How to Boost your Metabolism
If you are relentlessly trying to lose weight you may have already blamed your sluggish metabolism. Conversely, if you are struggling to gain weight, you may have concluded that you have a super speedy metabolism allowing you to eat everything you want without gaining a pound. Either way, the term ‘metabolism’ describes a measure of how efficiently your body burns food as fuel. Likewise, since metabolism impacts the rate at which we burn calories, this will have an impact on how quickly bodies gain or lose weight.
Today, let’s explore the factors that determine our metabolism or the rate at which we burn calories (aka metabolic rate) ans some ways to boost metabolism. First, it is important to mention factors that are outside our control.
• Age: After the age of 40 years, metabolism will naturally slow by about 5% per decade; therefore, in order to sustain weight, fewer calories need to be consumed.
• Gender also plays a role in metabolic rate; men generally burn more calories than women.
Metabolism Boosting Tips:
1. Eat Breakfast! Start your metabolism and day off right by giving ‘fuel for the fire’! Your metabolism needs to start burning first thing in the morning. If b-fast is skipped, our body begins to hold onto calories and actually slows metabolism! Thus, skipping breakfast is the perfect way to gain weight; so make breakfast a priority within 2 hours of waking.
2. Build muscle mass! You have probably heard that muscle burns more calories than fat – this is true. A pound of muscle burns about 6 calories per day compare to 2 calories a day for a pound of fat. Therefore, if you want your body to burn more calories, you better build some muscle mass. Aim to do resistance or strengthening exercise at least twice a week.
3. Get Aerobic: This type of exercise boosts metabolism especially in the hours following a workout. Interestingly, aerobic exercise burns more calories than resistance training. Therefore, think of aerobic exercise as the better way to boost metabolism in the short term and strength training (building muscle) is the better way to boost metabolism in the long term. Aim for high-intensity exercise like spinning, jogging, or a step class 2 to 3 times a week.
4. Source of Protein at every meal: Did you know that protein requires more energy (about 25% more energy) to digest compared to fat and carbohydrate. This is why it is important to have one source of protein (ie: lean meats, dairy, nuts/seeds, legumes) at every meal to help feel full until the next meal or snack. However, our body still needs carbohydrates (body’s main fuel source) to keep metabolism going! I would suggest an apple and cheese string for a carb + protein snack to keep that metabolism revving.Protein requires more energy to burn, so consume protein at each meal to feel full! Click To Tweet
5. Limit Simple Sugars such as refined products like cookies, cakes, chips, which contain limited nutritional value, no fibre and only serve to spike blood sugar when consumed. When simple sugars are over-consumed, our bodies secrete the hormone insulin to bring down blood sugar. Insulin production promotes fat storage, which we know slows metabolism! Make sense? So, instead, choose whole grains like brown rice, oats, barley and quinoa to provide fibre filled fuel.
In order to boost your metabolism it is imperative to enjoy regularity in your meals (3 meals daily and snacks as needed). Similarly, avoid skipping meals and be sure to AVOID crash diets, which will slow metabolism in order to prevent ‘starvation’. When our bodies mistake starvation they will utilize muscle mass as fuel before fat mass hence slowing metabolism!
Remember to be active and build muscle mass! Do not fall into the trap of believing the ‘magic bullet’ diet pills and products – these metabolism boosting claims may sell but are not backed by substantial evidence.
Enjoy using these science-based tips to turn your body into an efficient calorie burning machine!