Metabolism involves all chemical processes happening inside your body that keep you alive. All these processes need energy and calories are the units of this energy. The minimum amount of energy your body needs to perform its vital functions (breathing, circulating blood, etc.) is called basal metabolic rate (BMR). Its value is pretty much steady, it depends on gender, age, body constitution and size as well as genes. BMR takes about 60-70% of the daily energy needs of your body, 10% are burned to process the food you eat and the rest are spent on physical activity (when you walk from your chair to bed or jog, everything counts).
Since you dont have any control over your age, genetics or gender, its not much that you can do about your basal metabolic rate. Thus, technically you can do nothing about this aspect of your metabolism. However, you can increase the amount of energy you spend on food digestion and physical activity. Here are some tips that can help you boost your energy expenditure:
Even when resting, your body continues burning calories. The BMR in people with more muscle mass is much higher because muscles need more energy to sustain themselves. Try to do muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week for all main muscle groups. High intensity exercises, weight lifting and even heavy gardening will do.
This type of activity includes cycling, swimming, etc. Its said to be the most effective way to burn calories. Aerobic exercise can boost your metabolism in the hours after a session. High-intensity exercise promotes a greater and longer rise in resting energy expenditure during the period of recovery. Try at least 30 minutes of intense exercise a day.
Keep your stress levels under control
Researchers say that stress has a negative effect on the metabolism. Its because in response to stress your body starts producing cortisol, a hormone which has been linked to metabolism worsening and increasing the risk for obesity.
Take a cup of coffee
Small amounts of coffee are believed to boost metabolic burn through stimulation of central nervous system. But dont take too much – one cup of coffee is just enough to benefit from the metabolic effect of caffeine.
Include protein in your diet
Your body burns greater amount of calories when digesting protein than it does for carbohydrates or fat. As a part of a well-balanced diet, changing some carbs and fats to protein-rich, lean products (fish, beans, nuts, turkey) may speed up metabolism during mealtime.