Exercise, diet and lifestyle are all key factors which affect your metabolic rate. In this article I discuss the importance of diet and how it can increase your metabolism. Increasing your metabolic rate through diet is a two stage process. First, you need to plan what you will be eating each day and then you can look a little closer at areas of the diet where there is room for improvement.
So first you need to actually plan your meals. Many people eat three large meals each day and maybe some snacks aswell. However, in doing this you are not maximising your metabolism. Eating three large meals which are relatively high in calories means there is a high chance that a lot of these calories are stored as fat.
What you need to do is break these three large meals down into five or six smaller meals (which are lower in calories). By doing this you are boosting your metabolic rate in two ways. First, each meal is relatively low in calories (compared with the three larger meals) so less calories are stored as fat. Secondly, your body is digesting food more frequently throughout the day, so a greater amount of calories are burned overall.
But how do you convert your three meals into five or six? It really does not have to be that hard. Each meal can contain the core components of the standard breakfast, lunch and dinner, just with each portion being a little smaller. If you are unsure how small these mini meals need to be, the food packaging often provides good advice. If you are still stuck I have outlined some basic ideas for small meals below:
1) BREAKFAST:- This is thought by many to be the most important meal of the day as it is the first thing that kick starts your body’s metabolism into action. Some good options for breakfast include; fruit, whole grain cereal or whole wheat toast.
2) LUNCH:- This is another important meal because it boosts your energy levels midway through the day. Ideas for lunch include; half sandwiches (to reduce the portion size) on whole wheat bread, fruit, nuts or a yoghurt.
3) DINNER:- With dinner you have to pay particular attention to portion sizes because it is so easy to eat. Try to include a lot of vegetables and lean proteins in your dinners.
4) SNACKS:- Snacks are a great way to supplement your meals. Ideas for snacks include; fruit, raw vegetables and yoghurt.
As you can see above, the three core meals can be used as a base for your six mini meals. You just need to decrease the portion sizes and supplement your diet with healthy snacks. Once you have your meals sorted out there are a couple of additional things you can do to make your diet more metabolism friendly. I have outlined these below:
1) FOOD SUBSTITUTIONS:- If you look at all the foods in your diet there are certain foods which can be replaced with healthier ones. For example, you can swap the crisps for a bag of nuts or substitute a chocolate bar with a banana.
2) INCREASE PROTEIN:- Increasing the amount of protein in your diet can really fire up your metabolism. Studies have shown that high protein diets can burn an increased number of calories after consumption compared with diets high in carbohydrates. The reason behind this is that your body requires more energy to digest proteins so there is less chance that excess calories will be stored as fat.
I hope this article has shown you that a well planned diet can work wonders for your metabolism. A practical diet is one of the vital factors that can help increase your metabolism and it should not be ignored. It is alright if you cheat sometimes and eat a burger or bag of chips, but overall you need to make sure your diet has improved. If you plan your diet carefully it really does not have to be difficult to make the changes outlined in this article. Take action today and you will soon start to realise the benefits of an improved metabolic rate.