Ever wondered what is metabolism and why it is so important for your health? Metabolism is the process by which the food we eat is converted into energy. Going deeper into it, every cell in our body is producing energy through the chemical process of metabolism. At a young age, our muscle mass stores energy that can prevent unhealthy weight gain. But as we age, we lose our muscle mass, which leads to excess fat accumulation. Metabolism starts slowing down as we reach 40 up to about 5% every decade thereafter. Our challenge will be to beat the metabolic slow down.
5 eating habits to boost metabolism
1. Eat Your Meals on Time
Busy routines such as the early morning rush to work, busy afternoons coupled with a late dinner and unruly sleep timings throw our circadian rhythm off track. The body is balanced with our circadian rhythm and any disruption can slow the metabolism down. Our digestive power is naturally strong during noon which is why our ancestors had lunch between 12-1 pm. As the day passes and night begins, our digestion is slowed down. Eating dinner late can disturb the circadian rhythm. Many research studies have proven that disturbed circadian rhythm can impair metabolism with a raised risk of metabolic disorders and obesity. Having meals on time can address this issue.
Ideal Breakfast time: Before 9:30 am
Ideal Lunchtime: Between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Ideal Snack time: 3 – 4 pm
Ideal Dinnertime: Between 5 pm – 7 pm
2. Mindful Eating
Very often when we have to eat outside or during some special occasion, we are likely to overeat not because we are hungry but because the food looks appealing or we are distracted while eating, or we are in a bad mood. As per research studies, mindful eating habits improved metabolism while reducing the metabolic risk factors like high blood sugar levels, low levels of HDL cholesterol (good fat) or high blood pressure, and large waist circumference. We need to incorporate mindful eating habits into our routine. For instance,
- Consuming food because we are hungry instead of eating out of habit
- Chewing food slowly and thoroughly, savoring the taste
- Thinking about how the food with all our senses before, during and after eating can help our body and health
3. Spice up Your Metabolism
Many spices from our kitchen can be good metabolic boosters when included in our daily diet. Turmeric, Cinnamon, Cumin, Fennel, Ginger, Ajwain, Clove, and Nutmeg, because of some special chemical component and their healing effect on our body, can easily jump start metabolism when taken in right amounts.
4. Eat Whole Grains & Protein
Including a variety of whole grains like oats, barley, rye, quinoa, Craig, and bhajra, can offer us rich sources of fiber and a diet high in protein can rev up the metabolism by controlling spiking sugar levels and keep us full for a longer time. Apart from this, protein consumption can increase the metabolic rate by 15-30% by raising the thermic effect of food (TEF). The thermic effect of food is caused by the extra calories that are required by our body to digest, absorb, and assimilate the food that we eat.
5. Drink Sips of Warm Water
We all know drinking plenty of water is good for the well being of our body. From ancient times until recent scientific studies, it has been proven that drinking warm or hot water is one of the simplest ways to improve digestion and metabolism. Warm/hot water up to 98.6 degrees F accounted for a 40 percent increase in metabolism which lasted for at least 30-40 minutes of raised metabolism after consumption of warm water. Sipping warm water throughout the day can keep your metabolism high. Overall, making these simple changes rather than counting calories can improve metabolism as well as boost weight loss efforts.
Try incorporating them into your routine and you will see a lot of positive changes in your health!