7 secrets to supercharging your metabolism
We’re surrounded by experts telling us to eat less and move more if we want to avoid becoming a statistic in the war on obesity. But even if you’re at a healthy weight and just want to lose some of the jiggly bits, it can often be a slow and frustrating process.
The missing link in the battle of the bulge is to understand your unique metabolism, how it’s measured and what secret tricks you can use to rev it up to burn more calories for longer.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism describes all the chemical processes that go on continuously inside your body to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food. These chemical processes require energy in the form of calories from your food. Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the minimum total energy expenditure in a resting state i.e minus the energy cost of movement, exercise and food digestion.
Your RMR can account for anything between 40% and 75% of your body’s daily energy requirements depending on your age and lifestyle. Consequently if you can rev up your metabolism throughout the day, you’ll be burning more calories without camping out at the gym.
Do some people have a faster metabolism than others?
Body size, age, gender and genes all play a role in determining your metabolic rate. Muscles use more calories to maintain than fat, so people with a higher muscle to fat ratio tend to have a higher RMR.
As we get older, we tend to gain fat and lose muscle. This explains why RMR tends to decrease with age.
Does a slow metabolism make people fat?
People who struggle to lose weight often blame a slow metabolism. However, numerous studies involving thousands of people worldwide have failed to find evidence to support the belief that overweight people must have slower metabolic rates.
In fact, the opposite appears true: overweight people may actually have a higher metabolism than their leaner counterparts, reflecting the energy requirements of maintaining a larger body size.
More often than not, the reason people put on weight is not because of a slow metabolism, it’s because they're eating and drinking more calories than they're burning.
Can dieting slow down my metabolism?
Long term dieting can reduce your RMR as your body moves into a ’starvation’ state and automatically reduces RMR to compensate for the reduction in calories. That’s often why you make good progress at the start of a diet but it gets harder and harder to lose weight the longer you stay on it.
7 tips to boost your metabolism
Here's welcome news: you may have inherited your mum's slow metabolism, but you’re not stuck with it. New research shows you can trick your body into burning calories more efficiently with some simple changes to your exercise and diet. So take control of your metabolism by making these boosters part of your routine—and stop sweating over every biscuit.
1. HIIT it
High intensity workouts like Hiitgirl will help you burn more calories than long slow sessions and you’ll be supercharging your body inside and out. Going all out results in a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) - as your body recovers from a tough workout, it's actually burning more calories than it normally would, for up to 48 hours after you've finished exercising!
2. Build some muscle
Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but it uses more energy, too. The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That means you're resetting your thermostat to keep running at a higher rate even on the days when you don’t workout.
3. sleep well
insufficient sleep can pay havoc with your metabolism and appetite. Sleep deprivation studies have shown that tired people crave foods high in carbohydrates, sugar and salt. In another study that followed about 70,000 women for 16 years, there was a significant increase in body weight in those who slept 5 hours or less compared to those who slept 7–8 hours.
A regular hit of caffeine from coffee or green tea is a handy way to amp up your metabolism. This increase has shown to be around 4-5% along with a nice bonus of improved fat oxidation - drink coffee before your workout to help you burn more fat! It's important not to overdo it though as too much can result in elevated blood pressure, heart palpitations, headache, restlessness, and dizziness.
5. Don't slash calories
It's one of the most frustrating realities of dieting - if you cut out too many calories - your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy. The trick to keeping your metabolism revved up and still lose weight is to eat enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate - that’s why you need to accurately measure your RMR.
6. Eat like a cow
Little and often throughout the day is a proven strategy to help you curb hunger and eat fewer calories overall. Now, experts are promoting grazing as a way to keep metabolism running by holding blood sugar levels steady and preventing weight-gain-promoting insulin spikes. Enjoying six small meals a day should do the trick; keep them around 300 calories each, or divide your usual day's calories by six.
7. Go for protein
Your body digests protein more slowly than fat or carbs, so you feel fuller for longer (this is especially true when you have it for breakfast). Plus, it may also give your metabolism a boost. In a process called thermogenesis, your body uses about 10% of its calorie intake for digestion. So, because it takes longer to burn protein than carbs or fat, your body expends more energy absorbing the nutrients in a high-protein diet. One recent study found that diets higher in protein may help preserve lean body mass, which is the best fat-burner of all.
Everyone has their own unique resting metabolic rate and, if you want to know yours, we can measure it for you!
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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