What is metabolism? Let’s break it down simply. Metabolism is the body’s ability to convert what you eat into energy. The amount of calories (energy) a person burns daily is affected by different factors; exercise, muscle mass, and the amount of fat he/she has, and their resting metabolism.
Now that we know a little bit about metabolism, you can see how important is it to the success of your fitness plan. Whatever your goal may be, gaining muscle, losing fat, or just being healthy in general, you need to familiarize yourself with your own metabolism, and dependent on that will determine which fitness plan will benefit your body the most. The misconception that any workout program will affect each and every individual the same way is far from the truth.
Below is a comprised list of the 4 best ways to boost your metabolism.
1. Weight Training.
Weight training stimulates our bodies to increase muscle mass, there are also many other benefits, such as increased bone density, fat loss, stronger joints, etc. But an interesting fact about muscle is for every extra pound of muscle your body carries, it can burn up to an extra 50 calories daily.
Weight training, in comparison to the very popular cardiovascular exercise, has our bodies continuously burning calories 36 hours after terminating your workout. A good workout can be accomplished in 30-60 minutes, exceeding 90 minutes is counterproductive. There is no added benefit in being at the gym for 2 hours, our bodies start breaking down it’s protein stores (muscle) after 90 minutes of exercise. So keep your workouts short and sweet!
2. Eating Frequent Meals (Every 3-4 hours)
Restricted calorie diets, and skipping meals can cause the leveling off of weight-loss because our bodies are so programmed for survival, that it will adapt to whatever surroundings it is given. By severely limiting caloric intake, or spending long periods of time without eating, the body thinks it’s starving, or thinks it has a limited supply of food, so as a result the body starts expending less calories (slowing the body’s metabolism). Not what you want at all when trying to lose weight, or more importantly lose fat!
Example ”Meal Plan” for Monday
Breakfast- scrammbled egg whites, oatmeal with almond milk and cinnamon
Mid-morning snack- small chicken salad
Lunch- whole wheat turkey veggie wrap
Afternoon snack- Low sugar protein bar
Dinner – baked grouper with tomatoes and peppers
3. Eating foods that have high thermic effect.
Metabolic rate is increased after eating a meal. Foods that have high thermic effect, are foods that cause the body to work more to digest them when consumed. Thermic effect of each macronutrient:
- Protein: 20-35% of calories burned during digestion
- Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned during digestion
- Fats: 0-5% of calories burned during digestion
For example, if you eat 250 calories of protein, your body will use 50-87 calories just to digest this food.
4. Use a fat burner.
Fat burners are a great nutritional supplement that will assist with fat metabolism/fat loss, as long as, you follow the right protocol. Most individuals have the misconception that they continue their regular regime of not exercising and eating poor quality foods and can still see results. Most fat burner products even state on their label, ” This dietary supplement enhances fat loss and weight loss when used in conjunction with diet and exercise”. There are many brands out on the market, so it can be overwhelming when choosing one. Whichever brand you choose make sure to read the label. For extra precaution , cut the suggested use in half when first trying the product.
Blueberry Oatmeal Recipe
(205 Calories, 25 Carbs)
1/4 cup old fashion oats
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond
Dash of cinnamon (you may add more to your liking)