Metabolism is the process where your body converts things that you have consumed into energy. During this process, the calories consumed are combined with oxygen and released back into your system to be used as energy output. Your body is constantly working and burning off this energy throughout the day and night. The number of calories burned while completing these basic functions is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate. Here are our top 4 tips on how to increase your metabolism which can help you burn more calories throughout the day:
Eat Every 2-3 Hours
Meal frequency is a very effective way to improve the rate of your metabolism. By eating every 2-3 hours, you will keep your blood sugar levels stable and avoid big insulin spikes. It will also keep you in a place of feeling full, which is key to avoiding unwanted cravings or binges. By having 5-6 meals a day compared to usual 2-3, it will be much easier for your digestive system to break down the food since it is in smaller amounts. Always make sure you eat first thing in the morning to kick-start your metabolism and try to teach your body to have an internal clock so every 3 hours it's ready to eat.
TIP-Be Prepared! Eating 5-6 meals a day can be a lot of work. Meal prepping and planning out your meals ahead of time will be very beneficial and much easier then taking it day by day. Make sure you're always prepared!
Increase your Calories
At first you might think this will have the opposite effect but increasing your calories
can actually help you start to lose fat and restart your metabolism if you've hit a plateau. When people try to lose weight the first thing they do is “drop their calories” or “eliminate carbs”. Both of these things are effective in losing body fat but if you stay in a calorie deficit for too long, your metabolism will actually start to slow down and you will begin to hang on to stubborn bodyfat. Many of our clients break through their plateaus with a strategic increase in their calorie intake. This is not a hall pass to eat junk food. By increasing your calories with healthy protein, veggies and unrefined grains, you will help raise leptin levels and kick start your metabolism back into high gear. The goal is to try and keep your calories as high as possible while still maintaining slow and healthy fat loss.
There are 2 main types of Cardio that will help spike your metabolism and increase fatloss. Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio will turn your body into a fat burning machine. The "fat-burning zone" occurs when you work at roughly 65% of your maximum recommended heart rate. This means that your body is working hard enough to burn fat as its source for energy output but not so hard that it switches over to burning sugar. A realistic goal would be to try complete anywhere from 1-3 sessions of steady state cardio for 30-40 min per week.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is also very effective for increasing metabolic output. HIIT alternates short working intervals (70 to 90% of max heart rate) with a lower intensity rest period (60 to 70% of max HR). Not only will you burn more calories during your session but you will continue to burn excess calories well throughout the day. The reasoning for this is because you're elevating your heart rate to a level where your body needs to work harder to to build its oxygen levels back up. Excess oxygen consumption continues to have an effect long after your workout is completed. Performing HIIT can be done many different ways (sprint to jog, stationary bike, stairmaster or even jump rope or circuit workout). We recommend using timed intervals, such as 30 seconds on then 30 seconds off and adjusting those times accordingly as your body gets more used to it. A realistic goal would be to try to complete anywhere from 1-3 sessions of HIIT for about 10-20 minutes per week. Always start slow and build your way up!
Drink Coffee (Caffeine)
This recommendation is to be used in moderation. Coffee contains a stimulant called caffeine. Caffeine is one of the few substances that is known to help actually mobilize fat stored as fat tissue. Not only does it help increase your body's daily energy expenditure but it also increases its ability to oxidize fat cells. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and increases the level of adrenaline (epinephrine) hormones in our body. These hormones send signals to the fat cells that promotes the breakdown of the fat which is then released back into the bloodstream. Coffee is also known to contain Chlorogenic Acid which may help with slow absorption of carbohydrates.
Overtime the body will build up a tolerance to caffeine and if overused can be taxing on your adrenal glands and nervous system. Using caffeine as a metabolic booster is only recommended in small doses (between 200-400mg per day). Give your body regular breaks from caffeine use as to be sure not to build up this tolerance which in turn decreases the effectiveness (example; 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off).