I have been receiving a lot of emails on the topic of metabolism – What is it? Why is it important? How can I increase it? What is Metabolism? I never really understood it myself until I got the fitness bug so let me try and explain it in layman’s terms.
Metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself. Whether you are eating, drinking, sleeping, cleaning etc… your body is constantly burning calories to keep you going. Metabolism is affected by the amount of muscle you have versus the amount of fat. Generally speaking muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. So muscle power wins hands down. So you ask: “How can I increase metabolism?” Read on for some handy hints and tips to rev up yours 🙂
Starving yourself isn’t going to do your metabolsim any favours. When the body thinks there’s a food scarcity crisis it conserves energy and what that does in turn is burn calories more slowly to compensate for eating less. The result? You suffer for nothing so eat up!
You can increase muscle mass by doing some type of resistance work like lifting weights or pump classes. Unlike fat, muscles burn calories even when you are not using them. Yes even when you’re sat in front of the telly.
Pound the pavement
You can also decrease your level of body fat by doing some type of aerobic class at least three days a week for about half an hour. Studies show that regular heart rate raising exercise, such as a high-paced half hour run several times a week, will increase your body’s daily burn by as much as 100 calories.
Cold water makes the digestive system work harder to bring the liquid up to body temperature. If unlike me you find it hard to drink water on its own, add some lemon or ginger.
Spice it up
Chillies can briefly spike temperature and raise the heart rate both of which require energy. Like water, chilli apparently make your body burn extra calories. So don’t shy away from the tabasco sauce – I certainly don’t and it goes on absolutely everything but then again I am a proper chilli fanatic!
Experts believe that caffeine is a metabolic stimulant. So it’ s ok to have a latte. But if you want to do one better then have some green tea. Research suggests that a green tea extract raised metabolism by the equivalent of 78 calories a day The researchers weren’t sure why but to be fair do we really care as long as the calories are burning? Thought not!
After the age of 30 your body gradually begins to lose muscle. So if you’re activity levels stay the same and the amounbt of calories you eat stay the same you’ll gain weight because your metabolism has slowed down.. This is because you don’t have much muscle as did in your 20s. But you can turn it around if you exercise with weights and do some type of aerobic activity on a regular basis. That way you won’t notice much of a change in your metabolism as you age.
I hope this has cleared up some of the confusion on metabolism. Er……..you still sat there? Get up and go do some exercise!