metabolism busters are the key to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight.