Many people and experts talk a lot about boosting metabolism, but is that even possible? According to Shawna Kaminski, yes, it is possible. Continue reading to find out how.
First of all, it is very important to know what exactly is metabolism.
Metabolism can be simply described as a process in which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this biochemical process, the calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy that your body needs to function properly.
Or in other words, what this really means is that when you eat a slice of pizza, by some miracle of nature, this food will turn into energy that you need to perform your everyday tasks.
This makes good sense…….
But there is one little problem – what will happen if you sit on the couch after eating the pizza?
In this case, it is obvious that those calories will be saved for another day. In the meantime, you will carry those unused calories around your belly until you need them.
In today’s society, there’s not a shortage of food in most places around the world, which is why we rarely need to use those stored calories. That’s why there are many people who have a few extra pounds around their abdomens.
Wouldn’t it be nice to increase your metabolism so you could get rid of those extra pounds?
There is no magic formula that will make your belly fat go away. But, there are few things you can do that will boost your metabolism and help reduce your belly fat. The tips presented below are backed by scientific evidence and are definitely worth implementing. You will see fantastic results if you follow them strictly.
But first, let us clarify something about slow metabolism, which according to many people, is the main cause for excess weight gain.
Contrary to popular belief, a slow metabolism is rarely the cause of those extra pounds. In spite of the fact that your metabolism influences the basic energy needs of your body, it’s actually what you eat and how much you move that determines your weight.
This is fantastic news because it allows even those with the worst genetics to make changes that will help boost the metabolism. Just a few lifestyle changes are needed to speed up even the slowest metabolism.
But, don’t forget that your body needs energy 24/7 for respiration, digestion, circulating blood, organ function etc. Even when you are sleeping, your body continues to burn calories just to ‘live’ – this is called ‘basal metabolic rate’. There are many factors that determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Some of them include age, sex, and body composition.
The latter is the only factor that is under our control, which is why that’s where we will focus our discussion.
5 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Here is a good news for everyone who enjoys a cup of coffee – Caffeine can boost the metabolism! In one recent study, the participants were given 8mg/kg of caffeine and compared to a control group. The results have shown that the subjects in the caffeinated group have experienced increased metabolism for up to three hours. On top of that, the researchers even noted an increased fat oxidation.
A cautionary note regarding caffeine, though – even though it can be used to increase the metabolism, the overuse of caffeine can cause damage to the adrenal glands. In fact, there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to caffeine. If you stop feeling the effects of caffeine, it is very likely that you are over-caffeinated and it’s a sign to reduce your coffee intake.
Although you will not significantly increase your metabolism by sleeping more than needed, you will definitely make it slower if you don’t sleep enough.
Chronic sleep deprivation reduces the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. It increases the levels of a protein known as NYP, or Neuropeptide Y, which decreases metabolism and increases appetite.
In addition to this, the lack of sleep also reduces the natural levels of serotonin and dopamine, which leads to increased cravings for foods that are rich in carbohydrates. To make matters even worse, sleep deprivation increases the stress and belly fat storing hormone, cortisol.
All these factors should motivate anyone who wants to get rid of excess weight. Adults need between 7-8 hours of sleep per night. It’s best to have regular retiring and waking hours, even during the weekends. Sleep quality is as important as quantity, which is why we recommend you to reduce blue light (from TV, smart phones, and computer screens) 30 minutes before bed to make sure that you reach deeper sleep cycles.
You may find it hard to believe, but eating actually stimulates your metabolism!
To be more precise, not eating suppresses your metabolism. The human body can be described as machine bent on survival, so when there is not food, it goes into survival mode – or in other words, it slows itself down to survive with fewer calories. This is the reason why low-calorie diets usually lead to weight gain (the body becomes more efficient in functioning with less fuel).
People who have regular meals actually let the body know that energy is readily available and it’s safe to use up some of the excess stored energy (fat).
Many studies have also found that those who eat more protein have higher energy expenditure at rest – which is why you should try to increase your protein intake!
Exercise is definitely one of the best ways to speed up the metabolism – but let’s clarify what type of exercise is the most effective.
Long ‘cardio’ workouts do more to dampen metabolism than raise it. You will burn calories whilst you exercise (on a treadmill, slow jogging, etc.), but when the activity stops, the calorie burning will also stop.
High-Intensity Interval Training
A far better option is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with short bursts to spike the heart rate. This elicits EPOC or post-exercise oxygen consumption because studies show an elevated calorie burn for up to 30 hours after exercise.
If you combine HIIT with resistance training, you will get the ‘magic formula’ that will provide a significant metabolic boost. Resistance training increases lean muscle tone and maintaining (or increasing) your lean ‘mass’ is what actually speeds up metabolism, even during sleeping.
Muscle simply burns more calories than fat, so if you add lean muscle to your frame, you can eat more because you have an elevated metabolism.
Note that bodyweight training is actually a resistance training, so you don’t need to buy a ton of weights or start going to the gym. Here’s a terrific bodyweight solution.
Side note: For those of you over 40 who believe that your metabolism is slower due to hormones, think again. The truth is that your metabolism has become slower as a result of changes in your body’s composition rather than your hormones. An increasingly sedentary lifestyle usually leads to a change – you’re swapping muscle tone for increased fat even though the scale may read the same number. Less muscle leads to a slower metabolism. The solution to this problem is very simple – increase the activity that develops the holy grail of metabolism: muscle!