5 Ways You Can Increase Your Metabolic Rate
I’m sure you have all heard the term metabolism at some point in your life. Maybe you’ve heard of (or been told) you have a “slow” metabolism. Maybe you haven’t given it much thought until now, but you should and I’m going to explain why. Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical reactions in organisms. However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn. The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn, and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Here are 5 scientifically proven things you can do to begin to increase your metabolic rate.
Increase your muscle mass
Muscle mass has a higher metabolic rate than fat, muscle burns 12kcal per kg a day! Fat only burns about 4kcal per kg a day. You naturally lose muscle as you age but regular workouts can help counteract this effect. You don’t need to start with high-intensity training either. Resistance training is a great way to start increasing your muscle mass. During a resistance training workout, you move your limbs against resistance provided by your body weight, gravity, bands, weighted bars, or dumbbells.
Increase your mineral and vitamin intake
Inadequate levels of adequate iodine, selenium, zinc, and vitamin B can impair thyroid function. B vitamins also play an essential role in the metabolic rate. Some key B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and B6 (pyridoxine). You can get vitamin B through foods like bananas, baked potatoes, orange juice, peanut butter, peas, spinach, whole-grain foods. High levels of adequate iodine, selenium, zinc can be found in foods like fish and eggs.
Get a full 8 hours of sleep
When you get too little sleep, your body releases a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin can make a person feel hungry. Your body also releases less leptin, a hormone that helps a person feel full. Getting a full eight hours of sleep will help ensure that these hormones remain balanced. When these hormones are balanced, they can prevent you from overeating.
Sleep deprivation (less than 6 hours a night) will also actively lower your metabolism. It can cause impaired glucose and lipid metabolism which also aids in insulin resistance (which lowers your metabolism).
Stay properly hydrated
Staying properly hydrated allows your body to operate at full capacity, your metabolism is no exception. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10–30% for about an hour. Drinking specifically cold water may also increase the calorie-burning effects, as your body uses energy to heat the water up to body temperature. A study from the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that adding 1.5 liters of water to the usual daily consumption of water reduced the average weight and body mass index in a group of overweight women aged 18–23.
Stress affects hormone levels, and it can cause the body to produce more cortisol than usual. Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. Cortisol also helps regulate your appetite. Studies have found abnormal cortisol levels in people who experienced disordered eating. Disordered eating, including dietary restraint and certain weight concerns, may lead to unhealthful eating patterns, which can disrupt metabolism. Stress is also closely related to your quality of sleep, which as previously discussed, impacts your metabolism.