Your metabolism is a description of all the chemical reactions currently happening in your body. They keep you alive and moving, however your metabolism is sometimes interchanged with the phrase metabolic rate. This is the number of calories that you burn, whether it’s through purposeful exercise, walking around or generally just existing as a human being.
How does your metabolic rate work?
You burn calories purely through staying alive, making new cells and tissue, breathing, circulating blood, regulating your body temperature and so much more. The number of calories you burn to carry out these processed is called your “basal metabolic rate” (BMR) and this accounts for 60-70% of the calories you burn every day. There are ways to calculate your BMR by yourself using the Harris-Benedict equation.
The only way to lose weight is to eat in a calorie deficit. This means burning more calories than you consume, however there are other ways to help you achieve this deficit, if you’re struggling to lose weight by controlling your diet by yourself.
Your BMR is unique, it is based on your genetic predisposition, your body size and composition, gender and age. If you have a larger or a more muscular body it will burn more calories when at rest. However, it is possible to boost your metabolism, you can do this through changing your diet and your body composition. If you lose fat and increase your muscle size then your BMR will also change and adapt.
Which foods increase your metabolism?
Eating meals that are high in protein will temporarily boost your metabolism, and therefore help you to lose weight. This protein doesn’t have to be steaks and chicken, it can include avocado, tempeh and beans. These foods will help you to feel fuller for longer as well as being a great source of protein.
Studies have also shown that eating spicy food like chilli peppers can also help to boost your metabolism. This is due to capsaicin, an active compound found in chilli peppers and can play a roll in weight loss as a result.
If you’re wanting to boost your metabolism and lose weight then there are some foods that you should be avoiding. These include things like refined grains, these are found in processed and packaged foods. Such as pasta, white bread and rice, these can sabotage weight loss if eaten to excess. Refined grains contain empty calories and lack fibre, they’re not as filling as other foods and therefore can lead you to eating more than you need.
Sugary drinks and alcohol should also be reduced, they’re loaded with calories and don’t have any benefits to your diet. Alcohol especially can lead you to eating more food after a few glasses of wine, and the next day you can feel groggy and unmotivated to move and exercise.