If you’re looking to come out of lockdown a few pounds lighter, look no further. You need to speed up your metabolism in order to burn more calories and lose weight. Express.co.uk has scoured the web and consulted a range of experts to find out the best ways to kickstart your metabolism.
What is metabolism?
The NHS website says: “Metabolism describes all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside your body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food.”
The minimum amount of energy your body needs to carry out these chemical processes is the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Your BMR is responsible for between 40 and 70 percent of your body’s daily energy requirements, depending on your lifestyle and age.
You’ll often hear people blaming their weight gain on their ‘slow metabolism’, and this isn’t completely untrue.
The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to keep weight off once you’ve lost it.
Your metabolism may be partly down to your genes, and your body size, age, and gender, but it is possible to speed up your metabolism.
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Eating food increases your metabolism for a few hours.
This is called the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), and it is down to the fact that extra calories need to be digested, absorbed and processed.
Protein causes the largest increase in TEF, as it increases your metabolic rate by 15 to 30 percent.
Carbs only increase your metabolic rate by five to 10 percent, and fats raise it by zero to three percent.
Protein rich food includes lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs, and tofu.
Nuts and seeds, as well as legumes and beans are another great source of protein.
Milk, yoghurt, and cheese will also contribute to your protein intake.
Switch your fizzy drinks for water in order to speed up your metabolic rate.
Drinking half a litre of water increases your resting metabolism by 10 to 30 percent an hour, according to numerous studies approved by the National Institute of Health.
You may burn even more calories if you drink cold water, as your body will use more energy in order to heat it up to body temperature.
Tea or coffee
Even though the NHS says there’s little evidence that Green Tea will speed up your metabolism, many people swear by it.
In fact, a number of studies have shown that Green Tea and Oolong Tea increase metabolic rate by four to five percent.
This is only a little boost, but it’s worth a try.
Other studies support coffee for its metabolic boosting traits.
Results have revealed that coffee could raise your metabolic rate by three to 11 percent.
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Lack of sleep causes negative effects on your metabolism.
Sleep deprivation makes you “metabolically groggy,” according to University of Chicago researchers.
Lack of sleep may decrease your Resting Metabolic Rate, which is the number of calories you burn when you’re completely at rest.
If you sleep more, that’s an easy way to burn an extra few calories.
Depending on your weight and gender, a person normally burns about 0.42 calories for every pound per hour of sleep.
If you weigh 150 pounds (about 10 stone 7), you’ll burn around 63 calories for hour you sleep.
If you slept for the full recommended 8 hours, this means you burn more than 500 calories overnight!
According to the NHS, muscle burns more calories than fat.
Increasing your muscle mass will help you lose weight.
Try to do muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups- your legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms.
If you can do this two or three times a week, you’ll be losing weight sooner than you know it.
This doesn’t mean you have to purchase heavy weights online, you could do HIIT workouts from home or even heavy gardening and DIY jobs.
We’re all stuck at home at the moment, and this means we’re likely to be sat down for most of the day.
Whether you’re working from home or simply doing nothing, you need to work activity into your day.
Sitting down too much is bad for your health, and will not result in a high metabolic rate.
If you are at a desk all day, try standing up for short periods of time to break up long periods of sitting down.
Standing desks are a great way of achieving this.
Alternatively, make sure you use your daily walk, run or cycle.
If you are unable to leave the house at all, walk up and down your stairs as much as you can.
If you don’t have stairs, you could try a basic home workout.
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