When trying to lose weight, you’ll often hear the word metabolism or metabolic rate thrown around, but what does it mean and why is it important?
A person’s metabolism is the rate at which their body burns calories for energy, so, as you can imagine the higher the metabolism, the more calories burned. For those of us that aren’t blessed with a fast metabolism, sometimes we need to take extra steps to ensure weight loss, or maintenance. To help you out, here are 5 of our favourites, simple ways to kick start your metabolism.
Regulate your eating pattern
You may be pleased to hear that one of the best ways to boost your metabolism is to eat more often! In order to reach its full potential, your body relies on balance and regularity, especially when it comes to meal time. Eating small meals or snacks 3 to 4 hours apart during the day can aid in regulating your body’s metabolic balance, leading to a faster burn in calories.
Increase your protein
Contrary to popular belief, eating lots of protein isn’t just for people wanting to bulk up, it can also be beneficial for weight loss. In conjunction with eating regularly, incorporating more protein into your diet can raise your thermic effect of food (TEF), which basically refers to how eating food has the ability to increase your metabolism for a few hours. Protein causes the largest rise in TEF, while also increasing your metabolic rate by 15-30%.
Here at ALF, we love a good HIIT session! For those who aren’t familiar, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which involves quick and intense bursts of activity. The best part about HIIT is that it can be applied to running, swimming, cycling or any other form of cardio. Incorporating HIIT training into you weekly gym routine can help you burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate, even after your workout is finished.
Just like eating protein, another common health myth is that lifting heavy weights leads to a more bulky physique. While this is somewhat true, a lot of other factors come in to play when building muscle through weight training. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, therefore aiming to build muscle can increase your metabolism, meaning that you will actually burn more calories post workout than any other form of exercise. As well as this, lifting weights will help you retain muscle and prevent the dreaded ‘plateau’ which can often occur during weight loss
While decreasing your caloric intake can be an important part of weight loss for many people, sometimes issues with metabolism can be associated with not eating enough. Limiting your caloric intake by too much can actually cause your metabolism to slow down in order for the body to conserve energy.
What to take away? Eat more, eat regularly, and get your body moving!