Are you tired of trying every weight loss program out there, only to find yourself back at square one? The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to weight loss. However, there’s one factor that plays a crucial role in shedding those extra pounds – metabolism.
Your metabolism plays a crucial role in determining how efficiently your body burns calories, making it a vital factor in achieving sustainable weight loss.
A faster metabolism means your body burns more calories, even at rest. So, it’s no surprise that a sluggish metabolism can make it harder for you to lose weight.
But don’t worry, there are ways to kickstart your metabolism and turn it into a calorie-burning machine to jumpstart your weight loss journey.
In this article, we’ll explore the following:
- What is Metabolism
- How Metabolism Works
- Importance of metabolism for weight loss
- A practical technique and tips on how to improve it.
- What Is Metabolism And Its Role In Weight Loss
- How Metabolism Works
- Metabolism Calculator For Weight Loss
- Signs Of A Slow Metabolism
- Things That Affect Body Metabolism And Weight Loss
- 1. Body Size And Composition
- 2. Gender
- 3. Age
- 4. Genetic
- 5. Body Temperature
- 6. Caffeine Intake Or Stimulants
- 7. Hormones
- 8. Pregnancy
- 9. Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF)
- 10. Physical Activities And Sports
- How To Increase Your Metabolism To Lose Weight
- 1. Get Sufficient Sleep
- 2. Do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- 3. Do Strength Training
- 4. Stay Active Throughout The Day
- 5. Eat Protein In Every Meal
- 6. Drink Plenty Of Water
- 7. Drink green tea
- 8. Manage Stress Levels
- 9. Use Smaller Plates
- 10. Avoid Crash Diet
- 11. Drink Coffee
- Metabolism-Boosting Supplements To Loss Fat
- 1. Caffeine
- 2. Green Tea Extract
- 3. Capsaicin
- 4. Forskolin
- 5. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
- 7. Protein Supplements
- Best Vitamins for Weight Loss and Metabolism
- 1. Vitamin B-Complex
- 2. Vitamin D
- 3. Vitamin C
- 4. Vitamin E
- 5. Magnesium
- 6. Iron
What Is Metabolism And Its Role In Weight Loss
The body’s metabolism is a chemical process that occurs in the cells of the body to convert the food and drink you consume into energy. During this complex process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy, which your body needs to function.
Thousands of metabolic reactions happened at the same time. All of them were controlled by the body to keep our cells healthy and working.
Your metabolism plays a crucial role in weight loss because it determines how many calories your body burns at rest. This is known as your basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Your BMR is the number of calories your body burns while at rest, just to keep your organs functioning. This includes:
- Digesting food
- Circulating blood
- Repairing and renewing cells
- Controlling body temperature
- Triggering muscle contraction
- Eliminating waste through urine
- Maintaining brain and nerve functions.
A faster metabolism means a higher BMR, which means your body burns more calories even when you’re not active.
Know Your BMR: Try Our FREE BMR Calculator
How Metabolism Works
The body’s metabolism works through two processes, namely catabolism, and anabolism, which take place simultaneously. The following is the explanation:
The process of catabolism breaks down food molecules into smaller molecular compounds, which releases energy from them. The process of converting food into energy by utilizing its nutrients and calorie content.
- The protein content in food and drink converted to amino acids,
- Fat converted to fatty acids, and
- Carbohydrates are converted to simple sugars.
The body will use sugar, amino acids and fatty acids as energy sources whenever needed.
Anabolism is the process of renewing and repairing body cells through burning calories using the energy produced by the body through the process of catabolism.
If you consume more calories from the food or drink, the body will store the excess energy produced as fat tissue.
Metabolism Calculator For Weight Loss
A metabolism calculator is a tool that estimates your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body needs to maintain basic functions at rest.
BMR represents the energy expenditure required to support vital bodily functions such as breathing, circulation, and organ function.
Try our free metabolism calculator to determine your calories’ requirement for weight management.
Signs Of A Slow Metabolism
If you have a slow metabolism, you may find it difficult to lose weight, even if you’re eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some signs of a slow metabolism include:
- Feeling tired and sluggish
- Difficulty losing weight
- Feeling cold all the time
- Low-energy levels
- Dry skin
- Hair loss
- Irregular menstrual periods (in women)
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to speak with your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be affecting your metabolism.
Things That Affect Body Metabolism And Weight Loss
The metabolic rate or how many calories your body burned to produce energy generally varies from person to person.
There are the following factors that influence metabolism and weight loss.
1. Body Size And Composition
People having bigger and more muscular bodies are able to burn more energy, even when resting. This is because muscle tissue is more active in the metabolic process than fat tissue.
Male bodies usually burn more energy than women. This is because men often have more muscle tissue and less body fat when compared to women.
As we get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease, and the number of fat increases. This can slow down the metabolic process or burning calories to produce energy.
Genetic or hereditary factors can affect the growth and size of muscle tissue. This will later be able to influence the burning of energy or metabolism of one’s body.
