Rev Up Your Metabolism

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Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into the energy your body needs to perform basic functions such as thinking, breathing, circulating blood  and more complex tasks like working out. Even when you’re at rest, your body body is burning calories.   The number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate or  what some people call metabolism.  Clients often wonder if it is possible to influence your metabolism.  Following the strategies below can help increase your metabolism, leading to greater calorie burn.

  • Eat Enough Calories:  Your body needs fuel to function.  If you cut your calories below what your body need to perform basic functions, your body will perceive you are starving and slow down your metabolism to prevent starvation.  To make sure you are getting enough calories, listen to your body and eat until you are pleasantly full, not overly stuffed.
  • Drink Coffee or Tea: Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, so a daily shot of these morning elixirs can increase your metabolism by 5 to 8%—about 98 to 174 calories a day.
  • Eat protein with every meal. The energy needed to digest  food causes a temporary increase in your metabolism.  This is called the thermogenic effect.  Protein requires the most energy needed for digestion, leading to a greater calorie burn.  (Protein also tends to keep you full longer- often leading to fewer calories consumed throughout the day.)
  • Do a high intensity workout. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves  short, very intense bursts of exercise.  (Think of those crazy tabatas the Refinery trainers are always pushing us through) They help burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate and it seems this increased calorie burn continues even after the workout ends.
  • Lift weights: Muscle is more metabolically active than fat and having a higher muscle mass can help increase your metabolism.  Even at rest, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn each day.  Lifting weights is the best way to retain muscle and combat the drop in metabolism that can occur during weight loss.

Photo from flickr.

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