I hope you are having a fabulous week so far! It’s been breezy and beautiful here along the Gulf Coast with nearly perfect weather. Today, let’s talk about metabolism. I know, I know….Why is this a word that plagues us so much? It’s a word that we’ve grown to rely on as the sole source of our weight management. But more so rather, as a crutch to lay blame on the lack of our weight management. AmmIRight? But what does it really mean? According to the dictionary, the word metabolism means the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.
In other words the simple rate at which your body burns calories for energy. Or, in Sam’s elementary terms, metabolism is simply how your body uses what you eat for energy and more specifically for weight management, how it uses food to burn fat.
So what does it mean to have a slow or fast metabolism? Simply put, the higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn at rest.
Did you know your lifestyle and even what you eat both play a huge role in your metabolic rate or just how quickly your body uses that fuel for energy? And if that’s the case, that means it’s totally possible for you to take control of your nutrition, increase your metabolism and start burning more calories, creating more energy and burning more fat! Hola!
Here are a few things you can do to increase your metabolism to help you lose weight and burn fat:
- Eat every 3-4 hours (do not skip meals!). Our body provides energy to digest food. Energy requires a higher metabolic rate. Increasing the number of times a day we eat will increase the energy need and increase metabolism as a result.
- Eat breakfast. Your body has been in starvation mode for approximately 6 or more hours. When we don’t feed it, our metabolism intentionally slows down as a way to protect our body and preserve energy. Eating breakfast jumps starts our metabolism first thing in the morning and provides that energy source.
- Eat more protein. Protein is needed to maintain and build muscle. You’ve heard me say before that muscle fuels metabolism right? So when we build more lean muscle, we automatically increase our metabolism rate and will burn more calories at rest!
- Do more HIIT workouts and less cardio. Now don’t get me wrong, cardio workouts are absolutely necessary for improving heart health and improving your endurance, but if we’re going to specifically talk about metabolism and fat burn, then we’ve got to focus more on HIIT workouts. HIIT workouts are short bursts of high intensity training with active resting periods. HIIT workouts require more energy, can be done in less amount of time (you don’t have to spend hours in the gym or working out) and can keep your body in fat and calorie burning mode for up to 48 hours after your workout!
- Do weight training. While you don’t have to become a body builder but listen to this. Increasing lean muscle mass requires more energy to function. So when we use weights to build lean muscle mass our body has to increase its energy production—wait for it—-guess what happens? Your metabolism increases and you start burning fat like crazy! Building lean muscle also improves your bone strength which in general is good for overall health, performing your regular activities of daily living and injury prevention.
- Eat carbs. Pick your jaw up off the floor because yes, I said eat carbs. Re read my posts on What is the Glycemic Index to get a better understanding, but let me review again here. Carbs are our energy source (our body can’t survive without them). If we don’t supply our body with that energy, it has to pull the energy from somewhere else: protein. Protein builds lean muscle. If we take protein from muscle, we lose muscle mass and if muscle fuels metabolism, when we decrease muscle mass we decrease metabolism. Get it? Following the Glycemic Index will also help you determine those good sources of carbohydrates, too.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement. Healthy fats in the form of Omega 3 not only support a healthy heart, but did you know these healthy fats have so many other benefits as well? Omega 3 can reduce inflammation, therefore improve your workout recovery, as well as help balance your blood sugar and decrease the fat storing-causing Insulin. These are both critical factors for weight management.
- Drink more water. If a power plant requires water to produce energy, it only makes sense your body requires water to produce that same energy. Did you know it only takes about a 2-3% water deficit to cause symptoms of dehydration? And usually, one of the first symptoms of dehydration is fatigue!
I hope this helps my friend! Reach out if you have any questions or if you’re struggling with improving your own metabolism. If you are ready to take your health and weight loss to the next level, Learn more about Nourish, where I’ve been helping clients lose that weight and fat they’ve never been able to lose before – all without sacrificing or feeling like crap while they’re doing it.