Get Mentally and Physically Fit by Raising your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
I was travelling with a friend. We have the same height and weight. I am much leaner and have much more muscle mass. We started discussing our food habits. He was surprised to learn that his food intake was almost 1/3rd of mine. Normal logic would suggest that I should have been fatter, but the truth is otherwise. In this blog, “Get Mentally and Physically Fit by Raising your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)” I have tried to explain the importance of BMR in our lives and how it can be kept high to reap health benefits.
What is BMR?
B M R is the amount of energy expressed in calories that a person needs to keep the body functioning at rest. These processes include breathing, blood circulation, controlling body temperature, cell growth, brain and nerve functions, and contraction of muscles. BMR affects the rate at which you burn calories and ultimately whether you maintain, gain, or lose weight. Your BMR accounts for about 60 to 75% of the calories you burn every day. It is influenced by several factors.
Advantages of High BMR
- High BMR implies a more energetic person both mentally and physically. The person will have advantages in mental and physical functions.
- Better immunity as a result of faster detoxification, better blood circulation, faster healing of wounds and recovery from injuries and ailments and better sleep.
- A person will appear younger.
- Better tolerance for stress and more cheerful mood.
- Reduced tendency to put on weight.
Advantages of high BMR are just so many that we would all like to have a high BMR. Interestingly it is not difficult to raise your BMR. Let us see how it can be done.
How to Raise BMR?
Eat More Meals and Start Breakfast Early
Eating breakfast jump-starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day. Example: My friend used to come for morning Tennis on an empty stomach, whereas I eat a banana and drink a glass of milk early morning and after about one hour of playing consume a protein shake. Since his body is starved of energy (we have limited carbohydrate reserves- the prime fuel for doing work) it conserves the limited reserves by lowering the BMR. Eating more meals keeps your BMR high. As a principle do not allow more than 3 hours to elapse between meals. Do not eat heavy meals.
Drink Cool Water
Drinking plenty of cool water helps you to burn more calories because it is required to raise the body temperature lowered by the cold water.
You should exercise to increase muscle mass. A body having a high muscle to fat ratio will burn more calories because muscles burn more calories than fat even at rest.
A sprint will raise the metabolism much more than a jog. The raised metabolism stays for sometime even after the sprint has been stopped. Hence a mixture of sprints and walks will raise the BMR more than a steady run. The same logic favours brisk, vigorous exercise over long and low intensity exercise. Short walks during work hours, rather than continuous sitting on the chair and being fidgety can be quite effective.
Foods that Boost BMR
There are several foods which help boost BMR. It will be wise to include them in your diet.
- Fibrous foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Foods containing Calcium like milk and curd.
- Protein rich foods like pulses, eggs and milk.
- Foods having caffeine like coffee and tea.
- Foods containing Iron like apples and spinach.
- Foods having Vitamin D like fish, cheese and egg yolk.
Utilize the above tips to raise your BMR and reap the many benefits of doing so.