Did you know the SPEED of your metabolism directly affects your ability to burn fat?
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy and is a crucial component in weight loss.
It is the MITOCHONDRIA in muscle cells that burn fuel. Your BASAL METABOLIC RATE is the number of calories your body needs for basic functions such as breathing, growing and repairing cells and circulating blood. Your BMR accounts for about 70% of calories burned every day. Everyone’s BMR is different. It is determined by your size, sex and age.
Factors which determine how many calories you burn each day
As well as your BMR the other factors which determine how many calories you burn each day are:
- The food you eat
- Physical activity
A lot of fitness and weight loss gurus talk about the importance of speeding up the metabolism in order to make weight loss easier. If you are wondering how to increase metabolism, try these effective fat burning techniques:
10 Tips to increase your metabolism
1. Do Interval walking/aerobic exercise:
Forget slow and steady. If you push yourself in a class or alternate walking and jogging for 30/40 minutes 3 to 4 times per week you’ll jumpstart your metabolism and burn calories (use energy) for hours after you’ve finished exercising. This is called EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Consumption).
2. Drink water:
Your body needs water to burn calories. If you are drinking less than 8 glasses per day, your metabolism will slow down.
3. Use weights:
The more muscle you have the more energy your body uses up just to function. Every pound of muscle uses 6 calories per day whereas every pound of fat uses up just 2 calories. This doesn’t mean bulk up, which is quite difficult to do anyway. It means you will benefit hugely by introducing 2 sessions of strength training per week for weight loss, flexibility, easing out muscle pain especially back pain and toning which gives a leaner more attractive appearance.
4. Eat protein:
Protein is digested slower than fat or carbohydrates. The digestion process therefore burns more calories absorbing the nutrients. Protein foods can replace some carbohydrate at meal times to give the metabolism a boost. Lean sources include turkey, fish, chicken, beans and pulses.
5. Eat breakfast:
This is the meal that wakes up the metabolism and encourages calorie burning as the body gets fuel for the day. Try to include some protein to give slower release energy and prevent blood sugar peaks in the morning.
6. Drink green tea:
Aim for 2-4 cups of the super drink green tea per day as the combination of caffeine and catechins (anti-oxidants) rev up the metabolism for a couple of hours. It is proven to improve brain function and is free from calories.
7. Take Omega 3 EFAs:
By eating oily fish such as salmon or tuna you will ingest omega 3 essential fatty acids. The body cannot make these and they are super for balancing blood sugar levels (prevent cravings) and helping regulate the metabolism. They also reduce inflammation and the resistance to the hunger hormone leptin. They can be obtained in a supplement form as well.
8. Eat regularly:
Eating often makes weight loss easier. Eating 3 meals only, causes the metabolism to slow down in between whereas eating 5 to 6 times per day keeps it working constantly so overall calorie burning is greater. This stops insulin spikes and curbs hunger at mealtimes. Aim for 3 meals and 2 to 3 snacks. A gap of 3 hours between works well. After 4 hours blood sugars will have dropped so low that you will most likely overeat or choose unwisely.
9. Don’t under-eat:
If you don’t eat enough calories your metabolism will slow down as your body puts the brakes on fat burning to conserve energy. Weight loss might work initially but will slow quickly as you lose muscle. The less muscle, the more sluggish the calorie burning. This will cause weight gain in the long run.
10. Veg, veg, veg:
Try to add green leafy veg to most of your meals. They are full of nutrients, very low in calories and keep you full with the high fibre content. They add bulk to soups, stews, smoothies and salads. I recommend spinach, kale, broccoli, asparagus, celery, mangetout and cabbage. Other colourful vegetables should be included but go easy on root veg as they are higher in carbohydrate.