5. Body Temperature
Metabolism will naturally increase when body temperature decreases (hypothermia) or when the body is cold. It aims to increase body temperature to return to normal so that the body’s organs can function properly.
6. Caffeine Intake Or Stimulants
Metabolism can be increased if you consume drinks that contain stimulants such as caffeine. This substance is naturally found in coffee and tea.
In addition, the body’s metabolism can also be increased when taking drugs that have stimulants.
The hormone that functions to regulate the body’s metabolism is the thyroid hormone. Therefore, disruption of the production or action of thyroid hormone can increase or decrease the body’s metabolism.
Metabolism in a pregnant woman’s body will increase to support the process of growth and development of fetal organs and tissues. The metabolic process will usually begin to increase when the pregnancy reaches the age of 15 weeks until entering the third trimester.
9. Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF)
The process of digesting, absorbing, spreading, and storing food nutrients also needs calories as fuel. The body uses about 10 percent of calories for this food processing.
Different macronutrients have varying effects on TEF, with protein having the highest thermic effect, followed by carbohydrates and fats.
10. Physical Activities And Sports
In addition to sports, simple activities such as playing with pets, walking to the stalls, routine walking in the afternoon can also burn calories, of course, in different amounts.
Exercise increases energy expenditure, both during the activity and afterward, as your body repairs and rebuilds tissues.
How To Increase Your Metabolism To Lose Weight
Having a high metabolic rate does make the body be able to burn more calories and reduce fat. A high metabolic rate also makes you feel better because the body gets enough energy supply to carry out its various functions.
Maybe this is why many people are looking for ways to increase the body’s metabolism for weight loss.
There are several ways to increase metabolism that may help to reduce weight.
Here are some ways to increase the body’s metabolism for the diet which have been proven by the nutrition experts through various studies.
1. Get Sufficient Sleep
The study has shown that sleep loss can disrupt the regulation of energy balance and contribute to weight gain and obesity.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and cravings for sugary and high-calorie foods.
Additionally, lack of sleep can also lead to fatigue, which can make it harder to stick to an exercise routine.
2. Do High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT, is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular workout involves alternating between short, intense bursts of exercise and brief recovery periods.
This form of exercise has been shown to increase metabolism and promote fat burning even after the workout is over. Consider incorporating HIIT sessions into your weekly routine to maximize calorie burn.
HIIT workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, as well as improved glucose metabolism.
3. Do Strength Training
Strength training usually involves lifting weights or doing exercises that challenge your muscles and take a lot of effort.
These intense workouts demand more energy and can increase your metabolic rate both during the workout and afterward as your body recovers.
Working out muscles not only helps you lose weight, but it also keeps your muscles strong and healthy.
As you keep training your muscles and getting stronger, your body gets better at using energy and nutrients. This improved efficiency can lead to a higher metabolic rate even at rest.
4. Stay Active Throughout The Day
Look for opportunities to increase your daily activity level. Take regular breaks from sitting and incorporate more movement into your day.
This can include walking or biking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or simply adding short walks after meals.
Working on a report or writing an article assignment while standing for a short time turns out to be able to burn more calories than working while sitting for a long time.
5. Eat Protein In Every Meal
Eating more protein is one of the most effective ways to aid fat loss and muscle building.
Protein is a nutrient that helps to keep you full and satisfied for longer periods of time, which can help to reduce overall calorie intake.
Additionally, protein is essential for maintaining and building muscle mass, which can help to boost metabolism and burn more calories.
Protein is a type of food that burns more calories in the digestive process than carbohydrates and fats.
6. Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking water can increase your metabolism. Especially if the water is cold because the body needs more calories to raise the temperature of the water when it enters the body.
In addition, drinking water before meals will make you full faster, making it easier to control portions of food.
If you get bored with its tasteless taste, you can try drinking tea, for example, oolong tea and green tea.
7. Drink green tea
The research suggests that green tea may promote fat metabolism, but the increase is likely to be modest.
For instance, replacing sugary beverages with green tea can reduce sugar intake, and consuming green tea throughout the day can help maintain hydration.
Green tea contains antioxidants that may also help reduce the risk of inflammation, cell damage, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
8. Manage Stress Levels
Chronic stress can contribute to hormonal imbalances, including an increase in cortisol, which can negatively impact metabolism and weight management.
Stress can influence appetite and food intake. Some individuals may experience increased cravings for high-calorie, sugary, and fatty foods during stressful periods.
Chronic stress is linked to insulin resistance, which reduces cells’ responsiveness to insulin. This can result in higher blood sugar levels, weight gain, especially around the abdomen, and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy.
9. Use Smaller Plates
Using smaller plates can be an effective way to control portion sizes and aid weight loss.
When you use larger plates, it’s easy to serve and eat more food, leading to consuming more calories than necessary.
By using smaller plates, you can help to reduce your portion sizes, which can help to reduce overall calorie intake.
