Do you work out a lot and still see no significant social-media-post worthy improvement, while your friend hogs and still manages to take the lean road? Constipation, fatigue, headache are few of the other signs of a poor metabolism or low basal metabolic rate. Metabolism measures how fast do you burn the calories you consume or how quickly the calories are broken into energy and used by the body to support its various functions. A poor metabolic rate explains why weight loss is much slower among some people. But Ayurveda mentions some very interesting ways and tricks to boost your metabolic rate. Want to read about a few of them?
1. Regular Exercise
This one’s a no-brainer. With exercise as you increase your stamina, your metabolism will improve as well, especially your resting metabolic rate, that is, the calories burnt while your body is at rest. Interestingly, your muscle cells burn more calories than the fat tissue cells. So the more you work up your muscle cells, the more calories you burn.
2. Abhyanga or full body massage with natural and soothing body oils
Wondering how a massage can sync up your metabolism? Here’s the secret. An Abhyanga massage administered properly as the oil penetrates the deepest body tissues, results in increased energy and stamina.
A study was carried out on 11 young healthy and athletic males, who were given a 10 minute massage after a very rigorous work out session. Researchers found that the massages worked more on two types of muscle cell genes. One that was responsible for reducing inflammation after work out and the other gene was responsible for increasing the production of mitochondria, known as the powerhouse of cells where energy is produced. In the natural course of putting your body through some sort of exercise, once the muscles get used to it, the production of mitochondria increases to meet the increased requirement of energy. A massage supports this natural process and builds up your metabolism. An Abhyanga massage regulates Vata (air element), increases blood circulation and supports the detoxification in the body.
Experts recommend the use of essential oils made from select herbs that have Pitta (dosha responsible for metabolic functions of the body) balancing qualities, for regular use. For example, Shankara’s Soothing Body Oil is one such offering. It is a soothing blend of essential oils that are known for their relaxing and de-stressing qualities. Made from essential oils of almond, grapeseed, sunflower, borage, evening primerose, lavender, sandalwood and chamomile, this nutrient rich body oil also helps address worries of the mind, over critical thinking, irritability and anger! An oil for hypertension and stress release is also an oil for a perfectly calm and relaxed mind!
But working out without making significant dietary additions is unlikely to rev up your metabolism. So here’s what you can add to your nutrition to take advantage of the metabolism-boosting properties of these herbs.
Cinnamon burns up carbohydrates in the body and does not let fat get built up in your body, which can slow down metabolism. When you have had a high carb meal, ensure you pop in a few cinnamon seeds or cups of cinnamon tea to burn down the carb deposits.
It is said that as the body loses muscle mass every 10 years, metabolism slows down by 5% or more. For those who have reached 30, begin to experience loss of muscle mass which starts showing in the form of aging. Ashwagandha or Indian Ginseng is known to improve muscle mass and increased muscular strength! It also balances hormones and helps deal with thyroid problems that often cause metabolism to slow down.
Here’s why the world is ‘rooting’ for this herb.
It is widely known that the presence of curcumin in turmeric is beneficial for burning up fat and boosting metabolism.
6. Cumin water
Having a glass of warm water with cumin seeds boiled in it can help burn calories faster as it speeds up your metabolic rate. Along with boosting metabolism, it also lowers blood sugar and reduces bad cholesterol.
7. Black pepper
piperine compounds in black pepper aid the process of fat combustion and
improve metabolism in the body. You can use black pepper generously in your
soup bowl, breakfast, salad or juices.