In so many years of my practice as a dietitian consultant, I have seen people literally starving themselves to lose weight. But, what if I could convince you that without starving and just by eating healthy and your heart felt or more than what you generally eat, you can lose fats/ look more toned and reduce weight at the same time? You can achieve this by improving your basal metabolism.
What is basal metabolism?
It is the rate at which our body burns calories when even at rest. It includes calories burnt for the process of digestion, and carrying out basic functions of the body. Basically when you are not being physically active.
We have an assumption that exercising is the only way to improve metabolism. It is true but, there is loads to add to the list of foods that help improve metabolism like having small frequent meals i.e every 2.5-3 hours, quantity and quality of food consumed etc.
Today I will share 5 of easiest ways for the same
- CONSUMING MORE FIBER RICH FOODS
Fiber is the undigestible material of the plant that provides bulk and adds satiety levels. When we include more fiber in the meals, our body takes more time and effort to break those fiber molecules thus spending/ burning more calories. There are 2 kinds of fibers, soluble and insoluble.
Here is a list of fiber rich foods: whole grains, bran, whole fruits, vegetables like carrots, cucumber, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, bell peppers, broccoli, etc., beans, nuts,
- INCLUDE PROTEINS IN EACH MEAL
Proteins take more time to digest than carbs and hence the thermic effect of food i.e the calories that are burned during the digestion of proteins increases. Proteins also aids in functions of growth and development i.e. building muscles, growth and for wear and tear of the tissues used throughout the day this requires a lot of energy. Higher the muscle content in the body, higher is the metabolism.
Sources of proteins: Milk, paneer (cottage cheese), plain yoghurt, buttermilk, pulses, sprouts, soya, tofu, eggs, chicken, fish. Also lente carbs in chick peas (chhole) and kidney beans (rajma) keep you full for long time and helps increase the metabolis
- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
2/3rd of your body is water. Muscles are approx 75% water and cells, bones, blood hold water and float in it.Basically it is required to carry out each and every biological function in the body.
Thus when the body is in the state of dehydration, the metabolism slows down as the ability to generate energy and body’s ability to utilize fat as fuel is severely inhibited.
- INCORPORATE SPICES IN THE MEALS-
Ginger (gingerols and capsaicin), garlic (allicin), cinnamon, pepper and chillies (capsaicin), turmeric(curcumin) etc. also known as hot spices are known to improve metabolism and also help in carrying other antioxidant functions.
- OPT FOR GREEN TEA-
Green tea is rich in polyphenols like catechins and flavonoids which are antioxidants. It also contains caffeine in small amounts. Through few studies, it has been seen that green tea increases metabolism and rate of fat burning. But ensure that you consume a glass of water after every cup of green tea as the caffeine present in the green tea helps in dehydration of cells apart from giving a boost to metabolism.
The above ways are the some of the simplest ones which can be controlled/ practiced without any difficulty. Apart from these as mentioned above exercise helps improve metabolism. But, do you really know which one is more effective?
Combining strengthening exercises in the schedule will really help improve the metabolic rate for a longer duration until the repair/wear and tear of the broken muscles occur as compared to the cardio exercises which raises metabolic rate only for a limited period. It is always better to practice each on alternate days. After all, every exercise has its own benefits.