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Exercise tips, Managing weight

Exercise tips, Managing weight

August 21, 2014

Five ways to speed up your metabolism

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Five ways to speed up your metabolism - Image credit: Thinkstock/Creatas

If you are keen to lose weight, or just improve your health, knowing how to speed up your metabolism can be key to achieving your goals. Fitness tracking can help ensure that you are hitting your activity levels, but this won’t give you the results you are looking for if you have a slow and sluggish metabolism.

Metabolism is a term used to describe all the chemical processes that your body performs, which includes everything from breathing to cell repair but importantly it also has a role to play in digesting food. This means that if you have been crash dieting, undereating or are just getting older, you may notice that you are gaining weight. However, you don’t have to tolerate a slow metabolism and feeling guilty for eating a healthy and balanced diet that includes the occasional treat.

There are a number of ways that you can help encourage your metabolism to speed up. Here, we’ve outlined five of them:

Drink more water

This is a big one for the vast majority of people. It is estimated that human beings need to drink around two litres of water every day, but most of us fall well below this. It’s also important to note that this is a minimum requirement and you should drink more if you are exercising.

As we are around 80 per cent water, it’s crucial that your body has enough fluid to stay healthy and if you suffer from headaches it is often because you are dehydrated. However, drinking the recommended amount of water can also aid weight loss and you are making it much easier for your body to rid itself of fat. Being dehydrated slows down your body’s ability to burn calories and can have an impact on your weight loss and health. Research has also shown that it can help protect your organs such as your heart and keep you alert.

Eat spicy food

Spicy food, such as chillies, has long been a favourite to speed up your metabolism. Their natural chemicals can push your metabolism to process at a quicker speed. However, this doesn’t mean you have to start chomping on a jar of chillies; adding a tablespoon of chopped red or green chilli pepper or pepper flakes to your favourite meals, such as spaghetti bolognese, can boost your metabolic rate.

Exercise 

As your metabolism is responsible for your muscles, increasing the amount of work they do or how much muscle tissue you actually have will help speed it up. The resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. It is estimated that for each pound of muscle you burn six calories a day just to exist,  while fat burns just two calories. Although this may sound like a small amount it can have a big impact over a month or year.

Green tea

Drinking green tea or oolong tea brings a number of benefits such as caffeine and catechins to boost your metabolism and research suggests that drinking as little as two cups a day can help your body burn more calories.

Strength training

Strength training is a brilliant way to boost the amount of muscle you have in your body, therefore boosting the speed of your metabolism. It can also be a good way for those that struggle with exercise to increase the amount of activity they are doing as it can start off low impact.

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