Burn baby burn!

Ah, our metabolism. It either works for you or against you, some might debate. But, do you really understand what it is and how it works? Metabolism is the process by which the food and drinks we consume every day are converted from calories into energy.

Metabolism is the amount of calories needed by the body to maintain itself throughout the day. Every body is different in how many calories it needs to survive. Body size, gender, age, and activity level all factor into our metabolic rate. There are other ways to independently increase your metabolism rate.

Below are suggestions to help naturally boost your metabolism.

  1. Drink green tea: There is a long tradition in Asia of drinking green tea for overall health; however, it is also considered a superfood that packs an antioxidant punch. It may cause a small increase in metabolism, thus helping you increase energy expenditure.1
  2. Eat Breakfast: There is a reason why we always hear breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast eaters see improved insulin sensitivity, or the body’s response to a rise in glucose.2 Additionally, eating breakfast may help you make better food choices, have more energy and may reduce your hunger throughout the day. If you’re in a hurry, don’t be tempted by the vending machine. Try protein-rich foods like eggs or Greek yogurt. Rolled oats are fiber rich and filling. Fruit such as blueberries have a high antioxidant content, and vegetables can help keep you fueled throughout the morning.
  3. Spice it up: Adding hot sauce, chili peppers, or jalapenos to your next meal may help increase your metabolism. Spicy condiments contain capsaicin, which has been shown to increase the resting metabolic rate, at least for a short amount of time.3,4 Don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes.
  4. Drink more water: Our body is about 60% water; when we aren’t adequately hydrated, our body naturally slows down and can’t function optimally. We are literally depriving it of an essential nutrient. Aim to drink half your body weight in water every day. Not only will drinking water improve your energy, but it will also increase your focus, remove toxins and waste products from your body, keep skin healthy and glowing, and keep your joints lubricated.5 If you don’t like plain water, try adding fresh lemon, oranges, or cucumbers. You can also consume foods higher in water content, such as melon and broth-based soups. Water is not only essential for your health; it is necessary for your life.

Whether you are trying to maintain your weight, lose body fat, gain muscle, or simply clean up your diet, it is important to maintain a balanced, active lifestyle, eat a diet full of healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, and minimize your intake of processed sugars.

References

1 http://www.jissn.com/content/1/1/1

2 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1204764/

3 http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism

4 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031938406000540

5 http://www.healthy-skincare.com/benefit-of-drinking-water.html