How to speed up your metabolism to lose weight: what to eat, sports, natural remedies and useful tips
How to speed up your metabolism to lose weight: what to eat, sports, natural remedies and useful tips. in this article; What sports increase metabolism? How can I trick my metabolism into burning fat? What should I eat to make my metabolism fast? as well as answers to questions, foods that increase metabolism and burn fat, We will learn all the curious about
What needs to be done to speed up the metabolism and lose weight?
Encourage fat-burning processes, which differ between men and women, after a certain age (40-50 years, for women especially after the menopause) and in particular physiopathological conditions. The metabolism is slower in pregnancy and lactation, in certain diseases, especially of the thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) and as a result of certain medications.
Can the metabolism be accelerated by eating? Yes, with a balanced diet low in fat and sugar and rich in vegetables and functional spices. Yes to coffee (due to its caffeine content) and other drinks that help burn fat, also and especially water.
You can speed up your metabolism naturally with sport: walking, cardio exercises, gymnastics with weights and swimming. After consulting your doctor or pharmacist, you can take supplements and phytotherapeutic products (in drops, tablets or herbal teas) based on algae and other plants, available in pharmacies or herbal shops.
What is meant by metabolism
Metabolism is all the biochemical processes by which our bodies derive energy from what we eat. The food we take in cannot be used as such as an energy source. It must be broken down into smaller elements, which occurs mainly in the stomach, that can be absorbed through the intestinal mucosa into the blood and distributed with it to all the tissues of the body.
The basal metabolic rate is the number of calories we need at rest to perform basic metabolic functions, i.e. to carry out activities such as breathing, digestion and maintaining a constant body temperature. As you can easily imagine, this value differs from person to person and according to their characteristics and lifestyle.
Difference between slow and fast metabolism
Food contributes to determining our fitness, along with many other factors, including the level of physical activity we perform, our age and gender, the lifestyle we follow and our genetic characteristics. In practice, all these elements define the speed of our metabolism.
What is commonly referred to as a slow metabolism is associated with a poor ability to transform food into energy. In contrast, a fast metabolism is due to a more efficient utilisation of food intake as an energy source.
Speeding up the metabolism: what does it mean?
Speeding up the metabolism means precisely acting to promote the mechanisms that promote the burning of nutrients. In this respect, there are factors that cannot be modified, i.e. on which we cannot intervene. These include age and genetics.
A mature age leads to a natural slowing of the metabolism, also due to reduced production of sex hormones. While we cannot do much about age issues, it is true that it is possible, within certain limits, to slow down ageing through the adoption of healthy lifestyles.
Certain diseases adversely affect the speed of metabolism, most of them related to hormone synthesis. Prime examples are diseases of the thyroid gland that reduce its functionality (hypothyroidism). The intake of certain drugs can also act by similar mechanisms: typical is the case with some antidepressants.
Conditions characterised by particular hormone production can contribute to a slow metabolism. This is the case with pregnancy, due to the effects of oestrogen and progesterone, and breastfeeding, due to high prolactin levels.
However, there are determinants of metabolism speed against which we can do a lot. These include physical activity and diet, not only in terms of caloric intake, but also from the point of view of the type of food taken in. A good sleep-wake rhythm also correlates with an accelerated metabolism.
How to speed up your metabolism with a weight-loss diet?
A diet to maintain an active metabolism is not one-size-fits-all, but varies in form to suit individual characteristics, any illnesses present and also, why not, personal taste. We must not forget that one of the most important aspects of an eating plan is its sustainability over time.
In other words, good intentions must, in order to be truly effective, turn into good habits. Otherwise, they remain the exploit of a moment, which adds nothing to our health. In order for us to be able to follow a dietary regime in the long term and make it part of us, our lifestyle, it must be made up of foods that we enjoy.
We must not give up taste: we must say no to extra kilos! Whoever consults a nutritionist should point out the critical aspects to him or her right away, so that the professional can devise an appropriate strategy without wasting precious time.
A diet that stimulates the metabolism is rich in dietary fibre (plenty of vegetables, but be careful not to overdo it with fruit) and low in saturated fats and sugar.
It is not just a question of introducing an appropriate number of calories: the type of food itself is essential to define the quality of the diet.
The characteristics of such a diet not only prevent weight accumulation in a direct way, but also act through indirect mechanisms.
For example, they protect the intestinal microbiota. In fact, the presence of a vital and active bacterial flora allows us to promote metabolic reactions, maximise the absorption of nutrients essential for healthy tissue, maintain a good mood and low levels of inflammation.
