Weight loss is a very hot topic today and learning how to lose weight and get healthy are two of the most important decisions in people’s lives today. Unfortunately, those of us with lower metabolic rates burn fat slower than others but there are ways to boost our metabolism and hence the burning of calories.
The rate at which we burn calories while resting is known as the basal metabolic rate or BMR and we inherit that from our parents. We can, however, increase our metabolism by exercising, building muscle tissue, and watching the food we eat.
The average “American” today has succumbed to such an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle that their metabolism has slowed to almost nothing. You don’t have to be the average “American”; out of shape, stressed out, tired, and blaming your weight on a “slow metabolism”.
In this article, we are going to provide you few advice and options on ways to boost or increase your metabolism so you can not only begin losing weight but also have the energy required in order to work out! Losing weight is not an easy task but if you have your metabolism working for you, it will be a much easier and faster journey.
If you don’t know what is Metabolism then understand it as a biochemical process that occurs within a living organism in order to maintain life. The key to boosting your metabolism has to do with the foods we eat and the amount of activity/exercise our bodies experience every day.
If you’re not consciously watching what you eat every day or moving your body, you are not doing your metabolism any favors. We understand that it’s not easy to change your habits overnight and this is why you need to do it gradually to ensure that you stick with them.
You want to step back and take a close look at what you put into your body every day. A great way to really see how much you eat a day is to write down what you eat, how much of it you eat, and what time you eat for a few days so you can really get a visual.
You want to shoot for 4-6 small meals (including snacks) a day as this will keep your insulin levels from dipping too low which not only causes you to overeat but will stop putting your body into “starvation mode” which means your body doesn’t know when it’s going to get its next meal so your metabolism slows down and it stores food as fat.
Once you get your small meals under control to 4-6 per day you can begin working on foods to keep your metabolism high. Your small meals should be focusing on lean proteins (at every meal), slow-burning carbohydrates, and good fats.
- Lean or Healthy Proteins: Fish, chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, eggs, protein shakes, low-fat cheese, low-fat Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.
- Slow Burning Carbohydrates: Whole wheat bread, oatmeal, whole grains, vegetables (avoid white potatoes), beans, and fruits.
- Good Fats: Nuts, olives and olive oil, omega-3, flax seeds, avocados, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.
Once you see what your eating habits are you will want to take a few of the unhealthy meals/snacks and replace them with an apple, low-fat yogurt, or nuts instead of a bag of chips or french fries. Lean proteins, slow-burning carbohydrates, and good fats will not only help boost your metabolism, but it can help provide your body the energy it needs to choose working out versus sitting on your couch watching TV.
Now let’s talk about your activity level. If you’re an average “American”, it is likely quite low, but that’s okay everyone has to start somewhere. We all have very busy schedules, but everyone has 20 minutes to spare a day so there are no excuses!
Building muscle is one effective way to boost metabolism as muscle burns calories even while resting, whereas fat does not. Muscle needs those calories you intake which is why muscular people sometimes seem to be able to eat just about anything without gaining weight. Our metabolic rate decreases as we get older but building up our muscles helps to combat that.
Other factors, particularly stress also come into play. People who suffer stress also tend to lose efficient metabolism so activities that combat stress such as meditation and aerobic exercise become important in this regard too.
Of course, regular exercise also has a direct effect on weight loss.
By creating a schedule and allowing yourself 20 minutes a day 3 times a week to start a workout program you are starting off slowly and safely. You can choose to go for a brisk walk after dinner, jog on a treadmill or utilize an at-home workout video. Whatever you choose as long as you are working up a sweat you are boosting your metabolism.
As your endurance increases, then increase either the number of days per week, the duration from 20 minutes a day to 45, or the intensity to ensure you keep your sweat up and further increase your metabolism.
If you are determined to lose weight and change your life go for a bike ride and you will be amazed at how good you feel. Make better food choices and in a week I guarantee you will feel better and have more energy. This will evolve into you not wanting to miss a single workout and making healthier food choices at every meal.
The more we do to keep our metabolism high, the more it does for us in return; more energy, clothes fit better, look better, feel better, happier, healthier, the list goes on and on.
Some of the Quick Tips to Increase Metabolism:
- Eat your breakfast! Starting the day with a meal wakes up your metabolism, high fiber carbs are best as they take longer to digest so stop you from feeling hungry for longer.
- Metabolic rate rises with body temperature so stay warm, confusingly however we also tend to use up more calories if we are a little cold!
- Avoid stress as it dulls the ability to burn calories effectively. Any stress-busting activities are good, walking or yoga for example. Long-term stress can cause weight gain and lead to various other health problems.
- Training with weights will build up muscle which burns calories even at rest.
- Eat small meals regularly during the day as regular eating helps to raise metabolism as your body needs to work on digestion. Skipping meals, on the other hand, can actually reduce your metabolic rate as the body tries to prepare for a perceived food shortage. Protein consumes more calories in digestion than other foods so make lean protein like chicken or fish a healthy share of your intake.
- You can try to spice your food too as studies have shown that the capsaicin from chili peppers can give a temporary boost to our metabolisms, enough to make a difference if you make it a habit.
- Exercise in the morning as there is some evidence that morning exertion raises the metabolic rate well into the day, this point is still debated but most agree that exercise at night is definitely not good as it hinders good sleep.
- Speaking of sleep, it is important to get enough. If your body is exhausted it is not going to be able to bun calories efficiently so your metabolism is lowered. Being low on sleep also leads to other problems such as the lack of willpower to get the exercise we need.
- Drink green tea, there is now a lot of evidence it helps to raise metabolism and burn calories. Many people also rely on acai berry to help with raising metabolism and losing weight. It’s available as a juice or in capsule form as well as in berry form.
Now your metabolism is working for you!