Welcome to the topic of metabolism and energy expenditure. If you want to shed weight for good, start listening to your body and become an intuitive eater. Learn about how to improve your metabolism naturally.

Metabolism

It is a set of processes for the production of energy and the construction of substances in the body. Age, weight, height, gender, and any health problems determine the rate of metabolism. Metabolism is also affected by genetics, the amount of muscle tissue, the amount of fat, the level of physical activity, and the potential for taking medication. A factor that slows down metabolism is when you skip one of your meals. Physical activity speeds up metabolism!

What is basal metabolism?

Basal metabolism is the minimum amount of energy to sustain life, such as sleeping, breathing, digestion, etc.

Basal metabolism spends the most significant amount of energy (60%) in the body. The other 30% is a physical activity and the last 10% is the thermic effect of food.

How to calculate BMR (basal metabolic rate)?

The universal equation for calculating basal metabolism is the Harris-Benedict equation.

Harris benedict formula

 

Crash diets

Why fast (crash) diets fail in the long run?

Many times these diets limit the energy intake of food below the limit of basal metabolism. At that time, the body thinks that it suffers and protects and stores fatty tissue while retrieving energy from the muscles. In this case, the weight loss occurs due to the loss of muscle tissue, which is very bad, since less muscle mass additionally diminishes all-day energy needs. It also reduces the activity of thyroid hormones. After the fast diets are over, they subsequently regain their weight back and prepare the body for a future calorie deficiency, thus storing adipose tissue/fat further. It is a vicious circle from which you can not escape. The only thing that will allow you to step out of this circle is taking a different approach to nutrition altogether.

What approach should I take to lose weight for good?

A great thing would be to stop focusing on the diets and calories altogether, because it imprisons you, and this never ends well … No one likes to be in prison, and everybody loves the feeling of freedom. Focus on long term changes, because you want to stick to healthy eating habits for the rest of your life, no Jojo-ing this time. Sure, you need knowledge about which foods are right for you and which arent and some diets can be a rescue to see what should be on a menu. Counting calories has its place also, as you will get a grasp of which foods are energy dense and which are high in volume and low calorie.

But nothing compares to our intuition. If you crave something, don’t wait for an explosion of binge eating years down the road, but go ahead and enjoy it now (in moderation, of course ). It is just food at the end of the day. But when you crave unhealthy stuff, it is essential to start introducing sources of sufficient and sustainable energy and nutritionally adequate foods (vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, etc.), as this will help you keep fuller for longer. 

 

Overeating can be another problem. If you overeat, you can store fat, as long as you consume more energy than you expend. It is a simple law of thermodynamics. So be mindful about feeding yourself, enjoy the food, and take your time. It is not a race.

Have your meals! I have seen it way too many times. People are starving themselves, skipping breakfasts, skipping lunch, and then eat everything in sight in the evening. I even did it myself, and it is not pretty. Try to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with an occasional snack (maybe a protein bar) or a piece of fruit.

When you prepare your meal, try to include at least one source of protein. Preparing your meals at home with added protein will keep you fuller for longer. Not only that, but it will promote muscle growth and repair. Aim for 20-30 grams of protein per meal.

If you need an estimation of how much protein you need per day, just check protein calculator down below;

Protein Calculator

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age should be in 14 to 80 range
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How to improve your metabolism naturally

If you want to improve your metabolism naturally, you can start by eating foods that have a higher thermogenic effect. Those foods that are higher in protein will usually have a higher thermogenic effect, as the body needs more energy to break down the protein.

Another thing you can do is drinking more water. If your goal is to lose weight, you should avoid sugary drinks and beverages with calories. Don’t drink your calories! If you drink before a big meal, you will feel less hungry and therefore eat less. Sometimes we are not even hungry, just thirsty. Another trick is to drink cold water. When you drink cold water, our bodies need to heat up, and therefore, using more of the energy to raise our body temperature.

HIIT or High-intensity interval training is known to raise your metabolic rate, even after you have done your training. Therefore it is a handy tool when it comes to burning more calories and shedding those pounds.

Weight training will help you build more muscle. When it comes to raising metabolism naturally, this is the best and most effective way to go. Muscle is metabolically more active than fat; this means you will burn more calories every single day, even when you are resting. Lifting weights will improve your body composition. It will also combat the drop in metabolism, which can occur during weight loss and lower energy intake.

Lack of sleep ca

n have a significant impact on your hormones (ghrelin and leptin) and, therefore, appetite. So make sure you have a good night’s rest. Sleep in the dark to ensure that you get restful nights. Melatonin is a hormone of youth, which our body releases when we go to sleep. If we are not in complete darkness, we don’t get the same release of melatonin, as we do in a pitch dark.

Drink occasional coffee, if you want to spice up your metabolism. But be careful with caffeine consumption. The recommended daily dose is around 200mg.

Last but not least, if you are into spicy food, try some of the peppers. They contain capsaicin, which is known to boost metabolism.

Summary

Avoid crash diets and make long term changes to your diet. Be mindful of what you eat, how you eat, and how much you eat. Try to exercise, drink more water, and get a good night’s sleep. Focus on breakfast, lunch, and dinner and include some kind of protein source with each of your meals. Enjoy your food, and start losing weight!


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