March 26 2021
You must have heard the term “metabolism” quite often. What does it mean? Well, metabolism is the cumulative term coined for all the life-sustaining reactions that happen in the human body. It consists of two categories: Catabolism (breaking down of molecules to obtain required amounts of energy) and Anabolism (synthesis of all the compounds essential for cellular activity). Energy formation is a significant part of metabolism. Even when the body is at rest, it still needs energy. This energy is required for many internal functions of the body, which include breathing, hormonal activities, cellular activities.
Many people struggle with bodyweight issues and blame it on their “slow” metabolism, which is, however, sort of true. Various factors determine the pace of an individual’s metabolism:
- Size of the body: people with big body sizes burn more calories than people with small bodies. Also, people with more built-up or muscular bodies tend to burn more calories, even at rest.
- Sex: the sex of a person is a major factor in determining the pace of his/her metabolism. For example, men are more muscular and have less weight as compared to women, so they tend to burn more calories than females.
- Age: as the age of a person increases, muscles of the body tend to shrink and mostly fats comprise the body weight. So, due to this, metabolism gets a bit slow.
Metabolism and weight management
Gaining weight is a complicated procedure. It is highly affected by genetics, hormonal controls, components of diet, and lifestyle. All these factors cause an imbalanced equation of energy. Weight gain happens when one takes up more calories than he/she burns. Many people indeed lose weight more easily and fast, and that’s because of the calories they burn- the number is less than what they burn. For losing a significant amount of weight, one needs to create a calorie deficit diet and increase regular physical activities.
However, just blaming metabolism isn’t enough for losing weight. Being a natural process, several other factors affect its pace, as discussed above. So, exercising and burning enough calories is also important when someone loses weight. Some diseases might affect metabolism by slowing it down, and hence, resulting in weight gain. These diseases include Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism.
While we don’t have full control over the pace of our metabolism, we can control the amount of energy or calories we burn. The more active we are during physical activities, the more calories we burn. People with fast metabolism are generally more active than people who have a relatively slower metabolism.
How to boost up metabolism?
- Workouts: workouts that are of high-intensity help a lot in boosting up metabolism. For example, HIIT or high-intensity interval training is a type of workout that increases the number of calories burned by intensifying the workout time. Even after you finish exercising; HIIT can help in enhancing your metabolism. The effects are relatively higher for HIIT as compared to the other forms of exercise. A research study which was carried out with overweight men showed great effects of HIIT at the end. After doing the training, they lost belly fat by 17 percent and weight by 2 kgs in 12 weeks.
- Don’t sit for long hours: many doctors and dieticians recommend people to stand up frequently and not sit in the chair for longer periods. This is mainly because we burn fewer calories when sitting down that can eventually result in an excessive weight gain over a long period. Some experts have also termed it as “the new smoking” and have declared it as one of the most silent or hidden causes of obesity.
- Green tea- the ultimate savior: green tea and oolong tea can enhance the metabolic rate and burn more calories, research suggests. Being very low in calories, they’re considered great companions during the weight loss journey and even help in maintaining weight. They possess some properties that are effective in boosting up the metabolism and prevent the much-dreaded weight that is hard to lose. These teas convert stored fats into free fatty acids which aid fat burning by a significant amount.
Alvizia’s garcinia complex is a supplement that consists of green tea extract, garcinia Cambogia extract, coffee bean extract, and black pepper. All of these, especially green tea is considered very helpful during weight loss. These soft gelatin capsules can boost your metabolism, decreases belly fat, and hence, also aids in weight loss.
- Consume adequate spices: most of the peppers are believed to enhance or boost up the metabolism, which is attributed to the component capsaicin. However, a large fraction of the world’s population doesn’t have enough tolerance for these spices at higher doses. A research study found out that consuming capsaicin at acceptable doses can burn over 10 more calories as compared to regular days. This could lose over 1 pound in a year, that too by just adding more spices to your diet.
- Consume more proteins: eating food can enhance your metabolic rate for a definite amount of time, which is known as the thermic effect of food. The major cause for this is the requirement of additional calories for digestion, absorption, and processing of consumed nutrients. Out of all the nutrients, proteins increase the value of TEF, by increasing your metabolism by 15-30 percent which is quite high as compared to carbohydrates and fats. Consumption of protein-rich foods is closely linked to higher metabolic rates as they prevent muscle loss and promote fat loss. Thus, proteins make you feel full for longer periods and prevent later overeating.
- Replace cooking fats with healthy oils: oils like coconut oil, mustard oil, olive oil have higher medium-chain fats as compared to refined oils. Medium-chained fats can enhance your metabolism more when compared to the long-chain fats that are present in refined oils. A research study found out that medium chained fats can improve metabolic rates by 10-12 percent, comparatively. Mustard and coconut oil can hence also help people who are struggling with weight management issues.