Nutrition that keeps the metabolism active follows rather simple rules. One of the deterrents to a healthy, balanced diet is the widespread belief that it is necessary to introduce exotic, unobtainable and expensive foods. And that preparing the dishes that keep us as thin as anchovies is time-consuming and energy-intensive.
In reality, one can get fit and improve one’s state of well-being with food that can be found in any supermarket or well-stocked shop. And it is important to remember that the recommended foods are those that require precisely minimum cooking times and minimally elaborate preparation methods. This is how the nutritional properties of food are preserved to the maximum, digestion is shortened and light, nutritious food is introduced.
How to speed up your metabolism: the diet that helps burn fat
The diet recommended for speeding up the metabolism is rich in dietary fibre. Consequently, following it requires enriching the table with vegetables and, more limitedly given the high sugar intake, fruit.
It is also recommended to reduce the presence of saturated fats, by cutting down on some cheese courses and the use of condiments of animal origin (such as butter) in favour of vegetable oils, first and foremost olive oil.
It is important to remember that protein plays a key role in maintaining satisfactory lean mass.
This does not mean that one should adopt a high-protein diet, itself potentially correlated with health risks, but that one should not underestimate the need to include protein foods in meals. By what criteria? Certainly by favouring proteins from fish, lean meats (rabbit, chicken and turkey) and vegetables.
In this sense, legumes are an excellent source of protein, while the omega-3 contained in oily fish (sardines, tuna, salmon, mackerel) stimulate the secretion of leptin, a hormone that helps regulate the sense of satiety.
Vegetable fermented foods are also excellent. In this category, about which many Italians turn a deaf ear, you can find not only traditional tofu, which many people dislike, but also its variants (such as smoked) and preparations based on nuts, such as cashew nuts.
Certain spices, as is well known, stimulate the metabolism: this is the case with chilli pepper, or rather, a substance it contains that is responsible for its spicy flavour, capsaicin. Its presence in cooking is a good example of a functional spice.
Reducing sugar: is it just a question of calories?
Even more than fats, we need to be careful with sugars. There is a widespread belief that they are an irreplaceable source of energy and that we need to be well supplied with sugars, especially simple sugars, in order to be able to cope with the day’s exertions.
In reality, this is not quite the case. Foods high in sugar provide an immediate feeling of well-being because they activate the brain circuits involved in the phenomenon of reward and satisfaction.
But this is an effect that is destined to die out shortly, to give way to a down phase. The drop in available energy generates a new demand for sugar. This triggers a vicious circuit that leads to the constant search for sweets.
When we eat foods rich in sugar, spikes in the concentration of insulin in the blood occur in our body. This substance serves to make them available inside the cells, i.e. where they are needed, for energy. But sustained high levels of insulin promote inflammatory phenomena and contribute to the onset of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
Frequency of meals/snacks
As you will also read in the following paragraphs, and although it is intuitive to think so, skipping meals is not a good idea when the aim is to speed up the metabolism. Fasting should be interpreted, in this perspective, as a reduction of the overall calorie intake compared to actual needs.
In order to convince our body to remain active and reactive, we must (so to speak) keep it on the rope, not give it all the energy resources it naively demands of us. Experts recommend not skipping breakfast but, if you want to give up a meal, opting for dinner. In what terms? Not by skipping the evening meal completely, but by lightening it for 2-3 evenings a week.
Drinking frequency and type
Metabolism is not only a function of what we eat, but also of what we drink. Green tea is a metabolism-stimulating drink, linked to the presence of an antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). To enhance this effect, Japanese green tea, a particular type of green tea also known as matcha, can be used, to be drunk in quantities of at least 2 cups a day.
Grapefruit juice, which contains compounds that promote the reduction of blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, can also help.
It is a drink associated with a low calorie intake, which can be successfully introduced at breakfast or for snacks. With only one problem: that of drug interactions. Certain substances in grapefruit can reduce or enhance the effect of certain medications. If you are taking medication, ask your doctor for advice before introducing grapefruit or its juice permanently into your diet.
Herbal teas can have a supportive function in slimming diets, especially if they are prepared with ginger or brown seaweed. Plantain and wheatgrass, which are indicated in the presence of water retention due to their diuretic power, do not have an activating effect on the metabolic systems.
