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How to Increase Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the chemical process by which the body converts the food you eat and drink into energy. The body needs this energy to function and allow you to go about your day-to-day activities.

It is also needed when the body is at rest, to perform tasks like breathing, circulating blood throughout the body and repairing cells.

Your metabolism is determined by several factors, such as genes, sex, age, hormone levels, body size and composition, and activity level. A slow or low metabolism can have a huge impact on your energy level, body weight and overall health.

Some causes of low metabolism are fasting, poor eating pattern, an unhealthy or low-calorie diet, lack of physical activity, snacking on sugary foods, drinking too many high-sugar drinks, poor or inadequate sleep, too much stress and accumulation of toxins in the body. Other key factors responsible for slow metabolism are conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism.

Some of the most common symptoms of slow metabolism are low blood pressure, slow pulse, fatigue, weakness, constipation, dry skin, high body fat and increased sensitivity to cold. Men usually have a higher metabolism rate than women.

If your metabolism rate is low, you can make some small lifestyle and dietary changes to increase it.

Here are the top 10 ways to increase your metabolism.

1. Green Tea

A small 1999 study done at the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that green tea raises metabolic rates and speeds up fat oxidation. This is due to the presence of powerful flavonoids and antioxidants in green tea. Additionally, green tea works as a stimulant to increase metabolism.

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves to a cup of hot water.
  2. Cover and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain and add a little honey.
  4. Drink 2 to 4 cups of green tea daily.

You can also take 300 to 400 mg capsules of green tea extract daily after consulting your doctor.

2. Oil Pulling

The ancient practice of oil pulling in Ayurveda is often recommended for detoxification of the body. It can also be used to increase metabolism and shed excess pounds. Oil pulling is inexpensive, harmless and easy to do.

  1. Put 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth.
  2. Swish it around your mouth for about 20 minutes.
  3. Spit it out, then brush your teeth.
  4. Do this daily in the morning, on an empty stomach.

Note: Do not gargle or swallow the oil.

3. Cayenne

Cayenne has a compound known as capsaicin that has a positive impact on thermogenesis, the process by which cells convert energy into heat. According to a 2008 study done at Aarhus University in Denmark, capsaicin consumption increases thermogenesis, which in turn boosts body temperature and metabolism.

  • Add cayenne pepper or cayenne powder in soups, salads or any of your favorite foods.
  • You can also take 1 cayenne capsule twice daily with food.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy to boost your metabolism rate, allowing you to burn calories more efficiently. It helps alkalize the body, thus preventing you from becoming too acidic.

  1. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
  2. Drink it each morning and before meals.
  3. Follow this routine daily.

Note: You can gradually increase the amount of apple cider vinegar to up to 2 tablespoons per day glass of water.

5. Warm Lemon Water

If you are trying to increase your metabolism, drinking a glass of warm lemon water will help a lot. It will alkalize your body and boost your metabolism.

Lemon water will also keep you hydrated and help fight hunger cravings. Plus, adding black pepper to your lemon water will boost your metabolism and assist in losing weight.

  1. Add the juice of ½ lemon to a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix in 1 teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder.
  3. Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
  4. Drink this daily to ignite your metabolism.

6. Ginger

Ginger has thermogenic qualities, meaning when consumed it can slightly increase body temperature. This helps increase your metabolic rate. Plus, ginger helps increase the feeling of satisfaction so that you eat less and burn calories faster.

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger root to 1 cup of boiling water.
  2. Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Strain and add honey.
  4. Sip a cup of this tea slowly 2 or 3 times daily.

You can even chew a small piece of fresh ginger root or take ginger capsules after consulting your doctor.

7. Increase Fluid Intake

Detox water cocktail

Drinking water and other healthy fluids can boost your metabolism and help your body burn fat more quickly.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking 500 ml water increases metabolic rate by 30 percent among healthy people. On the other hand, even mild dehydration will slow down metabolism.

  • Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.
  • Drink ice water 1 or 2 times a day.
  • Drink a few cups of herbal teas like chamomile tea, green tea, ginger tea, peppermint tea and others.
  • Include fresh fruit and vegetable juices in your diet.
  • Coconut water, low-fat milk, soy milk, yogurt, and fruits and vegetables with a high water content will also add to your fluid intake.

Note: Fluid requirements vary from person to person, so you need to adjust accordingly.

8. Get Vitamin D

enjoy sun

Vitamin D can speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight. Studies have shown that low vitamin D levels may lead to fat accumulation, which in turn lowers your metabolism rate.

Plus, vitamin D enhances intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc that are essential for a healthy body.

  • Expose your body to early morning sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes daily to help your body produce vitamin D.
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin D like fatty fish, fortified milk, liver and eggs.
  • You can also take a vitamin D supplement after consulting a doctor.

9. Follow a Healthy Eating Pattern

healthy eating

Along with eating healthy foods, it is essential to follow a healthy eating pattern to increase metabolism. Eating regular meals and healthy snacks supports your metabolism throughout the day.

