By Benjamin Petitpas, CSCS, CPT
Newington, CT Personal Trainer
Having an increase in your metabolism means that there is an increase in the amount of calories that your body needs to use in order to maintain its normal functions. If you have been having a difficult time burning fat and losing weight these 5 tips can help you get over the hump and help you maximize your metabolism and have you burning more calories all day long even while you are resting.
1. Strength Training
Strength training can help increase your metabolism in a few different ways. The first way is from the calories that you will burn during the workout itself. The second way is from the afterburn effect strength training has on your body, known as Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). EPOC can be described as an increase in your body’s metabolic activity following a strength training workout as your body is trying to recover and return itself to a pre-exercise state. A third way strength training increases the metabolism, is because it builds build lean muscle mass. This is important because the more lean muscle mass that you have, the more calories it takes for your body to maintain it. So as a result it causes an increase in your metabolism, so even will you are resting, your body will be burning more calories to support your lean muscle mass.
2. Interval Training
Similar to strength training, interval training also places the body in an anaerobic training state. The high intensity levels used during interval training can cause the body to have an oxygen debt which leads to an increase in EPOC following a workout. Similar to strength training, interval training also creates an afterburn effect, as your body recovery from the workout. The higher the intensity of the workout is the longer the after burn effect will last. This means the more calories your body will burn as your body recovers from the workout.
3. Small Frequent Meals
Since it requires energy for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients from foods, there is an increase in metabolic activity every time you eat. Eating small frequent meals every 3 hours will help to keep your metabolism burning at a higher speed all day long as it is using calories to break down the calories from the foods you consume. In addition to eating small frequent meals throughout the day, it will help to keep your insulin and blood sugar levels stable which will help to increase your energy levels and decrease the amount of extra calories your body wants to store as fat to be used as a source of energy later on.
4. Never skip Breakfast
Eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As we just previously discussed the importance of eating small frequent meals throughout the day, breakfast is the first meal to get your metabolism jump started for the day. While you are sleeping at night your body’s metabolism slows down as a way to conserve energy. Eating breakfast is important because it gets your metabolism started for the day.
5. Eat a lean Protein with every meal
As we already discussed, every time you eat, it requires calories to digest the calories that you consume. This is known as the thermic effect of food. Each of the different nutrients that you consume through your diet has a different thermic effect. Out of all of the nutrients protein has the highest thermic effect. Approximately 25 percent of the calories consumed from protein are burned during the digestive process, compared to only 15 percent of the calories from carbohydrates during the digestion process. Fats on the other hand have little to no thermic effect and as a result they should not be your main source of calories.
What this means for you is that consuming a source of lean protein with every meal will help to increase your metabolism because of the natural thermic effect it has during the digestion process.
Putting it all together
It’s important to add strength training, interval training, small frequent meals, eating breakfast, and eating protein with every meal into your current routine to help you maximize your metabolism, help you burn more calories on a daily basis, increase your energy levels, and help you burn off fat faster.
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