Metabolism is a set of life-sustaining bio-chemical processes that facilitate the conversion of food to energy. The rate differs from one person to another and is the deciding factor for a number of health conditions. For instance, the rate at which your body converts food to energy (and burns calories) can directly affect how you lose or gain weight and how much you are at risk for metabolic disorders such as diabetes and heart diseases. Although it depends to a significant extent on your age, genetic pattern, and body size, you can actually speed up this process. All you need to do is make a few positive lifestyle changes. Here are five ways you can give your metabolism a natural boost:
1. Sleep in a Cooler Room
Wear loose clothing and use only light sheets for covering your body while sleeping at night. Sleeping in a temperature-controlled environment will help you activate your brown fat deposits, a kind of ‘good fat’ that actually burns calories to produce body heat. Brown fat also helps you burn other fat and increases your metabolic rate.
Chuck note: advising readers to set their air conditioners to such a low temperature is not a feasible piece of advice.
2. Beat the Stress
Stress may not only cause you to binge on the wrong kind of food, but also slows down your body’s ability to burn calories. Studies have shown that people, especially women, tend to burn 104 fewer calories (per day? Per week? More information needed here) when stressed out. This deficit may translate into a weight gain of more than 10 pounds (over what period of time?) More information needed here). Stress speeds up the release of cortisol, the hormone associated with the slowing down of metabolism, which increases your risk for obesity in the long run. Spend more time doing whatever you love to do to lower the stress level.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting a good night’s sleep may increase the secretion of cortisol, which in turn affects your metabolic rate. Hitting the bed early is not enough; you need to have a sound, corrective sleep to perk up the metabolism rate.
4. Indulge in Spicy Food
Know what? Hot and spicy food can give you a slimmer waistline. Capsaicin, a substance found in chilies, can speed up fat loss. In addition, pungent foods like mustard, wasabi, and horseradish, which are rich in a chemical called isothiocyanate, may add to your mass of brown fat, subsequently speeding up the metabolic rate. A delicious route to flatter abs, isn’t it?
5. Drink (a little) More Coffee
… or tea, hot or iced. Caffeine consumption can increase your metabolism, but don’t go overboard. Do not forget to avoid caffeinated beverages with too much milk and sugar.
Worried about rapid weight gain? Afraid of getting diabetes as the ‘family heirloom’? Stressed out about the health of your heart? Simply keep a tab on your metabolism and prevent your waistline from getting out of shape. Our tips will come in handy with keeping your metabolism on the top gear.