Metabolism is defined as how much energy (or calories) your body burns in a day. There is a lot of misinformation about metabolism and what you can do to get yours to maximum capacity. If you think you have a slow metabolism and that is the reason you are unable to maintain a healthy weight, then there are lots of things you can do to fix it!
• Do HIIT! (High Intensity Interval Training). Steady state cardio raises your metabolism while you are doing it, but HIIT raises your metabolism for hours following. This happens because of the intense strain that you put on your body. It burns more energy recovering. Do a HIIT session by alternating short bursts of intense activity with slow recovery periods.
• Lift Weights! Resistance training also strains your body so much that your metabolism stays elevated for up to 39 hours after.
• Build Muscle! You can’t transform fat into muscle (that’s just crazy talk!), but your body will burn approximately 30-50 calories extra a day per added pound of lean muscle.
• Eat more protein! Protein is harder for your body to digest, so the energy your body uses by digesting it is greater than the other macronutrients. Protein is also necessary for building muscle, so make sure you are getting protein in each of your 5-6 meals every day. For individuals trying to gain muscle, .75grams to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight is recommended.
• Eat 5-6 small meals per day! Eating & digesting food raises your metabolism, so it stands to reason that elevating your metabolism 5-6 times a day as opposed to 3 is favorable. Also, your body will adapt to prevent starvation, so if you aren’t eating frequently enough, your body will really want to store energy (as fat) by decreasing your metabolism. An added benefit to more frequent meals is that you won’t be as hungry at each meal so you should be better able to control your portion sizes and make better decisions about the foods you eat.
• Drink plenty of water! Water is a vehicle for flushing fat from your system & drinking it actually raises your metabolism. When you are properly hydrated, your body is better balanced, your cravings are decreased and you feel less hunger. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated, so drink up! You should consume at least ½ of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Ex. A 150lb woman should drink at least 75 ounces of water per day.
• Reduce your stress! Stress hormones trigger a survival mechanism in our bodies that decreases metabolism. Yoga, meditation & deep breathing are all great stress relievers. Incorporate these into your daily routine for many other health benefits as well.
Don’t let your negative thoughts about your “slow” metabolism control your results! Use these simple techniques to increase your metabolism and get the results you want from your training. Please stop by the gym or use the contact page if you have questions about how to apply this information.