Your body’s metabolism is best explained as the rate at which energy is generated from the food you consume. This energy is the result of numerous unseen biochemical processes that occur within the body. The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism. Each individual metabolizes food into energy at a unique rate. In fact, two people of the same sex, weight and height might have vastly different metabolic rates. However, making minor alterations to diet, fitness, lifestyle and other factors can significantly boost your metabolic rate. Let’s take a closer look at the many different factors that determine your metabolic rate and how you can boost your metabolism.
Is Metabolism Related to the Thyroid?
Two specific thyroid hormones control the body’s cellular metabolism: T4 and T3. If there is an insufficient number of these thyroid hormones, the body’s metabolic function decreases. Autoimmune failure and/or the surgical removal of the thyroid gland lead to hypothyroidism that slows the metabolic rate. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include but are not limited to:
• Mood swings
• Leg swelling
• Weight gain
What Role Does Metabolism Have in the Mitochondria?
Mitochondria are best defined as organelles that perform an important role in the metabolism of energy. Mitcohondria even contain numerous apoptogenic factors that have the potential to cause death, meaning they play a vital role in metabolic function. In short, it is best to think of mitochondria as the powerhouses of the body’s cells as they generate upwards of 95% of cell energy. The total number of mitochondria within the body is determined by everything from nutrition to exercise and the aging process. The lack of physical activity combined with an abundance of food consumption sets the stage for metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, the metabolic rate slows as mitochondrial function diminishes. Alternatively, the restriction of caloric intake combined with the proper level of exercise has the potential to enhance previously diminished mitochondrial functionality, ultimately boosting the metabolism.
Boosting Metabolism for Weight Loss
Metabolic rate directly impacts one’s ability to lose weight. Though metabolism is certainly linked to body weight, it is not the sole determinant of one’s weight. In fact, a slow metabolism is only one component of excessive weight gain. The truth is the amount of food and beverages you consume combined with your level of physical activity both play a part in whether you gain or lose weight. The metabolic process involves the combining of calories from food and drink with oxygen to create the energy required for body functionality. Furthermore, metabolic rate is also determined by age, sex and body size/composition. Add in the variable of physical activity combined with thermogenesis (food processing) and the process of weight gain/loss becomes even more complex. Therefore, excessive weight gain cannot always be tied to a slow metabolism. Metabolism is certainly an important cause of weight gain yet it is not the sole cause. Physical activity is closely tied to metabolic rate. Though you cannot directly control your metabolic rate, you have the power to control the number of calories burned when engaging in physical activity. That many more calories are burned with physical activity. Even something as simple as regular fidgeting has the potential to boost metabolic rate and reduce the chances of weight gain.
Things That Slow Metabolism
Though few know it, eating too few calories has the potential to cause a significant reduction in metabolic rate. Weight loss necessitates a caloric deficit yet if caloric intake is egregiously low, it will slow the metabolism, essentially sabotaging you in your quest to lose weight. A reduction in caloric intake makes the body think food is scarce, resulting in a reduction of the rate at which calories are burnt.
Mind Your Protein
Even an insufficient amount of protein has the potential to slow the metabolism. Protein consumption is necessary for reaching and maintaining the proper weight. A high level of protein boosts the rate at which the body burns calories. The spike in metabolic rate that occurs following digestion is referred to as TEF, short for the thermic effect of food. Protein’s TEF is significantly higher than that of fat or carbs. Studies show consuming protein briefly heightens metabolism by around 25% versus the 3% for fat and around 7% for carbohydrates. Therefore, the proper protein intake helps maintain the proper metabolic rate, ultimately keeping body weight at the optimal level.
Plant protein is a great daily addition to maintain a healthy metabolic rate. TUSOL smoothie mixes are made with high quality organic pumpkin seed and pea protein that have a very impressive amino acid profile. Even superfoods like maca root, mesquite, and spirulina are have a high protein content with a very diverse amino acid profile. These superfoods come with an avalanche of benefits and are also included in TUSOL's functional blends of super-smoothie mixes.
The Light Source You Are Standing Under Makes a Difference
A recent study from Nature Magazine found a very light activated neurons deep inside a mouse brain that control body heat and energy metabolism. The research suggested the importance of eating during daylight hours, which has been shown to markedly improve blood glucose regulation in people with diabetes. In this study eating late at night under fluorescent lights that are high in blue and violet light wavelengths aka your home lights. This type of lights affected the way mice burn brown fat affecting their metabolic rate and body temperature. Limiting violet/blue light might activate brown fat and thereby augment the metabolic benefits of daytime-restricted eating. This research raised the possibility that environmental light might orchestrate a host of coordinated brain responses that together determine the highs and lows of metabolism.
Don't Skip Breakfast!
You’ve been fasting for 8+ hours throughout the night depleting your stores of glycogen (the body’s backup battery) You’re dehydrated. Your metabolism is at its lowest. Worst of all…you will skip breakfast. Stress hormones will accumulate until you have the first bite of the day. If you are prone to stress and have a sluggish liver then you might be even more affected by a lack of morning nutrients. How do you know you are these two? Do you wake up multiple times throughout the night? Then that is the stress hormones waking you up. I know what you might be thinking:
“I just don’t get hungry”
Stress hormones are higher in the morning and they have the ability to suppress hunger, digestion, reproduction, and all the things you don’t need when you are running from a lion, or stressed out about your job. If you’re having just drinking coffee as breakfast it's just adding fuel to the fire.
- Eating breakfast will:
- Adjust your circadian rhythm.
- Reduce stress
- Provide consistent energy throughout the day
- Your brain will have more fuel giving you more concentration, memory, and less brain fog.
