A number of factors, apart from your genes, decide the rate at which food is broken down in our body to release much needed energy. This includes body size, age, gender, hormonal levels, and physical activity. Thankfully, metabolic rate can be increased, irrespective of gender, body size, or age.
Of course, you cannot change the genes that you have inherited. But you can definitely increase the body’s need for energy at any given point in time. One of the best ways for improving the energy requirement is exercise. The need for energy increases even after an hour of intense exercise and this effect is referred to as the afterburn effect. More energy is needed to digest and metabolize certain foods, like proteins. So opting for high-protein foods automatically helps in improving the metabolic rate. Improve your muscles and this will directly affect the amount of energy used up, working them during each activity. An extra pound of muscle will help in burning about 50% more calories.
Another factor that cannot be changed is your age, and the metabolic rate of a person may decrease by 10% every 10 years after 25 years. One of the reasons for this change is the reduction in physical activity with age. Try to maintain the physical activity and you can reduce the chances of having a low metabolic rate considerably.
Try these tips:
- Improve your lean muscle mass so that even for normal activities 100 more calories would be used up.
- Burn more calories by including high intensity exercises in intervals. This will improve the afterburn effect.
- Get adequate sleep as lack of sleep may affect the amount of calories burned. This in turn may affect the amount of calories burnt during rest.
- Having small meals at regular intervals will help in stimulating the metabolism. Studies show that eating food every two to three hours reduces deposits of body fat.
- Improve the intake of high-fiber foods like vegetables and healthy proteins.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are known to increase the metabolic rate considerably. Include more of fish oil, flax seeds, and walnuts in the diet to get more of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Increase the activity level little by little. Stand or walk whenever you can. It not only increases your metabolism but also your spirits!
- Eating foods high in protein can help boost your metabolic rate.
- Exercise can also boost your metabolic rate.