What exactly is body metabolism and why should we need to boost it? Metabolism is the system where our bodies convert food calories into energy – simply put; it is the body's chemical reactions that burn calories to give you energy needed for life. This is important for our lives for any calories that are not burnt tend to accumulate as body fat. A high metabolic rate results in more calories being burned and therefore not stored as fat. Having a high or low metabolism by itself does not determine your weight. Your weight is more dependent on the balance of calories – calories consumed versus calories burned.
The body metabolism of each one of us is governed by several factors. These could be our age, our genetic make-up, the extent of our physical activities and, when and how often we eat our meals. As we get older, our bodies do not burn calories as they used to and coupled with a decrease in physical activity, our metabolic rate can drop as much as 25% over our life. So what can we do to control our body's metabolism and then control our weight? Well, it really boils down to two areas – the extent of our physical activities and what, and when, we eat.
If you are looking at boosting your metabolism to lose weight, aerobic training such as brisk walking, running, cycling, roller skating and dancing are the activities you should start out with. In addition, aerobic exercise can be performed in the gym on treadmills, stair-steppers, cycles and rowing machines. Aerobic exercises should be done daily for at least 30 minutes or as long as 60 minutes. It is best to do any aerobic exercise first thing in the morning, as the body will then consume stored fat. Better still, do aerobic exercises during the evening, before or even after dinner (around 2-3 hours after the meal). Resistance exercise like lifting weights will help increase your muscle mass which in turn boosts your metabolism.
Before we go deeper into the boosting metabolism diet, we bought to first detoxify our digestive system. A healthy digestive system not only helps the body to run more efficiently, but it also gives us more energy. Then we need to have a good look at what we do for breakfast. Studies show that people who regularly eat a healthy breakfast within a couple of hours of getting up are more likely to correctly control their weight. Those who eat breakfast tend to be thinner than the ones who do not. Metabolism can slow down considerably if breakfast is taken later in the morning or if we skip breakfast and wait for the midday meal. Needless to say we have to pay more attention to planning our meals. Try and prepare the right amount of food to be consumed at your designated intervals. It is advisable to eat between 4 to 6 small meals that are timed 3 to 4 hours apart. Our bodies have to work hard to digest and absorb the foods we eat, and as a result our metabolism increases in response. Those of us who tend to skip meals in order to lose weight are not doing themselves any favors as this practice will actually slow down our metabolism.
Now focusing on the food we eat. Include more energy foods in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains. Keep away from white bread, white pasta, white rice, white potatoes. Eating protein gives our bodies a greater metabolic boost rather than eating fats or carbohydrates. In addition, eating protein will ensure that you maintain and build muscle mass, which in turn will increase your metabolism. As you are probably aware, sugar is a big no. Sugar helps the body to store fat and our sugar intake needs to be carefully regulated just enough so that our blood sugar levels are stabilized. To reduce the urge to eat, drink more water. Water in our stomachs brings the urge to eat and it is great for flushing out toxins that are produced whenever the body burns fat.