28 October 2016Last updated

Features | People

Ask the expert: how do I rev up my metabolic rate?

Gaining muscle will help you step up your metabolic rate, burn more calories and eventually burn fat

28 Aug 2016 | 11:55 am

I was told that my metabolic rate is low, and advised to eat every two hours to speed up the rate. Although I do feel hungry, I don’t have the time to eat. What is my other option?

It is a myth that eating every two hours will increase your metabolism. 
The term BMR or basal metabolic rate, also known as metabolism, is an indication of the calories your body is able to burn every day.

The only way you can burn more calories per day is by increasing the amount of muscle mass in your body. Muscle is a very active tissue. Your body will burn four times more calories to maintain 1kg of muscle compared to maintaining 1kg of fat.

Fat is an inactive tissue. It also makes your body accumulate a lot of toxins, which can make the blood pH slightly acidic. This is one of the leading causes for inflammatory issues such as diabetes and arthritis.

Gaining muscle will help you step up your metabolic rate, burn more calories and eventually burn fat.

You getting hungry after following the two-hour pattern could be related to the food you are choosing to eat – if they are high in carbohydrates and if you are opting for snack on foods such as biscuits or fruit or energy bars, then your sugar levels fluctuate. For a lot of people the two-hour principle tends to backfire due to this reason as it leads to weight gain.

You’ll be better off if you let your appetite decide when you should eat. So ideally eat balanced nutritious meals as and when you’re hungry through the day. Don’t wait until you’re starving for your next meal, as that leads to making wrong food choices.

Also, step up the amount of water you consume. Having about three-four litres per day will help curb your appetite naturally and hydrate your body with minerals you need to keep carb cravings at bay.

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Rashi Chowdhary

is a nutritionist, an inch-loss expert and a certified diabetic educator. She can be contacted on 050 181 5030.