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December, 12 2017

Can boosting our metabolism really help us lose weight?


Louise @JdeV Edinburgh Newington store

Many people believe that speeding up your metabolism is a quick fix to helping us lose weight, but actually, having a slow metabolism may not be the problem for excess weight which means that boosting your metabolism may not be the solution either.

What is metabolism?

Metabolism describes all the chemical reactions involved in the body and can be divided into two categories:

  • Catabolism which is the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy
  • Anabolism which is the synthesis of all compounds needed by the cells

Metabolism is closely related to our nutrition because it is responsible for converting what you eat and drink into energy. Your body is using energy all the time: even when you are in a state of rest your body is carrying out unconscious automatic processes such as breathing, circulating blood, growing and repairing cells, and adjusting hormone levels.

Can it help weight loss?

One thing we never think to ask ourselves when it comes to weight is whether or not we actually need a metabolism boost. When it comes to difficulties with losing weight it is easy to declare that slow metabolism is the culprit.

Weight gain is a complicated process, and although it’s tempting to blame excess weight on your metabolism this isn’t always the case. A combination of many factors including genes, diet, sleep, physical activity and stress can all play a role in our weight and metabolic rate.

It’s true that metabolism is connected to weight control although it’s only part of the whole picture. Boosting your metabolism alone won’t be enough to help you to lose weight – the age old ways of having a balanced diet and regular exercise are still the best ways.

That being said there are a few ways that you can help improve and support the health of your thyroid and metabolism through your diet and nutrition. Below I’ve listed a few of our favourite supplements to help support your metabolism.

Kelp

Kelp contains iodine, which is essential for the manufacture of thyroid hormones. These hormones are responsible for supporting our metabolism, energy levels and also our weight management. Kelp is one of the richest dietary sources of iodine. Kelp can also boost overall nutrition and health since it is full of amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

A.Vogel’s Kelp is made from naturally occurring Pacific Sea Kelp and is rich in naturally occurring iodine. It can help you when you’re feeling sluggish or if you have slow metabolism as it encourages your body to burn up the food you eat which gives you more energy.

Selenium

Selenium helps make sure that the thyroid stays healthy and continues to produce the hormones that you need to keep your metabolism and energy levels functioning well. Selenium is also used to support the immune system and can help protect against environmental damage.

Our body can’t produce selenium on its own which means that we have to get this nutrient from our diet. The good news is that humans only need a small amount of it and most people are actually able to get enough selenium through their diet, but if your diet is lacking in whole grains, fish, poultry, or brazil nuts, a supplement might be helpful in boosting your metabolism as well as preventing body fat storage in the torso.

If you’re looking for a selenium supplement, I’d recommend Solgar’s which are yeast free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. They are relatively inexpensive costing £9.50 for 100 tablets.

Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral necessary for proper immune function, protein building, wound healing and for maintaining a proper sense of taste and smell. It works by boosting metabolism and reducing hunger levels by raising the amount of leptin in your body. Leptin is a key hormone in both fat gain and loss because it is responsible for regulating appetite and for making us feel fuller for longer.

One study found that obese individuals tend to have lower levels of zinc circulating in their bodies, therefore boosting zinc levels could be beneficial when it comes to losing weight. However, it is important not to over-do it with zinc as excess levels can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, and headaches.

Zinc is another essential mineral meaning that we have to get it from our diet. It can be found in foods such as spinach, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Although, if you feel that you are not getting enough zinc through your diet, Solgar have a vegan-friendly supplement form of this mineral too.

Solgar’s high potency zinc tablets are the perfect choice for people who are particularly at risk of deficiency such as vegetarians, vegans, or women with heavy periods.

Protein

Packing in healthy high-protein snacks and sources throughout the day is a simple way to boost metabolism as well as keeping you full for longer. Protein is beneficial for keeping energy and blood sugar stable while also helping to build calorie-burning lean muscle mass.

Protein is an important part of every cell in the body; it is an extremely important part of building and repairing tissues as well as making enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. Eating foods with protein naturally forces your body to use up more calories during the digestion process than when you eat carbs.

Including more protein snacks into your diet will not only help you to burn a little more calories but they will also make you feel fuller and reduce the need for constant snacking in between meals. Why not try Pulsin’s Mint Choc Chip Protein Booster? Each bar contains a whopping 12 grams of protein to help keep you feeling full.

Green Tea

Green tea has a whole host of scientifically proven health benefits including improving blood flow, lowering cholesterol and other heart-related issues. It is also thought to help keep blood sugar levels stable and protect against damage caused by a high-fat diet.

When it comes to boosting metabolism, green tea is one of the first things to help mentioned. This is because of its high levels of catechin polyphenols which makes it a great metabolism booster.

To get the most out of your green tea I’d recommend trying matcha green tea powder as this is the highest quality of green tea available. Specially treated and stored to help preserve its potent antioxidant properties, matcha green tea is considered to be one of the most powerful superfoods available on the market.

I’d recommend Superfoodies Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder which is naturally refreshing and packed with antioxidants which help to combat free radicals.

Matcha tea is considered to be worth almost 10 times more nutritional than ordinary green tea. Not only packed with antioxidants but also selenium and zinc which, as we know, are extremely beneficial to boosting our metabolism. What’s more this super strength green tea is also immune-boosting and helps to prevent the spread of free radicals.

If you find that matcha powder is a little bit too expensive for your liking, I’d recommend Yogi Tea’s Green Energy tea bags which cost a more moderate £2.39. Combining green tea with kombucha and guarana, this tea infusion is the perfect blend to give you energy as well as all the nutritious benefits of green tea.

Weight loss isn’t all about metabolism

While supplements can help you along the way with boosting metabolism, it’s important to remember that they aren’t a solution to the entire problem. Having a healthy balanced diet and exercising regularly are just as important when it comes to losing weight.