How to Fire up Your Metabolism Naturally

How to Fire up Your Metabolism Naturally

Weight Loss Fort Wayne IN Vilulu Metabolism

Your metabolism keeps you alive. It's the sum total of hundreds of different chemical and physical processes your body goes through to produce energy and to function optimally.

If your body is in an "energy crisis" or could ditch a couple extra pounds, read on to understand what you can do to help keep the fire burning.

There are tons of factors that play into how your metabolism operates--gender (women usually have lower metabolic rates), heredity, weight, physical activity level, diet, and age (with age, it tends to decline).

Fortunately, you can control some of those factors, and we'll zero in on one of them here--your diet.

#1 Metabolism Myth: Skimp on Calories

One thing is for sure - your body needs to get adequate calories. The secret isn't to skimp on calories, it's to eat the right kinds and in controlled amounts.

Depriving your body of the calories it needs is a recipe for fatigue. This can decrease your metabolic rate. A lower metabolic rate means your body burns less calories and this increases chances of weight gain. Additionally, your body cannot function at its best when it doesn't get the nutrients and energy (fuel) it needs.

To keep your energy levels high and your metabolism running efficiently, remember that extreme under-eating will zap your energy, but eating the right kind of foods will sustain it.

Is it time to edit your diet? As part of a healthy, balanced, nutrient-dense diet, I've compiled a list of thermogenic foods.

Thermo-what? Thermogenic means to produce heat through metabolic stimulation. In other words, they give your metabolism a little extra edge to burn more calories, converting them into heat.  What are some thermogenic foods worth introducing into your diet?

  1. Fish Around!
    The thermogenic ingredient here is omega-3, a stellar fatty acid that helps regulate metabolism in several ways. It can help balance and control blood sugar, metabolize fat, and the affect the body's reaction to an important hormone--leptin. This important hormone helps signal the brain when it's time to stop eating. When the body is resistant to leptin, it doesn't respond to it. This can lead to overeating and weight gain. Thankfully, omega-3 can help increase the body's sensitivity to this satiety hormone.

    Not a fish lover? No worries, omega-3 can be found in chia seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, or high-quality omega-3 supplements.

  1. Spill the Beans (on your plate)
    Beans, as well as other legumes (such as peas and lentils), have a special kind of starch not to be feared. In many ways, this starch acts like dietary fiber. It's called "resistant starch" because it tends to resist digestion in the small intestine. Resistant starch forces your body to rev up its metabolism in order to get the extra work done. Some of the starch that resists digestion makes its way through the small intestine and into the large intestine to be used as food for the microflora in the colon.

    Resistant starch helps keep you full and, since much of its digestion escapes the small intestine, less glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream. This means lower insulin levels and less fat storage.

    As a plus, lentils and beans (one of the best sources of resistant starch) are convenient and cheap. They're also a great source of B vitamins involved in energy metabolism.

  1. Water Down
    Nothing fancy here--it's just the humble H2O. Staying well-hydrated keeps your cellular metabolism running smoothly. Water has a huge role in metabolism. To name just a few, it helps breakdown foods, regulate body temperature, produce saliva and other digestive juices, flush out toxins and wastes, and transport nutrients extracted from food.

    The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism published a report about the thermogenic effects of water. The study found that 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30% within 10 minutes. The study suggests that water stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) responsible for increasing glucose metabolism and fat breakdown.

    Bottom line: Make sure you've always got some water within reach.

  1. Spice things up!
    It may come as no surprise that certain spicy foods can increase heat-production. Hot chili peppers have a thermogenic ingredient known as capsaicin. Research shows it can boost metabolism immediately after consumption, especially fat metabolism. Other spicy ingredients to add more fire to the flame include black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, hot mustard, and wasabi.
  1. Drink Green Tea!
    Green tea has a double whammy effect because of its caffeine and catechin content - a potent antioxidant found abundantly in green tea leaves. Catechins alone can reduce body fat (especially abdominal fat) and can activate fat metabolism in the liver.

    Catechins and caffeine may work together (it's a special thing called synergy) to promote fat oxidation and to pump up metabolism. To get the full effect, sip up to 3 cups of quality green tea daily.

  1. Get coo-coo for coconut oil
    In a (coco)nutshell, coconut oil has a special kind of fat, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). As the name suggests, their carbon chains are shorter making it easier for them to permeate cell membranes. Before the body even has a chance to absorb this fat, it makes its way immediately to the liver where it is mostly burned off as fuel instead of being processed to be stored as fat.

    Coconut oil may contribute to weight loss and prevent accumulation of body fat by its ability to moderately boost metabolism in this way.

    One interesting study found that as little as 15-30 grams of MCT per day enhanced metabolism to the point of burning an extra 120 calories per day.

  1. Be Grateful for Grapefruit
    Eating half a grapefruit before your meals can result in some serious pound-shedding.

    One study gave a group of obese patients either apple juice, grapefruit capsules, grapefruit juice, or fresh grapefruit three times a day before a meal. After 12 weeks, the fresh grapefruit and grapefruit juice group lost the most weight. It turns out the polyphenols in this tangy citrus fruit may increase metabolic rate by increasing the amount of ATP (or cellular energy) produced.

  1. Eat more garlic
    Another way to kick-start your metabolism is to regularly use fresh garlic in your meals. Garlic has been shown to increase metabolism and fatty acid oxidation, which is also protective against metabolic diseases.

To fully benefit from these metabolism-boosting foods, though, it's just as important to avoid foods that make your metabolism sluggish. High glycemic foods, such as refined carbohydrates, sweets and sugars, and high-fructose food products will cause a metabolic setback.

For example, consider the influence foods high in fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup used in many processed foods, has on your metabolism. A high flux of fructose to the liver disrupts normal metabolism, leading to significant and excessive production of fat as well as insulin resistance.

What about refined carbohydrates? The factory has done all the work refining them. That leaves very little "work" for your body to do as far as digestion and metabolism goes. Avoid refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice. Choose whole grain products that give your body more work to do to break down the foods and digest the nutrients.


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