Boosting your metabolism is important to losing weight. Genetics, age, and gender play a huge role, but there’s not much you can do about how old you are and whether you are male or female. There are, however, some ways you can increase your metabolism and help your body burn as many calories as capable. We are all very unique, so where our base starting point is will be different for everyone. But no matter who you are, if you follow these simple suggestions you will have better success on your weight loss journey. Your body is always burning calories, even when you are sleeping. This is called your basal, base or resting metabolism. It’s very hard to know for sure what your resting metabolic rate is, but there are some techniques you can use to raise your metabolism and therefore burn calories more efficiently.
Build Muscle: Every pound of muscle burns about six calories a day just to sustain itself, whereas each pound of fat burns only two calories a day…at rest. This is your resting metabolic rate—the amount of energy it takes your body to function at rest. This pertains to muscles, organs, blood flow, breathing, etc. Anything we can do to raise our resting metabolic rate will help us utilize calories with less effort. As an added bonus, during a strength training session, muscles are activated all over your body raising your average daily metabolic rate for that day.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): This is a form of cardiovascular or aerobic exercise. There is a plethora of studies showing the benefit of metabolism from any form of aerobic activity, but the recent studies on HIIT workouts shows your body elevates into a fat burning machine for some up to 48 hours or more after. Even a low energy cardio session can keep your motor revved up for two hours past your session.
Eat clean: Stay away from fad diets that restrict your calories to below 1200 for women and 1800 for men. You might lose during the diet, but you are wrecking your metabolism. If your body begins to slow down to conserve energy because you aren’t bringing in enough, you will be battling quicker weight gain in the future. It’s better to snack healthy just a little and eat less at each meal. Your body can only process so many calories at any one time. So, if you put too much in (like a big meal), your body will have no choice but to use what it can and then store the rest. Spread those calories out throughout all your meals and snacks and there won’t be any left to store as fat. Plus you will absorb more of the vitamins and minerals from what you eat. What you put into your body is the most important part of a healthy lifestyle and can make all the difference in your weight loss efforts.
Hydrate: Water is crucial for weight loss. Your body uses water to process calories. Even mild dehydration may slow down your metabolism. In one study, according to WebMD, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. Some good tricks are to drink an 8oz. glass of water before each meal as well as one every hour. You can also snack on fresh fruits and vegetables which contain natural water as opposed to chips or pretzels. Water is super important if you are increasing your fiber intake to help with weight loss. Increasing fiber without increasing water intake will have an adverse effect and could leave you feeling bloated and gassy.
Green Tea: Research shows that drinking two to four cups of either green tea or oolong tea can rev up your metabolism for a couple of hours. Either tea may push your body to burn 17% more calories during moderately intense exercise, says WebMD.
Caffeine and spicy foods can also raise your metabolism, but use these in moderation.
The bottom line is there are factors we can control when it comes to optimizing our metabolism. Around age 40, our metabolism begins to slow on its own. So, if you want to keep your machine running optimally, then follow the suggestions above and keep your metabolism running efficiently as possible. If you have any questions feel free to write or call me. If you are looking for training, I have openings and train small groups as well as one on one sessions. Remember to be active and stay active!
Lisa Turpin is a degreed and certified health and fitness lifestyle coach who has devoted her life to motivating and strengthening the bodies and minds of others. With over 20 years’ experience as a group exercise leader and an independent personal trainer in the Destin area, she is diverse and extensively trained in classical and modern Pilates, lifestyle management, personal training, group exercise and post-rehabilitation. Try some workouts, more ideas and recipes on Facebook: Lisa Turpin-Be Active Health & Fitness (@LisaTurpinFitness) or text at 850.974.2005.