When it comes to weight loss, your metabolism is key. Metabolism is defined as the sum of physical and chemical processes in an organisms by which material substance is produced, maintained and destroyed, and by which energy is made available. Basically, metabolism is our body’s ability to provide energy for us by making, preserving and breaking down substances. When you have a “fast” metabolism, your body demands more energy. The faster your metabolism is, the more energy your body burns through out the day, and the slower it is, the less energy you burn. For example, lets say that my body would normally burns about 2000 calories per day. By increasing my metabolism, I can increase my body’s energy expenditure from 2000 to 3000 calories a day. Now that was just an example, but I wanted to illustrate to you the importance of a “fast” metabolism. By increasing your metabolic rate, and working with a calorie deficit, you prompt your body to tap into it’s fat stores for it’s energy demands, thus resulting in weight loss. Today, we will be looking at some ways on how to jump start your metabolism so you can jump start your weight loss journey.
Increase Your Calorie Intake
When dieting to lose weight, you need to restrict your calorie intake so your
body can tap into your fat stores for energy and burn it. Because of this, most people think that if they greatly reduce the amount of food they eat, they can lose weight much faster. However, the thing to remember is that when your body is given less energy that it can burn, your metabolism begins to slow down. The less you feed your body, the slower your metabolism becomes until it comes to a screeching halt and weight loss is stopped in its tracks. When you eat more food, the opposite happens and your metabolism begins to come alive. Just like with exercise, whenever you eat, your body burns calories by digesting and converting the food into energy for use. This process is also called “The Thermic Effect of Food”. If you feel like your weight loss has plateaued, figure out how much energy your body burns everyday and gradually increase your calorie intake to that point or as close as possible. This a great, easy way to start revving up your metabolism.
Eat More Protein
I want to revisit the “Thermic Effect Of Food” briefly in regards to protein. We all know that eating a high protein diet is essential for building and preserving muscle. However, protein is actually harder for the body to process than other macronutrients. In other words, your body uses more energy (burns more calories) when processing and converting it to energy. Yet another awesome reason to increase your protein intake.
We all know how important it is to properly hydrate our bodies by drinking enough water everyday. Drinking water, also, comes with an added bonus of increasing metabolism. According to a study released in The Journal Of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, drinking about 2 cups of water increased metabolic rate by about 30% within the 14 men and women who took part in it. It has been recommended many times to drink about 8 cups of water a day, though there’s really not enough research as to explain why. However, because of it’s ability to enhance fat loss in the body, I think that is more than enough reason to go for those eight cups. To make it as simple as possible, just drink 2 cups of water before your meals. Not only will you get the thermic effect, but the water will fill you up and cause you to want to eat a little less food. If you are on a cut, that will aid you in your calorie deficit.
Caffeine is a stimulant that focuses on the nervous system. Caffeine has been shown to increase the metabolic rate by 4% and stay elevated for up to 3 hours. Caffeine also has the ability to break down fat stores so the body can use it for energy.
Eat Enough Dietary Fat
Eating foods that are high in monounsaturated fats (Ex: eggs, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil) has shown to increase metabolic rate by increasing testosterone. Testosterone is the hormone directly related to burning fat and building muscle. It’s recommended to get only about 20% – 30% of your daily calories from fat.
Once again, I come back to weight training. Probably the best and quickest way to get your metabolism revved up. Lifting weights has a very high after burn effect. When talking about the after burn effect, it is usually referred to as the EPOC effect (a.k.a. excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). This is simply defined as additional energy that your body burns after your workouts. It elevates your metabolic rate and according to this study, keeps it at an elevated level for up to 38 hours. This, in turn, allows your body to not only burn a lot of calories during the workout, but to also burn a little more extra calories than normal long after the workout is over. Lifting weights also packs on the muscle which also increase your metabolic rate. The more muscles you have, the higher your metabolic rate is, and thus the more calories you burn.
HIIT (high -intensity interval training) is a workout that involves short, sharp and all-out intense activity followed by periods of moderate, low intense activity or rest. Most people get their cardio by walking, jogging and other forms of low – intensity workouts. This is all well and good and I’m all for it. However, research has proven that high-intensity cardio is the all-around better choice than low-intensity cardio when it comes to getting rid of the fat that is covering those six-pack abs that we so desperately want (OK, maybe not desperately, but I’m pretty sure that the majority of the world’s population wouldn’t mind having them). HIIT Cardio is also shown to provide individuals the benefits of the EPOCH effect, which makes it another avenue for getting that metabolism going.
Over the past few weeks, it seemed to me that my results were starting to plateau (although I could just be paranoid). I honestly thought as long as I maintained my calorie deficit and continued my workouts everything would be fine, but just to be on the safe side, I decided to do a little research just in case because I wanted to avoid making the same mistake as I did in the past. Very glad I did. I was aware about metabolism, however I was very unaware of the key role it played in fat loss. For more ways to boost metabolism, click here. How about you guys? How did you boost your metabolism? Did you do any of the things listed or did you do something entirely different? Let me know in the comment section, I’m always looking for new ideas and getting a discussion going.