Simple tweaks to your lifestyle can help you drop even the most stubborn kilos. Chirag Mohanty Samal tells you how.
Do you feel a twinge of jealousy when you meet a skinny woman with an elephantine appetite? She can gobble down an array of pastries and yet seems to repel weight. You, on the other hand, have tried every fad diet but the kilos refuse to budge. Well, you can blame your metabolism.
Harvard Medical School defines metabolism as “the series of chemical reactions in a living organism that create and break down energy necessary for life. In other words, every time you eat, enzymes in your body’s cells break down the food and convert it into the energy you need to carry on your daily activities.” Metabolism is at times used interchangeably with metabolic rate, but they’re not the same. The latter is calculated by taking into account the amount of calories your body burns when it is at rest. The higher your metabolic rate, the more fat you will burn. “You have a huge amount of control over your metabolic rate,” says strength and conditioning coach, Deckline Leitão. “You can burn extra calories by exercising properly and following a proper diet.” To help you knock off those extra kilos, we get experts to list out ways to put your metabolism into overdrive.
Before you start, keep in mind that a slow metabolic rate is not solely responsible for weight gain. “There are other factors, such as thyroid trouble, a sedentary lifestyle, stress and environmental factors, that can cause your weight to shoot up. Nevertheless, revving up your metabolism can help a great deal in your weight loss journey,” says Lovneet Batra, chief nutritionist at Fortis La Femme, New Delhi.
A simple way to fire up your metabolism is to increase activity levels. Vesna Pericevic Jacob, holistic fitness expert and author of books Work It Out Without A Workout and Fit To Fight, says, “When it comes to boosting one’s metabolism with exercise, the way you do your workouts is more important than what you’re doing.” Regular exercise will stimulate the production of new mitochondria within muscle cells and cause them to grow larger. More muscle means your body will burn more fuel to produce energy, even at rest. Leitao suggests the following ways to get it done. “It comprises two main components - strength training and cardiovascular exercises.”
Squats are called the king of strength exercises for women as they help shape the thighs and butt while building immense endurance in the legs to help you run longer. You’ll find it on the workout routine of every elite athlete.
Do it better: Aim to perform three sets of 25 before you progress to using additional weight such as a barbell placed on your shoulders or dumbbells in your hands. You can also make it tougher by holding the bottom position for two seconds. The lower you go, the more effective the exercise becomes, but be careful not to bounce.
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