Metabolism: What is it, anyway? Well, it’s the amount of energy (calories) our bodies burn to maintain themselves. This is a 24/7 job that happens while we’re eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning, exercising, etc. Our bodies work overtime, burning calories to keep us going and going.
It’s also determined by our body composition: the amount of muscle a body has versus the amount of fat. And muscles use more calories to maintain themselves than fat. So, we could safely say that the more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at burning calories, boosting metabolism. Next question: How can we boost metabolism to promote weight loss?
Let’s take a look at some ways to boost that metabolism.
Eat breakfast. Period. Eat breakfast every single day. If you don’t, your metabolism slows and your body goes into starvation mode to conserve energy and calories. And the more nutritious and hearty the meal, the better. Studies have shown that those who ate breakfast actually weigh less and kept the weight off compared to those who didn’t eat first thing. Try a mix of lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. Think eggs with veggies, a slice of toast and some berries.
Sip some coffee. That’s right, you can enjoy your morning cup in your favorite mug each and every morning. Studies show that the average metabolic rate of those who drank caffeinated coffee increased over those who drank decaf coffee. Caffeine helps to stimulate the nervous system by increasing heart rate and breathing.
Guzzle cold water. You can enjoy your morning coffee, but make sure you keep drinking your fluids throughout the day. Metabolic rates have been known to rise with increased water intake. Follow that “eight glasses of water per day” and you’ll be doing yourself a favor.
Add intervals. Here’s a great way to shorten your workout, but still burn the same number of calories you would in a longer workout: amp up the intensity. Short bursts of quick speed during cardio sessions help to torch more calories and ramp up metabolism. Whether you’re biking, running or rowing, try throwing in some intervals. Start by doing three ten-second all out sprints with 12 seconds easy in between each effort. Work your way up until you can do about 10 sprints.
Eat more fish. Salmon, tuna and sardines are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to our diets. These healthy fats fill you up and keep you satisfied longer. plus, they have high doses of Vitamin D, which helps give your metabolism a little kick. Add this fish to salads for lunch or grill it up for a post-workout dinner that’s packed with protein.
Call it a night earlier. Getting more sleep helps you rest and recharge for another day. When you sleep less, your hunger cues get thrown off, so you may mix up when you’re tired for when you’re hungry. Eight hours per night – like eight glasses per day – is a good number to stick to.
Try adding these tips to your daily routine to help boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
This post was written for Her Fitness Hut, by Karen Danish, LAP. Karen is a licensed acupuncture physician and a valued staff member at Anne Hermann MD, PA, a Tampa Weight Loss and Nutrition Clinic