What you can speed up is your metabolism…
Simply put, your metabolism is your body’s engine to burn calories from what you eat. Everyone will lose weight when they burn more calories than they eat. To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories OR increase the number of calories you burn through physical activity….or both eating fewer calories and boosting exercise.
Understand your BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate
Even when at rest, your body needs fuel for all of its hidden functions, like breathing and circulating blood. Several things influence your BMR: (1) your body size and composition – larger or more muscular builds burn more calories even at rest, more fat on body equals slower calorie burning; (2) your gender – men burn more calories since they generally have less fat and more muscle; and (3) your age – muscle mass decreases with age, slowing down calorie burning. A useful piece of information for you is to calculate your BMR, both calories used to maintain bodily functions at rest and calories needed to maintain current body weight. Here’s an easy way for you to find your BMR: go to the website www.lifescript.com, then click on fitness menu item then total health calculator. Enter your personal information and voila!, lots of useful stuff for you to use.
So, here are some healthy ways to speed up your metabolism
Pack on muscle…American Council on Exercise (ACE) says that each pound of fat burns just 2 calories a day, while each pound of muscle burns 35-50 calories a day!
Don’t drop your daily calorie intake below 1200 calories per day…your body will think you are starving and will slow down metabolism to conserve calories
Drink water,water, and more water…muscles are about 70% water. If not fully hydrated they cannot generate energy. Drink 7-8 glasses of water a day.
Exercise and emphasize intensity…do intervals on cardio equipment(boost your intensity for 15–30-60 seconds at a time), take a higher intensity class, get your heart rate up, work up a sweat!
Embrace grazing…eat 5 or 6 small meals a day, eating every 4 hours. Burn more calories by choosing the right foods
Eat protein at every meal…your body burns more calories when digesting protein than it does when digesting fats or carbohydrates
Know the specific foods that boost metabolism…Chewy Foods (like lean meats, nuts, whole fruits, and vegetables) make your body work more; Energizing foods like green tea, coffee, and dark chocolate; and Warm/Spicy foods (like chili peppers, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cloves, mustard, and vinegar). Peppers contain a chemical that increases energy expenditure for several hours after eating.
Special thanks to Joan Malchow, Personal Trainer at Empower Fitness, who developed and presented this information in her “Change it Up” Metabolism Workshops during our Health Challenge this month. Here is a photo at one of Joan’s Metabolism Workshops…