This is no wonder metabolism is such a big thing: It’s a process that turns the food you eat into fuel, and powers everything that you do. “Even when you’re sleeping, your body requires energy for things like breathing and repairing cell damage,” Donald Hensrud, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, tells Health. Something important to remember, though: Your metabolism is not 100% under your control. There are a bunch of different things that go into making your metabolism what it is, like your body type, gender, and age, and you have zero sway over those. Still, you can rev up your metabolism each day with some healthy habits. Here’s what you can do to give your metabolism a kick in the pants.
Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions that happen in the body. These chemical reactions are important for the functioning of your body. The term is often used interchangeably with metabolic rate, which is the number of calories you burn. The higher the metabolic rate, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose.
There are certain foods that can help you burn more calories. The process of chewing, digesting and storing the food requires your body to burn calories. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It only makes up for about 5 -10 per cent of your daily calorie expenditure. High protein foods are more difficult to digest and support the growth of muscle mass if you are strength training. Fibre also needs to be chewed harder and takes energy to break down. Adding spices to your food is another way to slightly boost the body temperature to burn more calories.
When you run, swim, or bike, increase the intensity of your pace for 30-second intervals, before returning to your normal speed after. This will help you take in more oxygen and make your mitochondria, your cell powerhouses, work harder to burn energy, Mark Hyman, MD, an integrative and functional medicine specialist in private practice in Lenox, Massachusetts, and author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss, tells Health. A nice perk of this move: You can exercise for less time than usual and still see great results.
Without any doubt, exercise is the most effective way to boost your metabolism. An intense workout can rev up your metabolic engine for hours even after a session. Even if you are new to physical activity, there are lots of benefits to gain by working out even as a beginner. Resistance training that helps in building muscles is helpful in long-term metabolism-boosting effects. Even basic workouts help build strength, burn calories and improve your health.
Trans fats aren’t just bad for your heart—they also slow down your body’s ability to burn fat. Eating trans fat can cause insulin resistance, when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin and can’t easily take up glucose from your blood, and inflammation, and both of those can mess with your metabolism.