Do you eat the same as always but find that you are gaining weight? You may be suffering the effects of low metabolism.
Metabolism refers to the process by which the body breaks down food and generates energy. This energy is required for the body’s physiochemical processes like respiration, digestion and cell repair, among others. The minimum amount of energy that your body needs to carry out essential functions is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
As you age, your body’s metabolism slows down. As a result, you lose muscle mass, while gaining more fat. In fact, by the time you reach age 40, your BMR begins to slow down by 5 percent every decade.
This makes weight loss and maintenance a difficult task. However, certain measures can be taken to boost your metabolism.
Eating a diet that is rich in superfoods like ginger and garlic, protein and omega-3 fatty acids can enhance your metabolism rate.
There are also home remedies that can help. When followed regularly with proper diet and exercise, these home remedies can increase your energy levels and give you good results within 4 to 6 weeks. Here are five remedies to boost your metabolism or BMR.
- Method 1: Lemon Water
- Method 2: Green Tea
- Method 3: Apple Cider Vinegar
- Method 4: Cayenne Pepper
- Method 5: Exercise and Yoga
- Tips to boost your metabolism
Method 1: Lemon Water
Fit and slim celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow swear by lemon water for weight loss.
Studies have shown that polyphenols in lemon suppress weight gain and fat accumulation in the body, help reduce diet-induced obesity and lower the risk of developing lifestyle-related diseases. (3)
Furthermore, lemon water helps detoxify your liver. When taken before meals, it can also help control your blood sugar levels, as it suppresses insulin resistance.
Step 1. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water
- Squeeze the fresh juice of 1 lemon into a glass of warm water.
Step 2. Mix and drink it
- Mix the lemon juice and water together well.
- Drink it first thing in the morning and before meals to increase your metabolism and lose weight.
Method 2: Green Tea
Drinking green tea regularly can stimulate your metabolic rate, which helps reduce weight gain and prevent obesity and related health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Step 1. Brew 1 cup of green tea
- Steep 1 green tea bag in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.
Step 2. Remove the tea bag and drink the tea
- Remove the teabag and enjoy your tea.
- Drink 1 cup at least twice daily to burn off excess fat and improve your metabolism.
- You can add other ingredients like ginger, mint leaves, lemon slices or a teaspoon of honey for extra flavor and health benefits.
Method 3: Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar provides a host of health benefits.
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which helps break down fat. It also suppresses your appetite and helps boosts your body’s metabolism. (2)
This super food has a high amount of potassium in it and helps alkalize your body, which further aids weight loss.
Step 1. Dilute apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of water
- Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water.
- You can start with 1 teaspoon if you have a sensitive stomach, and increase it to 1 tablespoon per cup over the course of a few weeks.
Step 2.Give it a stir and drink it
- Mix well and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Drink it daily for weight loss, improved digestion and increased metabolism.
Method 4: Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper usually serves as a spice to add heat to your food, but this wondrous pepper is also used for medicinal purposes.
Its heat comes from capsaicin, which causes the body to burn more fat, releasing more energy. Making cayenne pepper a part of your regular diet can greatly enhance your body’s metabolism. (4)
Capsaicin also reduces cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods like French fries and donuts, which only help pile on the pounds.
- You can add a pinch or ¼ teaspoon of organic cayenne pepper powder to your food while cooking, especially in stews and soups. You can also add a dash of this hot pepper to Mexican food and enjoy the heat along with the benefits.
- If your body cannot tolerate spicy food, a convenient way to consume cayenne pepper powder is via capsules. You can take 450 mg cayenne pepper capsules twice daily with food. Consult your doctor before beginning any supplement regimen.
Method 5: Exercise and Yoga
Performing moderate-intensity cardiovascular workouts along with the other remedies will speed up your sluggish metabolism and keep you fit and active. (1)
Simple activities like jogging, brisk walking and taking the stairs instead of lifts or elevators can go a long way in improving your metabolism and increasing your energy level.
Yoga also helps boost metabolism by stretching out your entire body and reducing any stress or anxiety. Exercises like the Plow Pose or Breathing Exercise (Kapalabhati Pranayama) also help regulate your hormone levels as they stimulate the thyroid gland, thereby enhancing the body’s metabolism.
Below are some specific exercises that will help speed up your slow metabolic rate.
A. Power Walking
- Start with a few warm-ups and stretching exercises.
- Stand tall, with your hands by your side and keep your back upright. Make sure to keep your head in line with your spine and look forward not downward.
