Help Your Metabolism Work With You Instead of Against You

Metabolism is often the go-to scapegoat when people struggle with their weight. If that scale won’t budge many people immediately blame their lagging metabolism.

Metabolism is basically the process the body uses to turn food or calories into energy.  The faster and more efficiently our metabolism works, the better for calorie burn and desired results on the scale.

Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the calories your body burns at rest. It is a measure of calories burned just doing basic bodily functions like the beating of your heart and breathing.  RMR can account for around two-thirds of the calories your body burns daily.  This is a good baseline number to know and can help to accurately determine how many calories you need to eat and burn each day in order to get the results you want.  A quick test with me and you will know your RMR. Read more about the BodyGem Metabolic Test here:

Your metabolism, or how efficiently your body is able to burn calories, is affected by many factors that we have no control over, such as age, gender, genetics, and hormones.  Some of us are just simply born with a more active and efficient metabolism.  Women tend to have a slower metabolism than men.  And after the age of 40, for most of us, our metabolisms start to gradually decelerate.  Metabolisms can even vary widely between two people who are exactly the same age, sex, weight, and height; as much as 500-1,000 calories per person.

So you may be wondering, with all of that being said, are you powerless when it comes to changing your metabolism or are there things you can do to rev it up?  Fortunately, the answer is yes, by adopting a few healthy habits you CAN stoke your body’s calorie burning furnace. Things such as quality of sleep, types of activity, and the quantity and quality of your diet all can either positively or negatively affect your metabolism.

Here are a few specific things you can start to do today to help get your metabolism working at its highest potential.

Stay Active. Squeeze in regular periods of movement throughout the day wherever you can– parking further at the grocery store or strolling around the block after lunch — all of these will help keep your metabolism working, improve your mood, and help to burn excess fat.

Eat breakfast everyday.  Eating breakfast wakes your metabolism up and signals it to start burning calories.

Switch Up Your Workouts. Just being active is great, but you can maximize the calories you burn after exercise by integrating higher intensity intervals into your workout. Alternate 3 minutes of moderate intensity walking, jogging, or biking with 30 seconds of increased effort. You'll burn another 100 to 200 calories this way.  Also, if you’ve been doing the same workout day in and day out for a while try to thrown something different into your routine.  Continue reading below…

Get Your ZZZZZs. Not getting enough rest can affect your metabolism. Lack of sleep can decrease the number of calories your body burns.  Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Strength Train. Putting on just 5 to 10 pounds of lean muscle mass can rev up your resting metabolism. By strength-training just a couple of times a week you could potentially reverse up to 50% of the seemingly inevitable metabolism slow-down that comes with age.

Don’t Cut Calories Too Much.  Skipping meals sends your body into starvation mode and signals your body to store fat.  Eat regularly throughout the day and try not to skip meals.  Each time you eat, you stimulate your metabolism for a short period of time, which means that the more often you eat, the more you'll increase your metabolism. Eating healthy, balanced meals with some high fiber carbohydrate, some lean protein, some fruit and/or vegetables and some healthy fat based on hunger is key.

Get Your Fiber. Increasing your intake of high-fiber foods like vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans, and peas is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism. The body has to work harder to digest whole high-fiber foods, therefore burning more calories.

Get Your Omega-3s. According to research from the University of Western Ontario, EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found only in fish oil, may have the power to dramatically boost your metabolism. Fish oil increases levels of fat-burning and decreases levels of fat-storage in your body. Good sources of omega-3 fish oils are salmon and sardines.

Stay Hydrated. Drinking plenty of calorie-free fluids, at least 64 ounces per day, can help to keep your body and your metabolism working at its highest potential. Water is your best choice.

So, are you doing everything you can to help your body efficiently burn calories, or are there a few things on this list you might could work on?