10. Avoid Crash Diet
It is best to avoid crash diets, which involve consuming fewer than 1,200 calories per day for women or 1,800 calories per day for men.
Even though crash diets may initially lead to weight loss, they are detrimental to your metabolism and overall health. These diets often lack essential nutrients and can cause muscle loss, which ultimately slows down your metabolism.
To achieve long-term success, it is important to prioritize balanced nutrition and sustainable weight loss methods.
11. Drink Coffee
Coffee contains caffeine, which is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world.
Meta-analysis revealed that coffee consumption significantly increased both resting metabolic rate and fat oxidation.
One study showed that caffeine increased fat burning by as much as 29% in lean people, while the increase was only about 10% in obese people.
Metabolism-Boosting Supplements To Loss Fat
While a balanced diet and regular exercise are the most effective ways to boost your metabolism, there are also several supplements that can help.
Some common metabolism-boosting supplements include:
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that can help increase metabolism and improve exercise performance. It is found in coffee, tea, and certain supplements.
However, it is important to consume caffeine in moderation. Be aware of the possible consequences of drinking excessive amounts of caffeine, such as jitteriness, an increase in heart rate, and interrupted slumber.
2. Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract contains compounds like catechins and caffeine, which have thermogenic effects.
These compounds can increase the body’s metabolic rate and the rate at which it burns calories, leading to enhanced energy expenditure.
Some studies suggest that green tea extract may have a particular impact on reducing abdominal fat.
Capsaicin, found in chili peppers, is believed to have a thermogenic effect, increasing metabolism and fat burning.
In this post hoc analysis, results suggest potential benefits of capsaicins (CAPs) on body fat and fat mass.
Some supplements contain capsaicin or capsaicinoids derived from peppers, but their effectiveness in promoting weight loss is still under investigation.
Forskolin is derived from the plant Coleus forskohlii and has been marketed as a weight loss supplement. It may potentially increase the production of a molecule called cyclic AMP, which could affect metabolism.
However, more research is needed to establish its effectiveness and safety.
5. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is a type of fatty acid found in meat and dairy products. As a supplement, it has been shown to enhance fat burning and metabolism.
While some studies suggest potential benefits, the overall evidence is mixed, and the effects may be modest.
7. Protein Supplements
Increasing protein intake through supplements or protein shakes can slightly boost metabolism due to its higher thermic effect.
Protein also promotes satiety, helping you feel fuller for longer, which may aid in weight loss efforts.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness and safety of these supplements can vary.
Additionally, supplements alone are not a magic solution for weight loss. They should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Before taking any supplements, it’s important to speak with your doctor to ensure they’re safe and effective for you.
Best Vitamins for Weight Loss and Metabolism
1. Vitamin B-Complex
Includes B vitamins such as B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin).
They help convert food into energy and support the functioning of enzymes involved in metabolism.
Eating whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, seeds and leafy greens can provide an adequate intake of B vitamins.
2. Vitamin D
Adequate levels of vitamin D have been associated with improved weight loss and metabolic function. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to obesity and insulin resistance.
Research shows that vitamin D may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar and improve their insulin resistance.
Include vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks in your diet, or take a vitamin-D supplement.
3. Vitamin C
It acts as an antioxidant and supports the production of carnitine, which is a compound involved in fat metabolism.
It also assists in the absorption of iron, which is essential for energy production. Adequate vitamin C levels may help optimize fat oxidation during exercise.
Fruits such as citrus, berries, kiwis, peppers, and leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamin C.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative stress. It may also support energy production and metabolism.
Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E.
Magnesium is not a vitamin, but it is an essential mineral that contributes to hundreds of enzymatic reactions in the body, including ones involved in energy production and metabolism.
Adequate magnesium levels have been associated with improved insulin sensitivity and better metabolic health.
Eat magnesium-packed foods like whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and green veggies to boost your health.
Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen to cells for energy production. An iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and a reduced metabolic rate.
Including iron-rich foods like lean meats, seafood, beans, lentils, spinach, and fortified cereals can help maintain healthy iron levels.
When it comes to weight loss, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. However, understanding your metabolism and learning how to boost it can be a powerful tool in achieving your weight loss goals
For fat loss don’t try increasing the body’s metabolism immediately. With an improving lifestyle and with self-discipline, you can improve your metabolism effectively.
With dedication and persistence, you can achieve the healthy, fit body you’ve always wanted.
You should consult with your doctor or nutritionist to find out more about increasing your metabolism that suits your health conditions, so that your diet program can take place more effectively.
Manish brings over 10 years of hands-on experience in weight lifting and fat loss to fitness coaching. He specializes in gym-based training and has a lot of knowledge about exercise, lifting technique, biomechanics, and more.
Through “Fit Life Regime,” he generously shares the insights he’s gained over a decade in the field. His goal is to equip others with the knowledge to start their own fitness journey.