Do you remember as a teenager, you could easily chug down 1-2 overloaded burgers, cheese fries, a glass of soda? And you still had room for some more. What’s astonishing is you & your stomach would forget about this ravenous meal the next day.
But if you’re way past your teenage, then just the thought of eating all this is enough to displease your body’s Metabolic Gods. So much that the metabolic activity can sense ‘foodsome’ thoughts & arrest its activity.
Metabolism – in simple words, is your body’s chemical process to break down food into energy. You can call it a food-to-energy-converting machine. The catch is, this machine doesn’t operate at the same rate in every individual. It varies depending on factors such as age, gender, genes, etc.
When the metabolism operates at its optimum capacity, more calories are burnt. And when it’s slow, your body stores more fat mass. What makes slowed down metabolism even worse is- it becomes an ideal condition to invite lifestyle diseases. Such as diabetes, thyroid, PCOD & cardiac diseases. And as a consequence, you spend the rest of your life grappling with these diseases.
But the positive news is that these diseases can be kept under control with a few lifestyle corrections. Want to know what these corrections are? Read on to find out.
Sit Less, Stand More, Walk More
We sit & drive to work. We sit in front of laptop screens all day. We sit & drive back home. We sit to unwind & Netflix. And then we sit some more. Do you see a pattern here?
We spend most of the day sitting. And move very little. The nature of our lives is getting more & more sedentary. So much that there’s little to no movement. Because we hardly use our bodies. And this makes it the most welcoming invitation to lifestyle diseases as well as low metabolism.
The more you sit, the easier it becomes for your body to adapt to reduced movement. This phenomenon results into 👇🏽
Slow Metabolism →Fewer Calories Burnt → Sluggish Digestion → Weight Gain
Research suggests that when you break long sitting hours, with movement, you’re rewarded with improved metabolism. That’s because, when you move, your body is signaled into upping the metabolism & burning more calories.
But how can you reintroduce movement when you mostly sit through the day? Some simple (yet smart) ways to move more are:
- Skip the elevator, take the stairs.
- Invest in a standing work desk.
- Step out to buy your groceries from the store, don’t order in.
- Help your partner in household chores.
- When you’re on a call, walk & talk.
- Stand up and stretch in between online meetings.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Our dependency on artificial stimulants is getting out of hand. Honestly, can you imagine yourself getting through the day without a few cups of tea, coffee, soda & the likes? Whether it’s a single cup or multiple, you gotta admit that they’ve become our comfort drinks. And we “feel” they give us the kick to get through the day.
Though these drinks ‘seem’ harmless, the truth is they’re loaded with sugar & caffeine. That dehydrates the body.
It’s time you save your body from dehydration bouts. And just sip plain water throughout the day. Research says drinking enough water, improves your metabolism by 25%. And ramps up the body’s calories burning process. Without enough hydration, your body’s metabolic system falters.
Let’s just call water the secret elixir for excellent metabolism!
But hey are you someone who forgets to drink water? Use technology then. Download an app that reminds you to drink water.
Get Adequate Sleep
With a new OTT platform popping up every other day, it’s getting more & more easy to postpone your bedtime. Heard yourself say, “just one more episode”… which turns into just one more season. While it’s absolutely fine to indulge in some screen time every now & then, know that doing it every night is hazardous.
When you don’t sleep enough, your body suffers from “metabolic grogginess”. It’s a term coined by researchers at the University of Chicago. It essentially means that sleep deprivation makes your metabolism lazy. And results in more fat colonies residing in your body. That adds pounds to your weight.
If you want an enviable metabolism & a smaller waist circumference, sleep for 7-8 hours every night. It’s non-negotiable. The key is to Inculcate sleep hygiene, the guiding step to excellent metabolic health.
Here’s one more reason to sleep well (and enough):
Have you noticed when you’ve not slept well, the next day you end up feeling cranky & foggy? In this disoriented state of mind, you’ll most likely end up choosing comfort foods that are high in calories & carbs. And after gorging on junk, you immediately go on a guilt trip. Furthermore even have an inner dialogue, “Oh I shouldn’t have eaten that. Why do I lack self-control?”
Zzzzz is the ultimate solution to up your metabolism, shed extra kilos & keep cravings at bay.
Eat More Protein
Our body weight comprises fat weight & lean body weight. If you want to lose weight (which happens by speeding up the metabolism) then you’ve to increase the lean bodyweight & reduce fat mass. A surefire way to increase lean weight is by increasing muscle mass. This happens when you eat enough protein & weight train. Though protein may not directly help you increase metabolism, it definitely increases lean weight.
Protein is one of the most promising metabolism-boosting foods.
Now here’s the thing about protein – our body cannot store protein like other nutrients. Once its need is fulfilled, the excess protein gets converted to energy or fat. Since protein can’t be stored in the body for future requirements, you must make it a part of your everyday diet. And give a constant impetus to your metabolic system to keep running.
Irrespective of whether you’re a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, there are enough sources of protein. If you live in Germany check out this post where I have listed down a variety of protein sources that you can find in the German Supermarkets.
💡Ensure that 25%-45% of your daily calorie intake is from protein.
As we age, our lean body weight does down because we lose muscle. And gain fat mass. This happens as the body ages & the metabolism slows down. But the good news is that you can slow down this by exercising regularly.
When you exercise, your heart rate goes up, the metabolism shoots & you burn more calories. In fact, you continue to burn calories even after you’ve completed working out.
That being said, one exercise mistake that many people make is- they stick to only one kind of exercise. Either they’ll only do cardio or just weight train. To make the most of your workout, you must include a variety of workouts. Your exercise regime should help to improve your stability, stamina, strength & flexibility. Plan your week by including cardio, weight training, pilates, HIIT, etc.
This will keep the exercise boredom away & keep the metabolism stimulated too.
Aren’t these lifestyle corrections very doable metabolism boosters? All it requires is sincere self-effort & discipline. This investment is truly worth the manifold returns of a healthy body.
Out of the 5 suggested steps, which one are you going to include in your everyday life? Share them in the comments.