We often heard people blaming their metabolism for gaining extra pounds. Why is it that other people can eat whatever they want, yet, they still maintain their preferred weight? What is the significant role of metabolism in burning calories, or is it really the metabolism that makes it hard for others to lose weight?
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is a process wherein there are complex network of hormones involved and enzymes working to convert food into energy. According to Dr. Robert Yanagisawa of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, metabolism determines the rate of calories burned and how easily we can lose and gain weight. As the result, slow metabolism can store fat if not burned the right way.
Factors influencing metabolism rate are age, sex, and body mass. As people get older, metabolism slows down about 5% per decade after the age of 40. Men can burn more calories than his female counterpart. Moreover, the body muscle is also another factor for higher metabolic rate. People with lower body fat percentage have higher metabolism rate than those who have higher Body Mass Index. In rare cases, thyroid gland is another factor linked to slow metabolism rate of an individual.
Since there are numerous ways to boost metabolism like exercise and right diet, this article will focus on the metabolism booster foods that can speed up the rate of burning those calories we consumed and digested.
Metabolism Booster Foods
What is astounding is the fact that the thermic effect of food can magically boosts our metabolism. We have variety of foods available at your disposal that may help to increase your metabolic rate. The list of metabolism boosters are listed in broad-spectrum for wider view and further understanding of our readers.
High fiber foods – plant based foods are not easy to digest; therefore, the body have to use extra calories to burn them. Great examples are apples and grapefruits which are low-calorie and high in fiber. You may also add to your list the spinach, beans, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables which are best eaten in raw form to get the complete health benefits.
Omega 3 fatty acids and other essential fat – fish like salmon and tuna contain ingredient in form of omega3 fatty acids that can alter the levels of leptin, a hormone which helps in metabolism process. The higher the leptin level, the faster the metabolism will be. In Wisconsin University, a study found that mice with high leptin levels have higher metabolic rate and can burn fat faster than those mice with low leptin levels. In addition, French researchers conducted a study on men who were asked to replace 6 grams of fish oil in their daily diet. There was a significant change on their metabolic rate lead in losing two pounds during the several weeks of consuming fish oil. Other essential fats like flax seed oil, olive oil, fish oil are also considered as metabolism boosters.
Capsaicin spices – certain spices, like jalapenos or chili pepper, contain capsaicin chemical. Several studies revealed that spicy meal can increase metabolism by 25% as it can generate heat and speeds up the heart rate. A group of Canadian researches proved that certain spices like capsaicin, black pepper, red chili pepper, and ginger have the full potential to increase the rate of fat metabolism. A spice with thermogenic potential can result to muscle contraction, increase in body temperature, and the metabolism of an individual.
Rich in calcium such as low fat milk, oatmeal and whole grain cereal – the calcium, complex carbohydrates and fiber can lower the insulin levels after eating fats. When the insulin spikes, it begins to store body fat and causes to burn fewer calories. A research-based study was conducted in University of Tennessee with the conclusive finding that people who consume 1200-1300 mg. of calcium daily lost weight twice as much as those who consume less calcium in their daily diet.
Caffeine and EGCG beverages – caffeine in coffee increases the heart rate and same thing with the process of burning calories. While epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG in green tea can also speeds up the nervous system and are linked to quick metabolism rate. In fact, the rule of the thumb in faster metabolism is the fast rate of heart beat.
Canadian government, on the other hand, conducted a study to a group of soldiers who consumed caffeine 12 hours before the physical fitness test. It was found that they consumed more oxygen while doing the physical training. The conclusion there is the more oxygen they consume, the more calories they burn during the work out. However, please also take note to limit the caffeine intake into 1-2 glasses of coffee a day.
Yes, it is annoying to make comparison with people who can eat whatever they want and their metabolism works faster than those with sluggish metabolism. Not all of us are genetically blessed to have high metabolism, but we can search for natural ways that may boost the metabolic rate of our body. What is equally important aside from the lists of food contributing to metabolic rate is to take into account the choice of healthy lifestyle.
Skipping breakfast in losing weight is the downfall of many dieters. What they do not realize is the importance of how they can work smoothly at the start of the day. Likewise, low caloric intake of foods can help to raise metabolism rate naturally. Drink lots of water and avoid too much alcohol, and sugary foods. Lastly, build muscles through daily exercise.
What is the bottom line?
The choice of healthy lifestyle and diet are the best way to increase the metabolism and achieve the balanced weight management.