Metabolism or metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories to provide energy for the body function. Even if you are not doing anything at all, you still need energy and this is called resting metabolic rate (RMR) or basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Your body metabolism is influence by:
- Age – After 40 yrs of age, your metabolism decrease by 5% for every increase in age by 10 years.
- Gender – Men have higher metabolism because they have more muscle mass.
- Heredity – Genetic influences
- Thyroid disease – Low thyroid hormone will lead to lower metabolic rate. You will need medication of thyroxine to regulate metabolic rate.
You can find out how much is your resting metabolic rate by using the BMR calculator
High metabolic rate boost your energy level and increase your vitality. Here are 6 ways you can maximize your metabolic rate:
1) Eat frequent small meals
Extending the time between meals force the body to go into starvation mode. The body reduce metabolic rate to conserve energy. Therefore, skipping meals does not help you burn calories and lose weight. By eating frequent small meals you are less likely to overeat in the next meal.
2) Eat breakfast
If you don’t eat breakfast, your body has been without food for about 12-16 hrs. This sends the body into conservation mode and slows down metabolic rate. The importance of breakfast is covered in my earlier post
3) Drink cold water
Drinking 2 liters of water burns 96 calories. When you drink cold water, the body burns more calories to warm up the water into body temperature. Reducing water intake by 5% will decrease the energy level by 25-30%. Find out the importance of water from my earlier post.
Get active and exercise. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercises are good for increasing metabolic rate. Aerobic exercise improves your cardio while anaerobic exercise burns fat. If you can’t find the time to go the gym, you can build exercise into your daily activities. Use the stairs instead of lifts and elevators. Aim for at least 30 min of exercise every day.
5) Build more muscle with weight training
1 pound of muscle in the body burns 30-50 calories/day. But, 1 pound of fat burns only 3 calories/day. Therefore, increase the muscle mass in your body will increase the metabolic rate.
6) Food for fuel
There is no “fat-burning-food”. But food with protein and high fiber require more energy to digest than fatty food. So, eating protein and high fiber food increases your metabolic rate.
Unhealthy food choices contribute to the lack of energy. Sugar and sugar substitute is the main culprit. A large sugar load during lunch gives an initial quick energy boost but rapidly decline and make you feel sleepy. Examples of sugar are white rice, pasta, white bread, and noodles.
7) Supplements for energy
These supplements help the cells to convert food into energy. Except for green tea, they can be found in high concentration in meat, poultry and fish.
- Co-enzyme Q
- NADH ( nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide )
- Green tea
How is your energy level? If they are low, try out these ways to boost your metabolic rate and energy.
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