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-Mind Your Damn Fitness-
We’ve all heard the saying “calories in, calories out”. It simply means that, in order to maintain a healthy weight, we must balance the number of calories we eat with the number we burn doing physical activity.
Eat more than we burn and we’re destined to gain weight. Eat less, and the weight will magically fly off. Well, if it were as simple as that, I wouldn’t be writing a post on how to boost your metabolism.
Metabolism is the way your body converts calories from foods you eat and beverages you drink into energy.
When you’re sitting, or even sleeping, your body burns energy to fuel important functions, like circulating blood, breathing, and repairing cells. The number of calories your body uses for basic functions like these is known as your basal metabolic rate.
When people use the word “metabolism”, they are usually referring to basal metabolic rate. And so a body with a “fast metabolism” burns more energy at rest than one with a “slow metabolism”.
A faster metabolism results in fewer excess calories being available to add on pounds, which is very beneficial in controlling weight.
Whether or not you have a fast or slow metabolism depends on a variety of factors, including things that can’t be changed like genetics and age. However, there are other factors that you can change to jump start your metabolism for weight loss. Read below to learn how to boost your metabolism.
5 Natural Ways To Boost Your Metabolism
1. Avoid diets that severely restrict calories
It may seem counterintuitive, but to keep weight off, you have to eat enough. Diets that require extreme caloric restrictions are bad news for many reasons. Not only are they not sustainable (who can live off of 800 calories a day forever?), but they wreak havoc on your metabolism.
When you don’t fuel your body with enough calories, your metabolism shifts into “starvation mode” and slows down to ensure you have enough energy stores to fuel bodily functions.
Want to boost your metabolism? Ensure you have a balanced diet with reasonable caloric intake. This amount will vary from person-to-person, but here are some general guidelines.
2. Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that focuses on when you eat instead of what you eat.
Diets restrict your total food consumption in some manner. Most common restrictions are limits on the total calories you can consume in a day or amounts of carbs, fat, and/or protein you can eat.
Intermittent fasting, on the other hand, allows you to eat what you want and in the quantities that you want. However, food must be eaten during scheduled periods of time (called feeding intervals).
There are many ways to structure the fasting intervals (periods of no eating) and feeding intervals of an intermittent fasting program. Some methods consist of fasting for a portion of each day (also called time-restricted eating), with feeding intervals lasting 6-12 hours. Other approaches include fasting a full 24 hours one or more days per week. Learn more about both approaches here.
Curious as to whether intermittent fasting will slow your metabolism like calorie-restricting diets? Nope!
It’s true that when you eat less frequently (as with intermittent fasting), you tend to reduce overall calorie consumption. However, unlike most diets, this natural caloric reduction is mild. Also, it’s not the primary reason for why you lose weight.
Experts in the field believe that the temporary stress of intermittent fasting has a variety of positive health benefits. One of the main benefits is an increase in the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. Simply put, this increases metabolic rate to shed pounds, with an added benefit of decreasing belly fat. Other positive metabolic changes associated with weight loss include reduction in triglycerides, low density lipoprotein (LDL), cholesterol, insulin, and blood sugar.
So to boost your metabolism, give intermittent fasting a go!
3. Eat more protein
Ever hear the term “zero-calorie foods“? Well these foods do, in fact, have a small amount of calories. But they’re not called “zero-calorie” because of a rounding error.
Whenever we eat food, our bodies burn calories to digest, absorb, and process the various nutrients in these foods. This requirement for energy is known as the thermic effect of food. When it comes to zero-calorie foods, the energy you expend eating them cancels out their calories.
Taking advantage of the thermic effect of food is actually a clever way to boost your metabolism. Of the three types of macronutrients contained in food (carbs, protein, and fat), protein produces the greatest thermic effect during digestion. Whereas the thermic effect of fat is 0–3%, and 5–10% for carbs, protein boosts your metabolism by a whopping 15–30%!
As an added bonus, eating protein can also aid in appetite control by making you feel fuller for longer. One study found that people ate nearly 450 fewer calories per day when 30% of their diet was comprised of protein.
So when it comes to eating foods to boost your metabolism, make sure you consume adequate amounts of protein.
4. Drink apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contributes to weight loss in a number of ways. Not only does it suppress appetite, aid in digestion, and control blood sugar and insulin levels, but it also boosts your metabolism. Not many studies in humans have been done, but studies in animals suggest that apple cider vinegar increases an enzyme called AMPK. This, in turn, decrease fat and sugar production in the liver and enhances the body’s fat burning power.
Start with adding 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water to see how you respond. If tolerated ok, gradually increase to adding 1 tablespoon to water and drink 2-3 times throughout the day.
5. Do more HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT workouts like this one are literally a hit due to the mega-boost to your metabolism that turns your body into a fat-burning machine! Why is HIIT so effective? The main reason is that your body continues to burn calories after your HIIT workout – a way to boost your metabolism known as the “afterburn effect”.
In traditional cardio workouts, the steady physical exertion during a workout is responsible for the calories you burn. These type of workouts tend to be longer in duration (30-60+ minutes) in order to maximize the benefits. However, after a HIIT workout, your body continues to consume more oxygen (and, thus, burn more calories) for hours after your workout to help it return to its pre-exercise state.
In actuality, HIIT may burn fewer calories during the actual workout compared to traditional cardio, but it can result in more overall calories burned and fat loss post-workout.
One of the best things about HIIT is that it requires significantly less time than traditional cardio workouts to produce greater fat-burning benefits! So don’t forget to check out full details of my at home HIIT workout here. The full workout only takes 15 minutes, including warm-up and cool down. So check it out and give it a try!
Trying to lose weight can be frustrating when you aren’t armed with the most effective tools. To make sure you get the most out of all of your efforts, incorporate these tips of how to boost your metabolism into your weight loss plan. As with all adjustments to your diet and exercise regimen, don’t forget to check in with your physician before getting started.
Want to get fit but having a hard time staying motivated to exercise?