  • Start your day with a healthy breakfast. A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that a high-fat breakfast can boost your metabolism and help your body burn more fat during the day.
  • Eat smaller meals frequently during the day instead of eating two large meals.
  • Eat healthy snacks in between meals.
  • If you are trying to lose weight, avoid indulging in heavy dinners. Also, eat dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed.

10. Exercise Daily

aerobic exercise

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism. When you exercise, your metabolic rate will increase. At the same time, exercise will keep your resting energy expenditure high during the recovery period.

  • Do 30 minutes of anaerobic exercises like push-ups, pull-ups and sprints daily.
  • Do 2 strength training sessions per week.
  • Do aerobic exercises like walking, running, swimming and cycling for about 30 minutes daily.

Additional Tips

  • Include oily fish like tuna and salmon in your diet.
  • Eat a diet rich in vitamins C and B, calcium, protein, iron and fiber.
  • Never skip breakfast.
  • Opt for organic foods in your diet because the toxicity from pesticides has been found to slow metabolism and encourage weight gain.
  • Do not wolf down your food.
  • Determine your calorie requirements and plan your diet accordingly. Calculate here.
  • Do not starve yourself as it can lower your metabolism drastically.
  • Do not take over-the-counter pills to boost metabolism.
  • Avoid stress as it raises the amount of cortisol in your body that can hamper the metabolism process.
  • Get enough sleep as lack of sleep can slow the metabolism, increase appetite and increase risks of obesity and weight gain.
  • Drink a cup of coffee daily as a small amount of caffeine can boost your metabolism by stimulating your central nervous system.

10 Simple Tips To Stay Slim, Hot and Healthy

Staying slim and fit is not only important for good looks but also for your overall health. To achieve this goal, you first need to determine your ideal body weight based on your gender, age, height, body frame and body type. There are a number of formulas to calculate it.

You can also calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) using your body weight and height to determine whether you are underweight, overweight or have an ideal weight. It is widely used and also recommended by the World Health Organization.

Here are the top 10 tips to stay slim, hot and healthy.

1. Stop Eating When Your Belly is 80{442d4b04535dfabd21af52c146084044e0d19bf5421a890770444f16695b2cf4} Full

eat until you are 80{442d4b04535dfabd21af52c146084044e0d19bf5421a890770444f16695b2cf4} full

Instead of binge eating until your buttons pop, go slow and only eat until your belly is 80{442d4b04535dfabd21af52c146084044e0d19bf5421a890770444f16695b2cf4} full. It will help you avoid overeating. Also, your stomach will perform better with more space to produce digestive juices and break down food.

Slow, mindful eating will help you sense your level of fullness. It takes about 20 minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full. Research indicates that eating slowly also enhances satiety. Plus, it allows you to better enjoy the flavor of the food.

Along with this, delve deeper into your eating habits to explore some basic diet rules like:

  • Eat only when you are hungry—not out of boredom, stress or loneliness. Remember the old saying, “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips!”
  • Do not eat food or drink a beverage on the go, such as drinking your coffee while driving to work. You end up consuming more calories this way.
  • Do not eat late at night. Enjoy your last meal of the day 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
  • After eating a snack, wait 3 hours before your next meal or snack. Likewise, wait 5 hours after eating a heavy meal.
  • If you skip a meal, load up on fruits and vegetables first so that you do not overeat when you finally sit down to eat. Research shows that after fasting for about 18 hours, the body craves more fattening foods to load up more calories per volume.
  • If possible, go on a detox diet once a week.

2. Keep an Eye on Portion Sizes

try portion control

Most people do not realize how portion control can help support weight loss efforts. In a 2004 study involving 329 overweight participants, 38{442d4b04535dfabd21af52c146084044e0d19bf5421a890770444f16695b2cf4} of them lost 5{442d4b04535dfabd21af52c146084044e0d19bf5421a890770444f16695b2cf4} of their body weight after practicing portion control for 2 years. The study was conducted by researchers at the Summa Health System in Ohio.

To reduce your portion sizes and avoid mindless eating, follow these tips:

  • Downsize your dishes by using smaller plates, bowls and even serving spoons. In a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, participants were asked to serve ice cream for themselves in 17- and 34-inch bowls. Researchers found that people, even nutrition experts, who used larger bowls served themselves 31{442d4b04535dfabd21af52c146084044e0d19bf5421a890770444f16695b2cf4} more ice cream than those who used smaller bowls.
  • Serve beverages in tall, narrow glasses instead of small and wide ones as they appear to have more liquid, thus making you think that you are drinking more.
  • Do not eat chips and other packaged snacks straight from the bag.
  • When at a restaurant, request a half order or smaller portion of your chosen entree.

3. Detox Drinks

Detox water cocktail

Start your day by drinking warm water mixed with the juice of 1/2 lemon. It improves digestion, flushes out toxins, balances the pH levels and helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Another option is to mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a tall glass of water and drink it once or twice daily. You can also add raw honey or a natural sweetener like stevia to these drinks.

Although lemons and apple cider vinegar are acidic in nature, they have an alkalizing effect on the body. However, they may trigger heartburn if you drink them in excess or are prone to acidity.

