Advocate Sahni had always wondered as to what kept him putting on weight while his friends who did less physical work than him and ate more were relatively fit. All that running between the courts and taking of stairs instead of using the lift seemed to go in vain together with the morning walk he had taken up lately. His practice was getting better by the day and his family life was happy as well, but what kept him worried was his increasing weight because he was fully aware that if he kept piling up weight the same way, he would start developing ailments associated with obesity though he was far from obese. He shared his worries with his daughter, who, being a doctor, could readily understand that her father’s problem was slow metabolic rate.
It is easy to have your body overloaded with fat. All you have to do is keep eating and pay as little attention as possible to losing weight and in a matter of months you would be lugging yourself around. But bad eating habits coupled with sedentary lifestyles are not the only culprits. A substantial portion of blame rests with slow metabolic rate as well. Metabolism, to put in layman’s language, is the rate at which body turns food into energy. It follows that if the metabolic rate of the body is slow, one would feel sluggish due to slow conversion of food into energy.
Slow metabolic rate contributes to weight gain. Conversely, high metabolic rate burns calories quickly and helps reduce weight quickly and effortlessly. Therefore, if you wish to lose weight, apart from exercising and taking balanced diet, you must pay attention to increasing your metabolic rate.
While exercising burns calories while you are working out, a high metabolic rate ensures that you are exhausting calories even when you are doing your normal work. The next logical question is what makes the metabolic rate pick up. The answer lies in understanding why would the body need more energy in lesser period of time. Body needs energy to keep working. So, if you have less muscles and more fat, you are burning fewer calories because calories are burnt by muscle activity. Therefore, stronger muscles ensure high calorie burn.
On the other hand, if you have a great deal of fat on your body and slow metabolic rate, you have more weight to carry around and less energy to do it. Slow metabolic rate means that at the end of the day there would still be some food that is still in the process of being converted to energy. The surplus available to the body would be stored up adding to the fat content in your body. It is this circle of surplus that makes one progressively gather girth.
Therefore, one of the ways to boost your metabolic rate is to build muscles. However, this is not a formula fit for everyone because if you are too heavy and start weight training all of a sudden with heavy weights, it may do more harm than good. So, before you start building muscles, do take the advice of an expert regarding how you should go about it. Increasing muscle mass is a good idea but such an endeavour must be balanced with good deal of cardiovascular exercises. Cardio exercises would ensure that you not only have a stronger heart and better blood circulation, but would also bring sufficient flexibility to the muscles and bones, which, in turn, would save you from getting injured easily.
Ideal exercise regimen for the purpose of speeding up metabolism would comprise of both cardiovascular exercises and weight training. But the ratio of the two has to be in accordance with your physical constitution, which is why it is important that you consult an expert before starting off.
In the normal course you could begin with moderate exercise. An hour of simple walking can burn around 200 calories. So, the morning stroll around the park would help you burn some calories. It is a good beginning. Coupled with a bit of stretching and spot running, it could be quite beneficial in terms of burning calories and boosting your metabolic rate.
If you like playing, you could play football because one and a half hour of football game would use up around 600 calories. And if you like dancing, you could try that too. 45 minutes of swinging and swaying could take some 450 calories.
Gardening too helps, as an hour of gardening would take 300 calories or so. If you are fond of riding, it can burn some 70 calories in an hour at a moderate pace of 10 mph.
The abovementioned are just moderate exercises to start your exercise regimen. One needs a properly and carefully planned regimen to boost one’s metabolic rate, for which expert advice would be necessary.
Breakfast has an important role to play in terms of metabolic rate because a healthy breakfast not only supplies essential nutrients to the body right at the start of the day but also gives an instant start to the metabolic activity in the morning. So, with a good breakfast your metabolism is up and about early in the day. This is also one of the reasons why those who eat a healthy breakfast have fewer weight and health issues compared to those who pay little attention to the most important meal of the day.
There are certain kinds of foods that have been found to be effective in boosting metabolic rate. High protein diet consisting of lean chicken, turkey, lamb, etc. is quite helpful. In addition to that, you may also take vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, lettuce and garlic. It has also been found that hot chilli peppers contain capsaicin, which is a substance known for boosting the metabolic rate by as much as 50% for around three hours.
Some of the researches have is found that certain dairy products are also helpful in boosting metabolic rate, particularly those that are rich in calcium like low fat cheese, fresh eggs, skimmed milk, etc.
Green tea is known to speed up the metabolism by as much as 10%, but that happens when you consume around 3 to 4 cups of green tea everyday.
In order to boost your metabolic rate it is advisable that the abovementioned measures are taken in a planned manner. Taking one step forward and then doing little further for days would not help. Therefore, plan your diet and also your exercise regimen in consultation with a fitness expert and go easy on it in the beginning, but persist with the measures. And soon enough you would be fitter than you thought you could be.
Note: This is not a piece of authoritative medical opinion or advice