Metabolism is a common word thrown in by fitness gurus and health buffs who are trying to teach you to lose weight. But have you ever taken a step to understand what it means? In this article, we aim to do just that so that you can start your fitness journey armed with the knowledge of what metabolism is. This will hopefully assist you to better understand what diet and exercise regimen would work best for you and you alone.
What Is Metabolism?
In a nutshell, metabolism is the rate of how fast or slow chemical reactions at a cellular level happens in your body. Metabolism is actually divided into two kinds: catabolism and anabolism. The first one describes how your body breakdowns molecules needed to get energy, while the latter talks about how fast you synthesize compounds needed by your cells.
Metabolism is an important aspect of nutrition and overall health since it is basically the key to being healthy. Without metabolism, your body won’t really be able to process the food that you intake no matter how healthy or how much that could be.
Furthermore, a slow metabolism means it takes a longer time for your body to convert food into nutrition, while a faster metabolism works the other way around. Usually, the goal of exercising is to bump up your metabolic rate for you to burn more calories and shed weight. But a much higher metabolic rate isn’t always good for the body, too.
Foods That Can Speed Up Metabolism
If you continued to read on, I can only assume that you are part of the population that has a slower metabolic rate. Now while exercising is a proven way to increase your metabolism, the kind of food or drink you consume can also play a big role in speeding up your metabolism.
1. Food rich in protein
Protein-rich food like meat and soy is proven to increase the metabolic rate for a few hours because they typically have more molecules that require your body to use a lot of energy just to break it down. For lack of a better word, this process is called the thermic effect of food or TEF which is the number of calories needed by your body to process a specific nutrient.
2. Chili peppers
The prime chemical found in any spicy pepper, aka capsaicin, has properties that boost metabolism by bumping up the calories and fat you can burn. Plus, it helps you feel fuller, too.
3. Caffeinated drinks and treats
Coffee, tea, dark chocolate, and cacao all can help boost metabolism in reasonable doses when taken regularly. However, the effects of caffeinated foods differ from person to person.
4. Green leafy vegetables
Broccoli and other green leafy vegetables are great to jumpstart your metabolism because of their iron content. Plus, broccoli alone does a great job as it is because it has glucoraphanin which lower fat levels in your blood. Fortunately, you don’t need to eat a lot of veggies especially if you don’t really like them. You can still gain all the wonderful benefits of vegetables in single bottles of cold-pressed juices.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is once again gaining fame thanks to all of its amazing benefits when ingested. One of which is to increase metabolism by containing what is known as medium-chain triglycerides that, unlike other kinds of fat, is not stored as fat but goes directly to the liver for synthesis. So it’s a good kind of fat that you would want to put in your body in moderate doses like adding it in bulletproof coffee or as part of your meals.
Now that you know the key role that metabolism plays in your body, you can understand why it’s a lot easier for other people to lose weight or build muscle and why you can’t seem to get a headstart. Remember that progress takes time. So stick to your guns and follow your plan and trust me, you’ll reach your fitness goals soon enough.