You can also drink delicious detox smoothies to support your body’s natural detoxifying abilities. Plus, it will count toward your servings of fruits and vegetables. Needless to say, kick unhealthy habits like drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes.

4. Get off the Couch

get off the couch

Lack of physical activity is the most obvious yet neglected cause of unhealthy weight gain. People fall into the illusion of losing weight and staying slim with different weight loss diets, while disregarding the most basic rule—you must exercise to burn calories.

You do not need an intense workout. In fact, you can enjoy a physical activity of your choice like brisk walking, running, jogging, swimming, dancing, aerobics or cycling. Even gardening can be great exercise as it helps you burn more than 300 calories per hour.

Regular, moderate exercise will also improve your mood and reduce stress. Once you figure out the activity of your choice and fit it in your daily routine, you will enjoy your exercise and do it regularly with enthusiasm.

Also, try some simple yet effective ways to increase your physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking your car a mile or so away from your destination so you can walk that distance.

5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

healthy breakfast

Studies have found that those who skip breakfast and eat fewer times a day tend to be heavier than people who have a healthy breakfast and eat 4 or 5 times a day.

Scientists also believe that a high-protein breakfast could be the key to slimming as it keeps you feeling full, and thus improves appetite control. Plus, it has been found to reduce evening snacking on high-sugar and high-fat foods.

Try some protein-rich breakfast recipes, such as:

  • a high-protein smoothie
  • boiled eggs
  • cottage cheese and fruits
  • Greek yogurt
  • fortified cereal with milk

You can also eat fiber-rich foods like oatmeal and sandwiches on whole-grain bread. Plus, replace your morning cup of coffee with green tea as it contains powerful antioxidants and promotes fat burning.

Another very important aspect is to prepare your food at home using organic and whole food ingredients. If you are not used to eating a proper breakfast, it may take you a few days to adjust to this habit.

6. Identify Your Hunger

identify your hunger

More often than not, people confuse thirst for hunger and end up eating a snack when the body is actually demanding water. The hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls hunger and thirst, sends the same signal for both.

To determine if you are hungry or thirsty, drink a glass of water and wait at least 15 minutes. If your desire to eat subsides, then you were probably thirsty, not hungry. Symptoms like headache and fatigue may also signal the need for more water in the body.

7. Steer Clear of Fatty Fast Food

avoid fast foods

Junk food and sodas are much to blame for the growing obesity problem. However, by making healthier food choices, you can significantly cut down fats and calories in your diet.

Here are some tips to help you make better food choices:

  • Substitute fries with a fruit, yogurt or salad.
  • Opt for baked or grilled versions of fried foods.
  • Choose plain, air-popped popcorn over high-calorie, oil-popped popcorn.
  • Instead of products made from refined grains, choose products like whole-grain pasta, whole-grain bread, whole-grain cereals and brown rice. Check food labels for whole-grain ingredients like whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat, buckwheat, whole-grain barley, millet and quinoa.
  • Avoid high-calorie sauces and mayonnaise by opting for plain sandwiches. Or, you could replace these sauces with salsa, mustard or a low-calorie dressing.
  • Skip the sodas and go for light lemonade, green tea or herbal teas.

8. Stress Less

stress less

Stress is one of the most common factors contributing to weight gain because it increases the rate at which your body stores fat and reduces your ability to burn fat.

The release of cortisol during stress increases appetite, causing people to reach for comfort foods. Also, stress makes you crave sugar because sweet and high-fat foods stimulate the brain to release chemicals that increase pleasure.

Instead of fighting stress with emotional eating, try relaxation exercises like deep breathing, yoga and meditation. Include more foods rich in vitamins B and C, magnesium and calcium in your diet. A deficiency of these nutrients can cause an increase in your cortisol levels and food cravings.

Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce stress and aggression, increase metabolism and facilitate weight loss. So, eat more oatmeal, almonds, avocados, oranges, berries, whole-grains, spinach, skim milk and yogurt to beat stress in a healthy way.

9. Get Proper Sleep

get proper sleep

A growing body of research suggests that lack of sleep increases the risk of weight gain and obesity. Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism and affects your hormones, thus increasing your hunger and decreasing your satiety or sense of being full after a meal.

Also, you are likely to be tempted to indulge in late-night snacking to make up for the calories that you expend as you burn the midnight oil.

To promote proper sleep, establish a bedtime ritual like taking a warm bath, a few minutes of reading or meditation. Also, turn out the lights, create a relaxing environment, and remove all TVs and computers from your bedroom. It is usually suggested to stick to a schedule of going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time every day.

10. Get Regular Medical Check-Ups

get medical checkups

Keep track of your weight and if you experience sudden or unexplained weight gain, consult your doctor to rule out the possibility of an underlying condition like diabetes, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, menopause, depression and Cushing’s syndrome.

Underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism, for example, slows down your metabolism and causes weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

Certain medications like antidepressants, antipsychotics, high blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, corticosteroids and oral contraceptives can also lead to weight gain as a side effect.

Do not stop your medications on your own though as it can have serious consequences. Discuss your problem with your doctor first.