8 TIPS TO BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
By: Rob Wess: cpt, csct, csn
WHAT IS YOUR METABOLISM?
It is the energy or calories required for maintenance of the body while it is at rest.
As we age our metabolism slows down. Our natural aging process causes the body to become less efficient at burning calories. This can be counter balanced by good nutrition, staying active and participating in a regular fitness program.
The body is constantly in a state of homeostasis (trying to keep things in balance). This includes how the body burns calories and how efficiently nutrients are absorbed from the three macro nutrients: Carbs, Fats and Proteins. This is why regular exercise, good food choices and a balanced, nutritious diet, along with plenty of water and rest is the best approach for long term health. It simply allows the body to perform its job more efficiently.
Here are eight tips to help boost your metabolism:
While sleeping, your body has been without any nutrition, usually for approx. 6-10 hours. The effect is no different than going for hours during the day without eating. Doing so puts your body in starvation mode, at which time the body actually stores fat and only burns calories necessary to keep things working. Starting the day off with a good wholesome breakfast revs up the metabolism and gets the calorie burning process in high gear while providing mental and physical fuel.
Muscle burns more calories than fat. So the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder, but a regular strength training program along with regular cardio exercise is the first step in getting your metabolism revved up.
Get Enough Calories
You have to take in enough calories to fuel your daily activities. When calories are too low, the body reacts as if it is in starvation, buy slowing down its energy expenditure (metabolism) thus conserving body fat.
Good Food Choices
Calories are burned during digestion. Some foods require more calories to digest than others. Lean protein burns the most during digestion followed by complex carbohydrates. Refined sugars and flour are low in nutritional value and burn the least amount of calories. They should be avoided as much as possible.
- Protein choices should include turkey, skinless chicken, lean beef, fish, egg whites, skim milk, Greek yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese.
- Include Carbohydrates from dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, oats and brown rice as well as apples, pears, grapefruits and berries.
- Don’s skimp on the Fats! Include essential fat choices from olive oil, nuts, flax seed, flax oil, fish oils and yes…a little fat from meat, eggs and dairy products too.
Including a source from each of these macro groups with each meal provides a wholesome, balanced meal that will aid in loosing body fat.
Eat Less & More Frequently
Eating smaller more frequent meals helps maintain a constant blood sugar level, which helps minimize blood-sugar swings that may cause cravings and overeating. These larger, less frequent meals makes the body think it may be some time before the next meal is available, causing it to conserve and store fats. Smaller meals trick the body into thinking an abundance of food is available so the metabolism speeds up.
Drink Plenty of Water
The body is made of approx 70% water and blood plasma is about 90% water, so drinking plenty of water helps the body metabolize fat more efficiently by increasing blood volume, which in turn delivers more nutrients and oxygen to the cells and tissue of the body. This allows the body to expend more energy and function more efficiently overall.
Get Enough Sleep and Reduce Stress
Get enough sleep…seven or eight hours every night and keep stress levels to a minimum. Both lack of sleep and stress interfere with hormone production which disrupts the metabolism.
Tap Into Your Internal Energy
Qigong, Tai Chi and Yoga are healing arts that use soft flowing movements to open up the energy meridians of the body. Practice of these arts improves flexibility, internal energy flow, as well as reducing stress and tension, which helps bring the digestive processes back in balance.
Rob Wess is a Certified Personal Trainer, Strength & Conditioning Trainer and Sports Nutritionist with over 25 years experience in the fitness industry, including extensive involvement in amateur bodybuilding and power lifting as a drug free competitor. Rob’s best lifts include a 450 squat, 290 bench press, 490 deadlift in the 148 lbs. weight class at age 45. Currently serving as the IBP N.C. chairman (Iron Boy Powerlifting). Rob can be reached at: