Most people have a basic understanding of metabolism, but they’re a bit vague on the details. For example, did you know that certain lifestyle changes, such as in your diet, could supercharge your metabolism? Simply put, we all have a basic metabolic rate that indicates the time it takes our bodies to naturally burn calories. While this rate varies from person to person, certain foods and activities can increase this rate, helping maintain a healthy weight. Here are the top 5 ways to supercharge your metabolism.
5. Green Tea
Green tea has been touted as the “miracle diet supplement” that allows you to shed pounds of fat in only a few days. While this is not true, it is true that green tea in conjunction with a monitored diet and regular exercise plan can aid in boosting your metabolism. Green tea affects metabolism by stimulating thermogenesis within the body. Thermogenesis is a process in which the body’s temperature is elevated and the respiration of brown fat is increased. Those who excelled in high school chemistry classes may be interested to know that green tea stimulates thermogenesis because of the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in its chemical composition. Those who fell asleep in chemistry class will just be happy to know that while EGCG can be found in many supplements, it is most abundant in green tea.
Green tea has also been shown to have powerful antioxidant effects, which may help in preventing cancer, promoting stomach and colon health, and improving overall health.
4. Cinnamon Extract
Cinnamon extract is another supplement that has been shown to stimulate thermogenesis. Cinnamon extract is particularly beneficial because it is easy to find, available in most grocery stores. Furthermore, some people may have an allergic reaction to green tea, so this extract is a good alternative. Cinnamon extract has also been shown to be beneficial for diabetics, as it is a natural regulator of blood sugar.
Caffeine is very effective in boosting metabolism and also falls into the thermogenic category. Caffeine is readily available and can be found in supplement form, or it can be derived from drinks such as coffee. However, it is important to note that many popular energy drinks contain copious amounts of caffeine accompanied by high levels of sugars and high-glycemic (bad) carbohydrates. Do yourself a favor and skip these sugary drinks. There are also stimulant-free thermogenic formulas available for individuals who have sensitivity to caffeine.
2. Strength Training and Cardiovascular Exercise
A greater muscle mass compared to body fat composition will lead to a higher metabolic rate. And you don’t need to bulk up like one of those competitive weight lifters you see on magazine covers to reap the benefits. Simple weight training two or three times a week is a proven, effective way for the body to achieve and maintain a high metabolism. Even better, it does not require the use of any supplements. Rather, it is the body’s natural way of maintaining homeostasis. Now for the really good news: a higher muscle composition elevates your resting metabolic rate, which means that you can burn calories while sleeping, reading, watching TV, etc.
It’s important to combine strength training with some type of cardiovascular exercise. The cardiovascular exercise in itself boosts metabolism, but it also burns fat and is the ideal way to lose weight. When strength training is incorporated into the routine, the cardio burns fat off during exercise and the increased muscle mass burns fat while resting. Hands down, this is one of the best approaches to losing weight.
1. ‘Trick’ Your Body
Creating a caloric deficit is the No. 1 way to naturally supercharge your metabolism and is one of the best-kept secrets in the nutritional world. When someone states that a diet doesn’t work, odds are they are not creating a caloric deficit. Our bodies adapt to virtually everything. It is this adaptation that has allowed the human race to thrive for so long. Understanding how to “trick” your body’s adaptation process is the key to losing weight quickly. Here’s how it works: When you go on a diet, you typically undergo a caloric restriction. By definition, a diet means you’re eating less food than normal. This caloric restriction is great because it allows you to burn more calories in exercise than you consume in food — the key to losing weight. When you drastically restrict your calories, your body receives a shock. Most people initially notice a substantial loss of weight.
However, after a few weeks, this weight loss levels out. This is because the body adapts to the caloric restriction and manages to store fat based on the existing calories. Remember that the body’s natural reaction is to store fat. You can trick your body by creating a caloric deficit. This means that you consume a set amount of calories each day for five or six days and then on the sixth or seventh day of the week you eat substantially more calories than you normally would — anywhere from 250 to 1,000 calories, depending on your weight and gender. After increasing the caloric intake for a day or two, go back to eating the minimal amount of calories. This keeps your body guessing and prevents it from adapting a set caloric intake. Therefore, you keep losing weight. This is by far the best and most natural way to supercharge your metabolism.