- Bend your arms, forming a 90-degree angle and swing them freely as you walk.
- Start walking naturally and make sure to land on your heels.
- Speed up for 2 to 5 minutes, then walk slowly for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help you maintain your pace and stretch your muscles.
- Do this 3 or 4 times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Slowly increase your stamina to 45 to 60 minutes per session.
B. Mountain Climber
- Kneel down on a padded surface.
- Position your palms flat on the floor at a shoulder-length distance apart.
- Raise and position your body in a straight line, shifting your weight to your toes.
- Bring your right knee forward toward your chest, then return to the previous position.
- Repeat the process using your left knee.
- Repeat the above steps, alternating between your right and left knees.
- Do 15-minute sessions at least 3 times a week to boost your body’s metabolism.
C. Jumping Jacks
- Stand up straight, with your feet together and your hands at your sides.
- Jump up, bring your stretched-out arms together over your head and land with your feet shoulder-distance apart.
- Jump again and return to the starting position.
- Repeat continuously for 2 to 3 minutes and buildup your stamina to 10-minute sets.
- Perform three 10-minute sets daily to boost your metabolism and lose weight, particularly stubborn belly fat.
- Stand straight and keep your feet shoulder-distance apart.
- Puff out your chest and suck in your stomach.
- Bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Keep your abdominal muscles contracted, and ensure that your spine stays straight.
- Slowly raise your body back to starting position.
- Repeat 12 times to form 1 complete set.
- Do 2 or 3 sets daily, including them in your regular workouts.
A. Breathing Exercise (Kapalabhati Pranayama)
- Sit down on a yoga mat and assume a cross-legged posture.
- Inhale deeply and fully stretch your lungs and stomach out.
- Exhale rapidly and powerfully through your nose, using your stomach muscles.
- Continue breathing deeply for 1 minute before taking a break.
Do this exercise for 15 minutes daily. Commence with 5-minute sessions and improve your stamina up to 15 minutes per day.
B. Plow Pose (Halasana)
- Lie down; keep your hands parallel to your body and your palms flat on the floor.
- Take in a deep breath and employ your stomach muscles to lift your feet off the floor.
- Raise your legs to form a 90-degree angle with your body.
- Use your hands to lift your hips and lower back off the floor.
- Lower your legs downwards over your head such that your feet just touch the floor behind your head.
- Hold this position for 3 to 5 minutes; take in deep breaths and exhale forcefully.
- Exhale slowly and gradually lower your legs back to the starting position.
- Repeat once daily for enhanced metabolism.
Tips to boost your metabolism
- Eat lean meats like fish, chicken and ground turkey as well as other low-fat sources of protein like soy, beans, tofu, mushrooms, and eggs.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Try to eat as organically as possible and avoid processed foods that are high in sugar and sodium.
- Drink 1 cup of coffee daily, as caffeine speeds up the central nervous system and consequently boosts the body’s metabolic rate. Try drinking coffee without sugar to control your blood glucose levels.
- Drink about 6 cups of cold water every day to boost your daily calorie-burning rate by an extra 50 calories.
- Virgin coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that promote metabolism and help burn off stored fat. Substitute butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your daily cooking to perk up your slow metabolism.
- Take vitamin B supplements or include vitamin B-rich foods like bananas, lentils, and potatoes in your diet. If you opt for a supplement, always consult your doctor first.
- Do weight lifting 3 or 4 times a week for enhanced energy levels.
- Lead an active lifestyle and exercise daily. You can also go jogging and gradually cover up to 2 to 5 miles per week.
- D G, R W, Y B, S B. Green Tea, Intermittent Sprinting Exercise, and Fat Oxidation. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517022/. Published July 2015.
- Halima BH, Sonia G, Sarra K, Houda BJ, Fethi BS, Abdallah A. Apple Cider Vinegar Attenuates Oxidative Stress and Reduces the Risk of Obesity in High-Fat-Fed Male Wistar Rats. Journal of Medicinal Food. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29091513. Published January 2018.
- Kim MJ, Hwang JH, Ko HJ, Na HB, Kim JH. Lemon detox diet reduced body fat, insulin resistance, and serum hs-CRP level without hematological changes in overweight Korean women. Nutrition Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25912765. Published May 2015.
- James Rogers, Stacie L. Urbina, Lem W. Taylor, et al. Capsaicinoids supplementation decreases percent body fat and fat mass: adjustment using covariates in a post hoc analysis. BMC Obesity. https://bmcobes.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40608-018-0197-1. Published August 13, 2018.