One of the most common questions I get asked is â€œhow can I boost my metabolism?â€ Many people blame a â€œslow metabolismâ€ on excess and stubborn weight, but what does the word really mean and can it be improved?Â
By definition, â€œmetabolismâ€ is range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism.Â The term however is usually used to refer to the rate at which we burn fat and calories from food which is just one example. The term â€œbasal metabolic rateâ€ is also commonly used, and refers to the rate at which the body uses energy to carry out vital processes such as breathing and maintaining temperature while at rest.
There are a few factors determining our metabolic rate that cannot be changed:
- Genetics â€“ some people are just blessed with a speedy metabolism!
- Your sex â€“ males tend to have a faster metabolism than females.
- Age â€“ metabolism generally slows as we get older.
The good news is there are some ways through nutrition and exercise that we can give our metabolism a bit of a boost!
- LIFT THOSE WEIGHTS
The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate which means you burn more calories even at rest. This isnâ€™t about getting big and bulky, so girls donâ€™t be afraid! Try out a barbell class at your local gym or change up your routine by including body weight exercises such as lunges, squats, push ups and tricep dips.
- HIITHigh Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a short duration high intensity workout with short periods of rest in between. Studies show that HIIT sessions significantly increase metabolism and allow your body to burn more fat and calories even 24 hours after the session.
- DRINK UP
Studies have shown that drinking more water can help to improve your metabolism. Make sure you are drinking 8 â€“ 10 glasses of water each day.
- EAT REGULARLYFuel your body with smaller and regular meals every 3 â€“ 4 hours to keep your metabolism revving. Frequent meals will help to keep blood sugar levels stable and will also help to prevent over eating and sugar cravings later in the day.
- EAT PROTEIN
Protein has a high thermogenic effect meaningit takes more energy to digest and absorb than both carbohydrates and fat. Protein also helps the body to build muscle which in turn will help you to speed up your metabolism! Try to include good sources of protein at each meal such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and nuts.
- SPICE UP YOUR LIFE
Adding some spice to your meals may help to boost your metabolism temporarily. Try adding spices such as chilli, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and ginger to your meals for an extra little kick!