Your metabolic rate is the number of calories your
body burns in a day. It's determined by your gender, your age, the
proportion of muscle you have compared to body fat, and the amount of
activity you perform during the course of your day.
If you absorb
more energy than can be consumed by your body's metabolic rate, you'll
gain weight. Thus, the trick to achieving your healthy weight is to
balance the number of calories you eat with the energy needs of your
body. To help boost your metabolism, here are some things you can do
1. Add aerobic exercise.
obviously the easiest and most effective way to increase your
metabolism. While the actual number of calories you burn while
performing exercise may be small, it's important to realize that
exercise steps up your metabolism for several hours after you've
If, for example, you exercise for an hour every
morning, your metabolism will be at an elevated level for six or more
hours. However, if you divide that exercise into 30 minutes in the
morning and 30 minutes at night, you'll elevate your metabolism once in
the morning for six hours or more, then once again at night for another
six hours or more. In other words, by performing half of your daily
exercise in the morning and half in the evening, you can reap the
benefits of increased metabolism following a workout -- without
actually working out more.
2. Build muscle.
requires energy. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn
every hour of the day -- even at rest. Incorporating resistance
training exercises into your routine is the most effective way to
increase muscle mass -- while also ultimately reducing your risk of
3. Don't starve.
calorie restriction signals your body that you are in "starvation
mode," and will slow down your metabolism. These types of diets can
also be very harmful to your health, since they often result in
deficiencies of many essential nutrients. What's considered to be
"severe calorie restriction" varies from person to person, depending on
their own metabolic rate; it's best to consult with a wellness expert
to determine the zone in which you can safely lose weight (if needed)
but still avoid any nutritional deficits. Also, remember to eat small,
frequent meals -- once every three hours, even when you don't really
feel hungry. This keeps your blood sugar stable, provides a steady
source of energy, and keeps your metabolism up since your body has to
work hard to break down and assimilate the foods you eat.
your basal metabolic rate is very helpful in determining how many
calories you can take in and still hope to lose or maintain your
weight. This can be estimated, but an estimate is not always accurate
since your metabolism may be slower -- or faster -- than the "average"
rate. A specialized test of your basal metabolic rate can provide you
with more precise numbers.
4. Eat breakfast.
breakfast a priority. During sleep, the metabolic rate normally slows;
in the morning, your body has been essentially "fasting" overnight and
the body is in "starvation mode." Eating a healthy breakfast actually
helps to increase your metabolic rate. Many studies show that people
who regularly eat a healthy breakfast within one to two hours of waking
are more likely to control their weight.
5. Eat some protein at every meal.
breakdown of all food takes energy, so no matter what you eat you will
slightly boost your metabolism after a meal. However, protein does give
your body a bigger metabolic boost than eating carbohydrates, because
the body has to work harder to break down and assimilate protein.
Protein is also required to repair muscle damage that results from
heavy training. But keep in mind that more isn't better when it comes
to protein; excess protein can cause kidney damage. The recommended
daily allowance is 0.8 grams of good quality protein per kilogram of
body weight per day; so, for example, a 125-pound person should consume
around 45 grams of protein per day.
6. Drink water.
energy process of metabolism requires water to work effectively. The
Institute of Medicine recommends that you drink at least nine to
thirteen 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day; this will help
your body's systems work more efficiently. Cold or cool water may also
give your metabolism a very small boost because of the extra energy
required to heat the body.
7. Avoid sugary foods.
"rush" that you get when you consume sugary foods or beverages actually
has a negative effect on your metabolism. Simple sugars need almost no
digesting and enter the bloodstream almost immediately, causing a rapid
rise in blood sugar; as a result, you throw your metabolic switch into
"fat storage mode." Complex carbohydrates and proteins, on the other
hand, require are broken down gradually and help maintain a higher
Following the health tips above will help you
maximize your metabolism and reach your weight goals most efficiently.
A metabolism that doesn't respond to these simple techniques may
suggest a problem with thyroid function, diabetes or pre-diabetes, or
other conditions. Don't be alarmed, though. Talk to your physician;
easy screening tests are available to identify these conditions.
© Healthy U, LLC.