It may sound strange, but water also plays a positive role in speeding up the metabolism. Studies show that drinking a couple of glasses of water at room temperature (22°C) can increase the metabolic rate in both men and women by 30%.
This occurs mainly because the body burns energy to bring the water mass from 22°C to around 37°C – a phenomenon that is referred to as the thermogenic effect. But also because water intake improves hydration of the muscles and makes them more active in terms of utilising energy resources.
How to speed up your metabolism: all useful tips
If, as we have seen in the previous paragraphs, metabolism is influenced in its speed by many elements over which we have no control, it is also true that there are many other things that we can do instead to steer it in the direction most favourable to us.
Here are a few tips for speeding up your metabolism by modifying certain daily habits.
Physical activity and training
Doctors and researchers who deal closely with these issues have long advocated the need for physical activity, gymnastics, sport in any form: ‘never stand still’ is a mantra that has been repeated a thousand times and a thousand times proven correct.
We are not talking about exhausting ourselves in the gym, massacring joints and intervertebral discs, but about keeping the muscles active. In this way, the positive stress it exerts on the bone can be maintained and metabolic reactions can be stimulated. There is no specific sport or series of exercises to achieve this, although the most recommended type of gymnastics is aerobic, combined with exercises with weights.
It is best to combine different techniques. Walking is a good example of cardio exercise, but it must be done at a very brisk pace: to be clear, we need to feel our heart rate quicken and we need to feel a little winded. Aerobic exercise allows us to consume calories, much more than with weights in the same unit of time, and to stimulate fat metabolism.
On the other hand, working against resistance, as with weights, strengthens muscle mass and improves insulin sensitivity, helping to prevent diseases such as diabetes, overweight and obesity. These are, therefore, two complementary strategies that achieve good results for the overall health of the body.
Metabolism is the set of reactions that enable us to utilise the elements contained in food to produce energy and carry out the reactions required by the body. Basal metabolism is the number of calories needed by the body in a resting state to perform its basic functions, those essential for keeping us alive:
- Blood circulation.
- Regulation of body temperature.
It is also influenced by how much exercise we do (as you can see, the reminders of physical activity are indeed continuous), the ambient temperature, and the state of nutrition we are in.
Lastly, factors whose impact we experience directly, such as hormones (the correlation is especially evident in the female population: we see this after the menopause), stress and genetics, also affect the basal metabolic rate.
The characteristics of our organism contribute to changing this parameter. Muscle mass acts by increasing the basal metabolic rate more than fat mass does. It follows that having a lean physique with a toned and developed musculature is in itself a factor that promotes fitness maintenance.
Age and ageing
The risk of accumulating superfluous kilos increases with age. Ageing and the general slowing down of metabolic processes create the basic conditions for weight gain from the age of 40. This phenomenon is most evident in women, for whom the menopause is a critical transition for the health of body and mind.
The deposition of adipose tissue should, however, be avoided if it exceeds a certain threshold, with a view to lightening the load on bones and muscles, preventing metabolic diseases (metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, diabetes) and containing cardiovascular risk.
Ageing is a natural process that tends to cause us to accumulate fat tissue and lose lean mass. The chain of events involved is triggered by many factors, mostly hormonal. The reduction in the synthesis of sex hormones that occurs with the passing of the years facilitates the deposition of adipose tissue. And, at the same time, the older we get, the more we stop exercising, stop training.
To keep fit, therefore, we must find a way to reverse this cycle. How do we start? By exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet.
A good sleep balance is essential to maintain a good mood and thus prevent stress that can trigger or worsen states of anxiety or depression.
This is a first reason why we must protect sleep from all the disturbing factors that can affect it:
- Use of electronic devices before bedtime.
- Particularly hearty evening meals.
- Alcohol abuse.
- Bedroom temperature above 21-22°C.
- Intake of coffee and other caffeine-containing stimulating drinks in the late afternoon.
Dedicating the right number of hours (7-8 per night) to rest allows us to feel stronger in the morning and feel less of a need for sugar at breakfast and in the early hours of the day.
In fact, there are numerous studies that show a correlation between sleep disorders and the increased use of snacks and after-hours snacks.
How to speed up your metabolism: medical aids
Dietary supplementation can play an essential role in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. This is especially true in the presence of diseases that alter nutrient absorption, such as certain stomach and intestinal disorders.
Iron supplementation is also important in people suffering from anaemia. Identifying and correcting the states of weakness and prostration associated with this condition with targeted iron and folic acid supplementation allows one to regain energy while avoiding overindulging in food.
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