It was not long ago when Ritu, all of 40+ years of age, felt her waist go from slender to an apple shape. Taken aback, she mentally ran through her daily routine which was healthy on all counts. Constitutional morning walk and a balanced diet should have ensured a ‘wow’ figure, but that was not the case. Changing Metabolism posed a challenge where she could not shed the pounds as smoothly as she did then. The only chance she now had was to fight back the changing metabolism.
We give you some sterling ways to do so by giving the punch back where it is most required.
To begin with…
To begin with, let us understand metabolism. Metabolism refers to the process (BMR- Basal metabolic rate) where the calories you consume change into energy to activate all your bodily processes. Your BMR determines how many calories you can ingest to maintain weight and is affected by your gender, age, genetics, etc.
However, your metabolism increases and decreases as per your bodily requirements. So when you are ill, your metabolism increases to burn more calories and help you get better. Likewise, it slows down during a fast to conserve calories.
Finally, your activity levels and food synthesis (the number of calories you need to absorb for energy) impact metabolism. So, no prizes for guessing what will happen when these three aspects are affected – your metabolism changes.
Get ready for the punch:
Add muscle and strength:
Aim to train for strength. By adding muscle mass you increase your BMR, which means that you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising. Oh, so doing nothing has a meaning here…
Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue:
Do exercises that add muscle. Take to lifting free weights (according to your strength) or use resistance bands. Do the ever popular body-resistance exercises such as sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups.
Do these exercises at least 2-3 times a week. Focus on working out your big muscle groups, such as legs, arms, abs (of course), etc., during the workout.
To get more mileage out of these exercises, the muscle-building exercises should be done to the point where you simply cannot do one more repetition. The recommended repetition is to aim for eight to 12 repetitions per set, completing each set two to three times. Difficult….yes but remember, building muscle and exercising gets your metabolism racing beautifully.
Before you begin here are some points to remember:
Consult your doctor: If you suffer from back pain and want to start strength training to make it feel better, consult your doctor first. Get his ‘thumbs up” and you are fine.
Go the fun way: Ask a keen friend to join you. Better still make a group of all the fitness enthusiasts. Learn to do pushups, etc., over coffee and idli…less coffee more push-ups, got it?
Don’t give up: When you train for strength you will have to do it for minimum 8 months to a year (oh yes….don’t growl please). Just think, how much stronger and healthier you are going to be, so do it regularly.
Baby steps: Start small. Just a single push up every day will make you stronger. It is not how much you do at a time, but how regular you are.
Make strength training a habit: Join a group, learn together and get healthy. Nothing works better than a group of people who are working toward the same thing.
Make it as convenient as possible: So if you don’t get time to exercise, build it in your daily routine. Lift suitably heavy shopping bags and exercise with it, do squats when just talking to a friend, drag a heavy bag and likewise.
Walk the walk:
For all those who are not into gyms and weights, you can add more physical activity to get your metabolism racing. Go walking, dancing and playing. Schedule time for regular exercise, whether it’s a brisk 30-minute walk or playing (catch and cook). Calories burnt vary depending on the activity you choose.
Other life hacks:
Here are some hacks to get you in the right direction:
Do your routine stuff differently: This way you can give your metabolism a little boost by burning calories. So walk up and down when on the phone. Speed up your pace of walking when going anywhere. You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator, choose the long way to your destination and get up to change the TV channel instead of using the remote. The idea is to get moving.
Diet, Food and Your Slow Metabolism: A little change in your diet can go a long way. Green tea, coffee, green chilli, hot peppers, etc., are known to boost metabolism. But lots of these foods need to be consumed to speed up your metabolism. So make it as an add-on.
Don’t starve to lose weight: As we mentioned earlier, if you starve your body, it will conserve calories. Eat enough amount of calories to lose weight. Follow it with you exercises. Add intensity to your workouts. This will benefit you from “after burn,” i.e. using up extra calories post-exercise as your BMR is already high.
Eat enough protein: They add to your muscles post-exercise so that they can repair and grow. We need those hard-earned muscle mass that is responsible for maintaining a higher BMR.
Stay well hydrated: Water is important even during workouts. If you are exercising, sip don’t gulp.
So dear reader, a little bit of change in your lifestyle will do the BMR trick…stay healthy!