- Increase metabolic function for weight loss
- Blending a nutrient dense TUSOL smoothie helps break down hard-to-digest plant cell walls allowing chemicals to penetrate the cells and stimulate vital reaction optimizing bioavailability.
- Timing is everything, drinking it within an hour window of waking up is crucial. Even if you are not hungry.
Quality of Sleep
The lack of high-quality REM sleep also slows the metabolism. Sleep deprivation has a negative impact on the body’s metabolism. In fact, the lack of sleep is tied to a dramatic spike in the chances of obesity. Insufficient sleep is linked to a spike in blood sugar levels and a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Further Reading: This is Why You Can't Sleep And 8 Ways To Fix It
Exercise the Right Way
If you are solely focused on cardio training and overlook strength training, your metabolic rate will remain lower than it should be. The simple truth of the matter is muscle really is more metabolically active compared to fat. Build up some muscle with the lifting of heavy objects or weights and your metabolic activity will increase. Above all, it is in your interest to simply be active as a sedentary life reduces metabolic activity to unhealthy levels. If you enjoy cardio and detest weightlifting, consider incorporating hand weights into your cardio routines to boost your muscle mass and subsequently spike your metabolic rate. Finally, it is important for those who would like to lose weight to live an active lifestyle. A sedentary life decreases metabolic activity to the point that it is difficult to lose weight. Even if you do not play sports or have a gym membership, you can still heighten your metabolic rate with activity ranging from standing to cleaning the house, taking the stairs as opposed to elevators and walking around the block.
How to Increase Metabolism With Superfoods
Certain foods and beverages boost metabolic rate after consumption. As an example, consuming healthy food with fiber such as raisins, prunes, apples, beans, cauliflower and certain breakfast cereals helps to boost metabolic rate in the quest for weight loss. Though few know it, the truth is fiber cannot be digested. However, the body will try to digest fiber, causing the body to expend that many more calories, boost the metabolic rate and facilitate weight loss. Further reading: How to Naturally Lower Inflammation with Superfoods
Green Tea to Increase Metabolic Rate
Green tea is also quite helpful in the quest to bolster metabolic rate and lose weight. Brewed green tea provides the body with the ingredient of epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG for short. EGCG is well-known as a means of enhancing metabolic rate. You can also use matcha tea, which contains a unique, potent class of antioxidants known as catechins – in particular, the catechin's EGCg provides powerful cancer-fighting properties. Most importantly, EGCg and other catechins counteract the effects of free radicals in our bodies caused from pollution, UV rays, radiation, and chemicals, which all can lead to cell and DNA damage. Considering more than 60% of the catechins in matcha are actually EGCg, a daily matcha regimen can help restore and preserve the body’s integral well-being and balance. Find ceremonial grade matcha in TUSOL's BALANCE smoothie mix. Further Reading: The Only Matcha Smoothie Recipe You'll Ever Need
Vitamins for Metabolism
You can boost your metabolic rate with the proper supplements, vitamins and minerals. Specific minerals and vitamins are known to enhance the health of the metabolism. In particular, vitamin D, C and E are vitally important for a healthy metabolism.
Vitamin D is especially important in preventing the onset of metabolic syndrome. Vitamin B synthesizes carbs, protein and fat, converting each into energy. Iron is also important for converting nutrients into energy, sending oxygen to the body’s cells. Magnesium is also quite important for the production of energy, spanning a litany of enzyme reactions. Get Vitamin D from the sun, 15-20 minutes a day depending on your skin color--the darker the more time you will need in the sun.
Vitamin C is best taken from whole food Vitamin C, citrus fruit like lemons, oranges, and a variety of stone fruit has a high amount of Vitamin C. You can also get full spectrum vitamin C from our TUSOL smoothies mixes. We've specifically added a variety of superfoods with a high concentration of Vitamin C like maqui,açai berries, baobab fruit, maca, mesquite, and a lot more to boost metabolism and increase the production of collagen.
This vitamin is imperative for the health of the thyroid, as it helps neutralize free radicals. This vitamin also works together with Vitamin C and makes sure the balance of Vitamin C are maintain through out the body. If you drink chlorinated water you are in need of more Vitamin E, as chlorinated water can deplete Vitamin E levels in the body. Get Vitamin E from grass-fed fat sources like butter, ghee, and raw milk are an excellent source.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Metabolism
Consider incorporating apple cider vinegar into your morning vitamin and supplement routine. Though scientists are not completely certain that apple cider vinegar enhances metabolism, it appears as though this is the case. Numerous animal studies reveal apple cider vinegar spikes the level of fat burned to create energy. Though apple cider vinegar tastes terrible, it reduces the rate at which the stomach empties and makes you feel that much more full. If you dread the taste of apple cider vinegar, mix it into your morning or afternoon smoothie and it won't taste nearly as bad.
Coconut and MCT Oil
Coconut oil is also worth your consideration. This oil is loaded with medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs for short. The body absorbs MCTs, sending them to the liver where they are converted into energy. The conversion of MCTs into energy reduces the chances they will be stored in the form of fat. In fact, studies indicate MCTs have the potential to hike metabolic rate that much more than long-chain fats. Researchers have also determined the daily consumption of a mere 30 ml of this oil decreases the waist size of obese patients.
Healthy Habits and the Right Balance
Summary Supplements alone will not spike your metabolic rate and help you lose weight. However, when the right supplements and vitamins are included with the proper diet and additional healthy habit alterations, they will make a meaningful impact. Incorporate all of the guidance detailed above, make a concerted effort to boost your metabolic rate and you will find it is that much easier to shed those pesky pounds.