Since writing this article I have revisited the topic of eating and metabolism. At the time of writing I thought that eating more frequently could boost your metabolism. However, after further reading I have realised that my initial assumption was wrong. For the full details you can read my up to date article on how eating affects your metabolism.
If you want to boost your metabolism you have to feed it. Yes, I know it may sound strange but if you want to increase the rate at which your body burns calories – you have to eat more. While this may sound great and you will be able to eat more frequently, it is not as simple as that because you will also have to watch what you eat.
To fully understand the idea let me explain the concept further. If you feed your body in regular, short intervals, your metabolism and digestive systems will keep working most of the time. If you skip meals or try to eat less you will lose weight initially. However, in the long term your body will go into “energy conservation mode”, meaning that your metabolism actually slows down and your calorie burning efforts are impeded overall.
To maximise your metabolic rate many dietitians recommend that you eat a small meal or snack at least every four hours. If smart meal choices are made your metabolism will increase and if you add in a bit of exercise too, your results will be even more impressive. But what constitutes a smart meal choice? Well for starters there are a number of things you should avoid:
1) SUGARY FOODS:- Foods that are high in sugar can actually trick the body into conservation mode because they rapidly increase your blood sugar levels. You should try and reduce your intake of sweets, processed sugars and foods that are high in starch or simple carbohydrates. Although it is difficult to avoid sugary foods completely try to substitute some of the sugary foods in your diet with fruit.
2) ABNORMAL PORTION SIZES:- When preparing your small meals you need to understand what the correct portion sizes for foods are. This information can often be found on the food packageing itself. Many people eat portion sizes that are too large and as a result consume too many calories. You need to avoid this trap and consume smaller portions which will reduce your caloric intake for each meal.
3) FRIED FOODS:- You should try to avoid having heavy, fried foods in the majority of your small meals. Not only do they contain additional calories but they can also make you feel sluggish and tired. I know it can be tempting because they taste nice and are easily cooked. However, they contain a lot of saturated fats which are deposited inside your body.
4) WHITE BREAD:- A lot of people are unaware that white bread can be detrimental to your health. White bread is very easy to digest, lacking in nutrients and full of sugar meaning that it causes your blood sugar levels to rise and burns very few calories whilst being processed. You should therefore avoid it where possible and try to substitute it with whole grain bread.
5) PROCESSED FOODS:- Processed foods such as ready meals, crisps and chocolate bars are very popular because of the convenience factor, with many people being too lazy to cook. However, processed foods contain lots of chemicals in the form of preservatives which can be seriously damaging to your health.
As you can see it is possible to eat your way to a higher metabolism. However, it is very important that you manage the process correctly. If you follow the advice given in this article you will be rewarded with an improved metabolic rate.