One of the real sticking points when it comes to losing weight is the problem of a slow metabolism. This makes the task doubly difficult because if your body is not burning enough of the calories it is consuming, then you simply will not lose any and may even gain a few pounds despite being on a low calorie diet. So how can you turn this situation around and increase your metabolic rate?
What is Metabolism?
Firstly, let’s take a high level view of what metabolism is and how it affects the way your body looks. Simply put, your metabolism is the rate at which your body uses up the energy that it gets from whatever you consume as food or drinks. A relatively normal metabolism will be in balance and a person in this state will neither gain nor lose weight because their body is using as much energy as it is getting. When you are at your correct weight, this is the state of balance that you want to find yoruself in and stay in. But not everybody enjoys such a welcoming condition.
Those who have a very fast metabolic rate but who do not work out often will tend to look thin and wiry, be able to eat a mountain of food and simply not gain an ounce. These people are in the minority, but it seems that most people who are the opposite knows one or more people like this and probably hates that they can eat so much and still be so thin!
A much larger proportion of the population has a slower metabolic rate and is prone to gaining weight if they eat something that pushes their day’s calorie intake above a certain level. That level will be different for different people and will be individual to you. That means there are no set rules on how many calories you can eat in a day that will apply to everyone in your office or home.
As an individual, its necessary that you get a personalized assessment of what your specific daily calorie intake should be and you get that from a professional nutritionist or dietitian, or in some cases your doctor if they have expertise in that area. This figure will represent how many calories you personally need to consume via your daily diet to maintain a healthy weight. It has to be personalized because while you may have exactly the same physical appearance as someone you know, your lifestyles may be different and your activity levels may be different.
But most importantly, your metabolisms will probably be different.
Increasing a Slow Metabolism
The best way to naturally boost your metabolism is by getting plenty of daily exercise and activity. This may be something you hate to hear, but its a pretty sure thing. Exercise forces your muscles to work and when they work they consume energy. They get that energy from the sugars in your bloodstream and it gets there from the food you eat and primarily the amount of sugars that are in that food or liquid.
Most people’s diets consist of foods and drinks that contain high levels of refined sugar or sucrose, which the body can’t use directly. There are other sugars such as fructose (including high fructose corn syrup), dextrose and a whole host of others that are outside the scope of this article to go into in any great detail. Save it to say that what we will call “sugars” will be a composite of sucrose, which the body has to break it down into glucose for the muscles to use, and “other sugars”.
Unless our bodies are physically working hard, the chances are we will not use up all the sugars that are coming in, so the excess will get stored as fat for later use. This is a situation we do not want, as the levels of stored fat will keep on increasing and our weight will go up in comparison. But by doing more exercise, we can burn more of those sugars and get to the point where we are burning more than we consume. That’s when our bodies are forced to make up the shortfall from the store of fat, leading to us achieving our realistic weight loss goals.
When you exercise regularly and often, your metabolism will naturally increase as your body gets used to the increased workload. When that happens, it becomes more efficient at burning the sugars it gets from its diet and will consume more calories regularly as you lose weight and also tone up your physical appearance, thanks to the stronger and more defined muscle structure.
That’s as well as may be, but what about someone who can’t get so much exercise every day? How do they increase their metabolism?
Metabolism Boosting Foods
You can boost your metabolism through your diet alone, although it is still recommended that you get as much exercise as you can to maximize the process. Eating a diet that rich in foods high in protein and low in carbohydrates and refined sugars is the best and most natural way to boost your metabolic rate. Cut out things like bread, pasta, pie, donuts, cookies… okay, you should know the ones that you should cut out by now if you’ve been following this blog for any length of time!
Include things like lean meat, fish, egg whites, nuts, seeds and pulses, fresh vegetables and fruit. You probably should be selective with the latter two items, as most fruits and vegetables are high in carbohydrates, but some of these are permissible in moderate quantities.
As an aside, eating raw vegetables where possible will stimulate a higher calorie burn rate because your body has to work harder to digest them!
Drinking caffeinated beverages (coffee and tea) also helps raise metabolism. A good idea is to drink green tea for weight loss as this also contains many additional health benefits as well as being a better metabolism booster than both black tea and coffee! However, do NOT drink certain caffeinated cola soft drinks or sports drinks because they are either heavy in sugar or heavy in artificial sweeteners which themselves have an adverse effect on your health and ability to lose weight.
As with all advice on this subject, please consult your doctor or medical professional before embarking on any specialized diet if you are in doubt about any aspect of it. This article was written exclusively for weightlossgo.com and is protected under international copyright against plagiarism. It may NOT be copied or reproduced on any other publication or medium under any circumstances. Thank you for your cooperation.