Ever since people became aware of the danger of overweight, calories had been responsible to make them feel guilty when eating. How much calories do my lunch contains? Is it okay to eat one more slice of this cake? Can I have a second portion for my dinner?
While eating more than necessary is bad for you, but so does eating less than what you need. Your body needs energy to perform its basic function such as breathing, thinking, and doing activities. What you need to do is balance your intake of calorie with your spending of calorie – by doing exercises and other physical activities.
However, some of you may experience frustration because despite of your effort in physical department, you still don’t burn enough calories. Meanwhile, you witness some of your friend eat more than you and exercise less, but they burn more calorie than you.
What makes you different?
The answer is metabolism. Metabolism is the process of converting calories into energy, and the speed of metabolism is different for each person. This depends on your sex, body weight, and also age. But, don’t think that the world is unfair yet!
Do you know that you can boost metabolism using certain methods? Check our fifteen lists about metabolism secret that can boost your calorie-burning!
- Breakfast: Ideally, you shouldn’t skip any meal but whatever it takes, try to never skip breakfast. Research has confirmed again and again that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This also applies for you who are trying to lose weight or burn more calories.
Apparently, this is because breakfast will kick your metabolism to start their work hour during the day. After a good night sleep, all of your body function, including metabolism, will start slow. Having a breakfast ensures your metabolism to get into its normal speed earlier.
- Eat Less More Often: Do you know that there is a difference between eating more less often and eating less more often? The first one means you eat only once or twice a day but with large portion, while the second means you eat small portion of food for 4-5 times a day. Apparently, eating less more often keeps your metabolism speed consistent throughout the day.
Aim to eat 4-5 times a day by sneaking healthy snack time between your meal times. For example, eat an apple at 10 AM between your breakfast and lunch; and then eat a small bowl of mixed nuts at 4 PM between your lunch and dinner.
- Spicy Food Burns Calories Too: Your metabolism apparently reacts differently with spicy food. This is because spicy food has certain chemical that boost up your metabolism. Do you notice that sometimes people can pants when they eat spicy food?
Mexican food and Asian food is often spicy enough for this purpose. But, if you don’t like them, you can always add red pepper powder or bell pepper on your meal.
- Aerobic is The Surest Way to Burn Calories: There is no denying that physical activities burn the most calories. There are various physical activities, but the best of them all is probably aerobic. Of course, you should make it a routine to make it counts. Any aerobics activities, from running to cycling to swimming, can burn your calorie effectively.
The best way to do aerobic is to do it every day for at least 30 minutes. If 30 minutes seems impossible to you, try to break it into two 15 minutes session or three 10 minutes session.
- Fat vs. Muscle: Fat and muscle can both burn your calories. But, muscle burns significantly more than fat does. If fat only burns two calories a day, then muscle can burns 20-50 calories a day. This fact tells you that you should build your muscle mass if you want to boost your metabolism.
You can build your muscle mass with strength training, such as weightlifting or weight pulling. Try to start your weigh exercise as fast as possible, because as the effect of aging, your body will naturally lose muscle mass as you grow older.
- Protein Build Your Muscle: This is the continuation of your muscle building. Besides incorporating weight training to your daily exercise, you can increase your muscle mass by eating protein. Protein is a nutrient which task is to build your muscles and other organs.
So, make sure to fulfill your protein quota every day. Of course, lean protein is better. Get your protein from fish, white meat, egg, and various beans.
- Crash Diet Mess Your Metabolism: While it’s tempting to just not eat when you want to lose weight instead of exercising, it’s not the best decision for a long term. When your body doesn’t get enough calories, your metabolism will slow down instead of speed up. Plus, the lack of nutrient can make you sick.
Diet means you eat less than 1600 calories a day for women or 1800 calories for men. Rather than torturing yourself with not eating, exercising is better to shape a body. Instead of getting sick skinny, you’ll get toned and healthy.
- Go Cardio to Speed Up: While you do your aerobic every day, spare some time every week to have a more intense than usual cardio exercise. 45 minutes a week for a once-in-a-while intense workout session can reduce up to 190 calories!
Use your gym membership to run on a treadmill once in a week. Have kids to babysit? Hit two birds with one stone by skipping rope with them. Want to catch up your favorite TV show? Pull your stationary bike into your living room and start pedaling while you watch.
- Stress Affects Metabolism: Apparently, stress isn’t only dangerous for your mind, but also your body. When you are stressed, your body will release a hormone called cortisol – which is often dubbed as “stress hormone”. The bad news is cortisol doesn’t only give you sign that you’re stressed; it also affects your metabolism. Cortisol changes the way your body stores calories – it turns them into fat and sends them to your belly.
So, do some simple stress management. If your stress level is low, have a me-time every day after work will be enough. If your stress level is higher, you can consider taking a break from whatever makes you stress once in a while.
- Water Boost Metabolism: We all know the magic of water – it moisturizes your skin, it hydrates your whole body, and so forth. But, do you know that water also boost metabolism? A German research found out that after drinking 17 ounces of water, a participant’s metabolism rose until up to 30 percent!
Water can also act as a barrier from overeating. If you have tendency to overeat, try to drink water before you eat. That way, you will get full faster. Drink 7-8 glasses of water every day, depending on your body weight.
- Sage Leaf Tea: Sage leaf tea can make your blood sugar level drop because they chase sugar from your blood into your cells instead. This action sends a message to your whole body that it’s their time to start converting their calories for energy, boosting your metabolism.
You can buy sage leaf tea in ready to steep tea leaf or bag. They are fairly easy to find. You can also make them yourself by drying sage leaves under the sun.
- Green Tea: Another kind of tea you should totally put in your diet is green tea. Green tea has a lot of antioxidant that helps prevent you from getting sick. For you whose aim is to lose weight, one of the antioxidant that will help you is called catechin. Catechin helps increase a hormone called “norepinephrine”.
The increase of this hormone signals to your body that it’s time to break out fat into energy. This is how green tea can help you reduce fat, body weight, and also calories. Three to five cups a day can burn up to 70 calories.
- Supplement: If you are working parents, you often don’t get the luxury of eating meal peacefully, much less to snack twice a day. Although it’s still better to get nutrients straight from their natural sources, sometimes having supplement is better than not getting it at all. The most popular calorie-burning supplements are Vitamin B12, white bean extract, and zinc.
Of course, sometimes adding supplement to your diet can be counter productive if you have certain condition or in the middle of consuming another medication. Always consult your doctor before adding supplement to your diet.
- Caffeine: Caffeine in coffee help you burn significant number of calories. This is because coffee leaves you at a state of awareness and jittery, making your body function works harder. Your heart will beat faster and so does your blood flow. These makes your body burns more calories than usual.
A cup of coffee in the morning will give you enough kick on your day. But, try not to drink it at night to avoid getting insomnia. This is important because the next secret of metabolism is sleep.
- Sleep Also Speed Up Your Metabolism: Sleep is necessary to put your body into rest mode, including your metabolism. But, if you don’t get enough sleep, your metabolism don’t get to rest, which means their performance for later day will get slower. Slow metabolism means your calorie won’t be processed into energy fast enough, so your body will convert it into fat for long term energy supply. Sadly, it means your body weight will increase.
Not only that, not enough sleep increase the supply of hormone ghenin, which will give out signal to your body that they need more food. So, make sure to sleep 6-8 hours every day.