Our “metabolism” is our fat burning capacity at rest. Several factors such as gender, body weight and lean body mass play a role in how many calories we burn at rest. Below are 8 ways to rev up that metabolic rate regardless of age or fitness level.
8 Powerful Ways to Boost Metabolism
- Build muscle. Each pound of muscle costs 6 calories per day to sustain while each pound of fat requires only 2 calories. Incorporating resistance training is a powerful way to permanently boost metabolism. Hiring a coach can help you achieve your goals faster and prevent injury.
- Intensify your workouts. Adding some intensity to your workouts keeps your resting metabolic rate jacked up for hours. Try adding some sprint intervals to your running or cardio sessions. If you are a lifter, cycle through your sets with less rest.
- Move, baby, move. Adding more movement to your day is another powerful way to rev up that engine. Plan short walks throughout your day. Try taking your conference calls while moving. Park your car further away from work or the entrance to the mall. Get off the bus one stop earlier. Put your laundry away in several trips.
- Drink more water. The metabolic reactions in the body take place in aqueous solution. Dehydration slows down the metabolism by impacting these reactions. Dehydration is also commonly misinterpreted as hunger pangs. Drinking water throughout the day and consuming fresh produce helps burn more calories at rest.
- Spice it up! Spicy foods contain chemicals such as capsaicin that are known to temporarily boost the metabolism. Adding spice often to your food compounds these boosted metabolic effects. Spicy food also triggers satiety quicker helping you eat less.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently. Eating smaller meals every 3-4 hours helps keep hunger in check. Chewing, swallowing and digestion require energy. This process is termed the thermogenic effect of feeding (TEF). Eating smaller meals that require more work to digest maximizes the body’s TEF.
- Add protein to your meals. Protein requires more work -and thus more energy – to digest. Foods high in protein include eggs, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, legumes, lentils and hemp seeds.
- Avoid crash dieting. Crash dieting has an extremely harmful impact on metabolism. Consuming below 1200 calories per day for women and 1800 for men can backfire if prolonged. Weight loss is often due to lost muscle mass.
No matter what age or fitness level, it’s never too late to make a shift in our health and fitness. Metabolism does not slow down with age as we are often told by those around us. It slows down due to inactivity and loss in muscle mass – both of which can be reversed at any time.