Metabolism is the chemical process by which the body converts the food you eat and drink into energy. The body needs this energy to function and allow you to go about your day-to-day activities.
It is also needed when the body is at rest, to perform tasks like breathing, circulating blood throughout the body and repairing cells.
Your metabolism is determined by several factors, such as genes, sex, age, hormone levels, body size and composition, and activity level. A slow or low metabolism can have a huge impact on your energy level, body weight and overall health.
Some causes of low metabolism are fasting, poor eating pattern, an unhealthy or low-calorie diet, lack of physical activity, snacking on sugary foods, drinking too many high-sugar drinks, poor or inadequate sleep, too much stress and accumulation of toxins in the body. Other key factors responsible for slow metabolism are conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Some of the most common symptoms of slow metabolism are low blood pressure, slow pulse, fatigue, weakness, constipation, dry skin, high body fat and increased sensitivity to cold. Men usually have a higher metabolism rate than women.
If your metabolism rate is low, you can make some small lifestyle and dietary changes to increase it.
Here are the top 10 ways to increase your metabolism.
1. Green Tea
A small 1999 study done at the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that green tea raises metabolic rates and speeds up fat oxidation. This is due to the presence of powerful flavonoids and antioxidants in green tea. Additionally, green tea works as a stimulant to increase metabolism.
- Add 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
- Strain and add a little honey.
- Drink 2 to 4 cups of green tea daily.
You can also take 300 to 400 mg capsules of green tea extract daily after consulting your doctor.
2. Oil Pulling
The ancient practice of oil pulling in Ayurveda is often recommended for detoxification of the body. It can also be used to increase metabolism and shed excess pounds. Oil pulling is inexpensive, harmless and easy to do.
- Put 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth.
- Swish it around your mouth for about 20 minutes.
- Spit it out, then brush your teeth.
- Do this daily in the morning, on an empty stomach.
Note: Do not gargle or swallow the oil.
Cayenne has a compound known as capsaicin that has a positive impact on thermogenesis, the process by which cells convert energy into heat. According to a 2008 study done at Aarhus University in Denmark, capsaicin consumption increases thermogenesis, which in turn boosts body temperature and metabolism.
- Add cayenne pepper or cayenne powder in soups, salads or any of your favorite foods.
- You can also take 1 cayenne capsule twice daily with food.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy to boost your metabolism rate, allowing you to burn calories more efficiently. It helps alkalize the body, thus preventing you from becoming too acidic.
- Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
- Drink it each morning and before meals.
- Follow this routine daily.
Note: You can gradually increase the amount of apple cider vinegar to up to 2 tablespoons per day glass of water.
5. Warm Lemon Water
If you are trying to increase your metabolism, drinking a glass of warm lemon water will help a lot. It will alkalize your body and boost your metabolism.
Lemon water will also keep you hydrated and help fight hunger cravings. Plus, adding black pepper to your lemon water will boost your metabolism and assist in losing weight.
- Add the juice of ½ lemon to a glass of warm water.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder.
- Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Drink this daily to ignite your metabolism.
Ginger has thermogenic qualities, meaning when consumed it can slightly increase body temperature. This helps increase your metabolic rate. Plus, ginger helps increase the feeling of satisfaction so that you eat less and burn calories faster.
- Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger root to 1 cup of boiling water.
- Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain and add honey.
- Sip a cup of this tea slowly 2 or 3 times daily.
You can even chew a small piece of fresh ginger root or take ginger capsules after consulting your doctor.