1) Lifting Weights
Training with weights boosts your metabolism in a number of ways. Weight training itself has been shown to increase exercise post oxygen consumption which means your metabolism may be raised for hours or even days after the session.
As we know weight training is also the main way to stimulate the growth of muscle tissue. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, so it requires calories even when at rest. Muscle tissue also helps increase the number of fat-burning enzymes in your body.
2) Don’t Avoid Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are involved in the manufacture of hormones and repair of cell membranes in your body. With the right types of fats, your body can use these anabolically. These processes require energy, so the fats may actually increase your metabolism despite the added calories you are consuming! You can add fats to your diet without increasing calories simply by increasing the percentage of calories from fats and then lowering the percentage of calories from carbohydrates or protein.
3) Little Things Can Make a Difference
Believe it or not, simply changing some simple daily habits can have a huge impact on your metabolism. Try something simple like parking further away from your destination and walking there. Little extra efforts each day will increase your body’s energy and stamina.
Other activities that help boost your metabolism include standing instead of sitting, taking stairs instead of elevators, and even fidgeting!
Carbohydrates are not the enemy. Using the right types of carbohydrates can be a valuable tool for your metabolism.
For example, you may expend more calories consuming 20 grams of carbohydrate from lentils than 20 grams of carbohydrate from sugar. The lentils contain fibre and other nutrients that the body must work to extract, and therefore expends more energy. Look for fibrous, low-glycemic carbs and focus on unprocessed carbohydrates.
5) Fluctuating calorie Intake
Zigzagging calories is by far one of the most effective methods for keeping your metabolism revved. Homeostasis is the action your body takes to “remain stable.” In other words, if you drop your calories, your body will try to slow your metabolism in order to keep things the same. By zigzagging calories, you may be able to prevent this mechanism.
Try zigzagging your calories day by day, so if your target is 2000, consume 1800 one day and then 2200 the next. You can also do this week by week.
6) Higher Protein Intake
Protein requires a complex chemical conversion by your body in order to be used as fuel. It takes up to 30% of the calories you consume to use protein for energy.For example, 100 calories of protein may take up to 30 calories to process. Therefore, increasing the percentage of calories in your diet that come from protein may help raise your metabolism.
7) High Intensity Cardio
High intensity cardio, like weight training, takes you into the anaerobic zone of training. This creates what is known as “oxygen debt.” Even when you have concluded your exercise, the body is processing waste and recovering from the activity, helping to keep your metabolism high.
8) Eating Small Amounts More Often
Most bodybuilders are aware of this technique. Consuming food triggers digestion, and digestion requires calories. By eating smaller meals more frequently you continuously supply your body with nutrients while forcing it to digest and break down the foods. This will help to raise your metabolism.
9) Eat Whole Foods
The calories that you burn during digestion are due to the need for your body to break down the foods. When foods are processed, much of this work is done for you. For example, processed flour is ground into small pieces that the body can digest more quickly. This means your blood sugar rises faster and your body expends fewer calories processing the flour. Whole grains, on the other hand, pack more nutrients, are higher in fibre, and force the body to work harder to use them as energy.
10) Drinking Cold Water
Your body will expend more calories trying to raise cold water to the temperature of your body, but the exact amount is debatable. However, it makes sense that integrating this habit with the other habits listed above can contribute to the greater goal of raising your metabolism.
Look out for my next blog: Weight Training for Beginners
Rich Palmer PT
“making your fitness goals a reality”