Metabolic System

How to Improve Metabolism?

6.4   Where do the Calories Go?Liver 27%; brain 19%; muscles 18%; kidneys 10%; heart 7%; other organs 19%. Whether you are trying to lose extra kilos or compensating for the inevitable slowing down of the metabolic rate that comes with age or simply you want to remain hale and hearty, the following are some surefire ways to boost metabolism, to keep your energy pulsating and the body in shape. The more of these ways you are able to incorporate into your lifestyle, the more you will boost your metabolism. That means you will be burning more calories 24 hours a day! So bring discipline to lifestyle, get rid of negativity, have positive and cheerful attitude and bounce back with high spirits and vibrant energy with these health-giving tips: –

(i)      Never wake-up to Tea or Coffee – Instead eat real natural food, which is easy on the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and stomach, say seasonal fruit within 15 minutes of waking. Any stimulant like caffeine in tea, coffee and nicotine in cigarettes jolt the system out of slumber. It increases the blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, and makes the body feel stressed or “kicked” to which, the body will respond by slowing down metabolism and hampering fat burning. Moreover, the Cuppa can mask your hunger, so you go hungry for a longtime without realising it. All it does is create a huge calorie and nutrient deficit in the morning, and the body has no other option than to overeat later to make up the deficit. With sunrise, the metabolism peaks and the cells need nutrition. This is the time to eat and to eat big healthy breakfast. Once your cells receive nutrition through food and the blood sugar comes to an optimum level, feel free to have your tea or coffee. The breathing and heart rates etc will still increase, but now your breakfast will act as a buffer. Moderate consumption of coffee or tea (especially green) is known to boost metabolism but not first thing in the morning.

 (ii)     Never Skip Breakfast – Breakfast breaks the fast after 9-10 hours or more since our last meal and sleep. Your stomach and spleen (or metabolism) is at their strongest first thing in the morning. Metabolic rate is shaped like an icecream cone, highest in the morning, declining gradually through the day. Eating a seasonal fruit within 15 minutes of waking and eating substantial healthy breakfast later improves the metabolism as much as 25%. On the other hand, if you just have tea/coffee and a light bite and skip breakfast, your body thinks it is “famine” and its natural reaction, as protective mechanism, is to completely shut down the metabolism or slow it down to  a crawl in an attempt to preserve whatever fuel reserves it contains as fat for the future “famine”. Since BMR accounts for 60-70% of energy expenditure, it is clearly the largest form of energy expenditure to maintain good health and ideal weight.

Those who skip breakfast are also the ones likely to develop high cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood sugar problems linked to diabetes and heart diseases. Eating breakfast has been proven to improve concentration, problem solving abilities, mental performance, memory and mood, besides good health. So make it a habit to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

A nutritious fulfilling breakfast should provide our 25-30% of daily nutrient needs to keep us healthy and bubbling with energy. This will also provide you the nutrient boost and will banish your cravings to binge on high calorie weight promoting junk foods in the latter part of the day, which happens if you skip breakfast. So, if you have been skipping breakfast, start eating from now on, even when you don’t feel hungry. It will take about 3 weeks to reset the biological hunger clock, once you begin.

 (iii)    Avoid Fasting and Feasting – Eat Small Meals Frequently – Long gaps between meals is a big destroyer of metabolism. When you fast, the body actually turns away calories, which are converted into fat. Even when the body needs energy, it actually burns muscle and holds on to the fat. There is some evidence to suggest that eating small, more frequent meals keeps the metabolism on the right path i.e. burning calories faster than large, less frequent meals. The more frequently you eat, the more frequently your metabolism will get a boost. Provided your small meals don’t fall into the quick-fix, high fat and sugar laden snacks, eating little and often can also help to control hunger and make you less likely to binge. There are two reasons why meal frequency may improve metabolism. Firstly, the levels of thyroid hormones begin to drop within hours of eating a meal, which slows metabolism. Secondly, it may be that thermogenic effect of eating several small meals is higher than eating the same amount of calories at once. So eat 7-8 small meals, say every two hours, instead of 2-3 large meals a day.

Also severely restricting your food intake for several hours to reduce weight is crazy as it actually slows metabolism and weight loss. When your body gets a regular dose of a small number of calories often, through the day, it feels reassured and loved. Eating should be a celebration and a way of loving our body and providing it with healthy nourishment. Not eating for long hours (more than 3) or starving is an act of punishment, like being angry at ourselves. When your body gets fewer calories at a time, they are metabolised better and the body sees no reason to store these as body fat.

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