5 ways to “boost” your metabolism
There is so much talk these days about metabolism and how to fire it up.
Whether it’s eating cayenne pepper,
Eating a grapefruit
Or sitting in a hot-as-hell-yoga room,
there are so many reported methods of firing up your metabolism.
But do these really matter?
Let’s first talk about what metabolism really is.
Metabolism is the sum of all the chemical reactions in your body.
Much of the role of metabolism includes turning the food we eat into energy we can use to move, to think and to go about our days.
So, does an increase in metabolism even matter?
Well, yes…and no.
Increasing your metabolism can burn more energy,
It’s pretty easy to offset that intake with eating large amounts of chocolate-covered croissants.
So, let’s say you do one of the methods listed below and increase your metabolism by 10 Calories per day.
Well, how easy is it to eat an extra 10 Calories per day?
Pretty friggin easy…
That’s like a couple carrots.
So, that’s why it’s still crucial that you stick to the anchor habits of eating slow and eating until 80% full.
For more on that, check out this video here and this one here.
Nonetheless, the methods listed below can really make a huge dent in your body fat when done consistently and when combined with the habits of eating slow and eating until 80% full.
Nonetheless, here are our top 5 ways to increase your metabolism:
1. Weight train
Weight training can increase muscle.
That’s the truth,
It doesn’t contribute to metabolism to the extent that we once thought.
For example, one pound of muscle burns around 6 Calories per day.
One pound of fat burns about 2 Calories per day.
So, ummmm, now what?
Well, all is not lost.
The fat loss benefits of weight training really lie in increasing EPOC.
EPOC is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
Basically, it’s the afterburn or the continued burning of calories after your workout.
With a real good weight training session, it can last over 30 hours!
Are you kidding me??
So, to rev up that metabolism, hit them weights, guuurl!
2. Eat lean protein
Protein is awesome.
It builds muscles,
It makes hormones,
It makes up a good chunk of our immune system
It also fires up our metabolism simply by eating it.
The term we need to concern ourself with here is the Thermic Effect of Feeding or TEF.
TEF is the amount of energy needed to break down the food we eat.
Protein, due to it’s structure, takes more work than carbs and fats to breakdown and digest.
It has a higher TEF.
Therefore, your body burns more energy in order to break down the proteins you eat.
More protein = increased metabolism.
Great lean protein sources include:
Game meat like elk or venison,
Plain greek yogurt
and Protein powders.
3. High intensity interval training (HIIT)
We call our HIIT sessions boosters.
Simply put, boosters are high intensity intervals used to rev up your metabolism.
The effect of boosters are the same as your weight training in that they increase your EPOC and thus “boost” your metabolism.
For more on interval training, check out this article here.
4. Be NEAT
The movement you do throughout the day that is not deliberate exercise is called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT.
In some folks, NEAT can burn an extra 700 Calories per day!
Therefore, doing more low intensity stuff throughout the day will fire up your metabolism.
NEAT activities can be as simple as:
walking and playing with your pets,
or even getting up to eat your lunch somewhere other than your desk.
Just keep moving, kid!
A ship will rust out if you leave it at the harbour, but that same ship will be clean, lean and mean if you set it free on the seas.
5. Stress management
Excess stress can interfere with the HPA and HPG axis.
These axes are super important for maintaining sex hormone- and thyroid hormone balance.
So, if you’re a stress-out woman, that could mean reduced fertility and a tough time losing fat.
For stressed-out dudes, that could mean low energy, low sex drive, possible anxiety and also a tough time losing fat.
Therefore, to get that those metabolism-boosting thyroid hormones on track,
and to get your mojo back,
start chasing some recovery strategies.
These strategies can include:
Eating 1 palm of lean protein per meal,
Eating 5 servings of colourful vegetables and/or fruit every day,
Eating healthy fats like almonds, avocado and olive oil,
Eating smart carbs like whole grains, quinoa and tubers (which also take more energy to break down and digest, which means increased metabolism!),
Using a sleep ritual 30-60 minutes before bedtime,
Foam rolling for 5,10,15 or more minutes,
Taking an epsom salt bath
or just taking a walk out in nature
Increasing metabolism is great!
Just don’t forget to attack your nutrition habits with the same amount of vigour.
The combination of increased metabolism plus taking in less food will really start melting fat,
making you feel younger
and really turning you into that role model to your kids that you know you can be.
Go get ‘em!