New Delhi: Are you struggling to lose those extra pounds despite following your weight loss plan religiously? In general, dieters who struggle to lose weight blame it on a slower metabolism, which may be the key to unlocking your healthy weight. Truth is, metabolism or metabolic rate varies from person to person, which means some people have a faster metabolism than others. Many factors, including diet, physical activity, sleep, stress, body size, age, gender and genes all play a role in the speed of your metabolism. For instance, people tend to gain fat and lose muscle as they get older – and this explains why your metabolism may slow as you age.
Metabolism is defined as the chemical reactions taking place inside a living cell that create and break down energy necessary for life. More simply, it’s the rate at which your body expends energy or burns calories, according to Harvard Health Publishing. But, the good thing is that there are many things you can do to speed up your metabolism. Perhaps, keeping your metabolism strong and healthy is crucial for losing weight and keeping it off. Incorporating these effective actions into your daily life will help you achieve faster metabolism, weight loss and a flat stomach.
Eat enough protein
Studies have shown that eating enough protein is extremely critical for your body to get and maintain a healthy weight. Apart from helping you feel full, a diet high in protein can significantly increase the rate at which your body burns calories. It has been found that people who follow a high-protein diet burn twice as many calories after a meal as people who follow a high-carbohydrate diet. A high protein intake helps boost metabolism, reduce appetite and lose weight.
Focus on fibre
Experts say eating a diet rich in high-fibre foods boosts metabolism. According to Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD & creator of the popular F-Factor Diet, the body cannot digest fibre, but it tries to. “In an attempt into trying to digest and eliminate fibre, the body actually expends more calories than it would with other foods.”
Say ‘no’ to processed foods
You probably have heard enough about how having highly processed foods slow down your metabolism and derail your weight loss process. High in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, processed foods, when consumed on a regular basis, puts your health at risk of various problems, including cancer, weight gain and digestive woes. Instead, opt for healthy options like whole grains, nuts, seeds, lean protein sources, which help burn more calories.
Include regular physical activity
While certain foods help boost your metabolism, physical activity plays a vital role when it comes to maintaining a healthy metabolism. In fact, exercise becomes even more important as you get older, largely because you naturally lose muscle mass with age, which in turn, slows down the metabolic rate. Any kind of aerobic exercise is an effective way to burn calories. Healthy adults are recommended to at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity, such as walking, cycling and swimming, a week.
Get adequate sleep
Even if you follow healthy eating habits and exercise every day, your efforts to lose weight seem useless if you are not getting enough snooze time. Sleep is extremely important for good health. Not getting enough sleep increases your risk of a number of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes and depression. Several studies have linked inadequate sleep to lowered metabolic rate, thereby increasing your likelihood of weight gain. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to function at their best.