This Will Speed Up Your Metabolism A Lot!
True or false: you can burn calories while you sleep.
True! The human body is funny…one minute, you’re eating cookies all the time and thinking it’s great if you actually managed to get in four hours of sleep – and still can fit all your clothes. The next minute, umm…
not so much. So, it probably makes you wonder how to increase your metabolism, right?
What Does My Metabolism Have To Do With It?
The metabolism sounds like a mysterious and complicated thing, but it’s actually just the amount of energy (translation: calories) that your body need on a daily basis.
“About 70 percent of those calories are used for basic functions, such as breathing and blood circulation,” says Rochelle Goldsmith, PhD, director of the Exercise Physiology Lab at Columbia University Medical Center. “Another 20 percent is fuel for physical activity, including working out, fidgeting, walking, and even holding our bodies upright while standing. The remaining 10 percent helps us digest what we eat.”
The trouble begins when you consume more calories than your body needs to do these things: this is when those extra pounds start showing up.
Why Does My Metabolism Slow Down?
- Genetics. You can partly thank your parents for the speed of your metabolism. Genes contribute to the levels of appetite-control hormones we have floating around in our bodies.
- Gender. We know, we know, it’s not fair, but women and men do tend to have different metabolism speeds.
Isn’t There Anything I Can Do To Keep My Metabolism Going Faster?
Experts say that, yes, despite genetics and gender, there are a few things you need to do more in order to boost your metabolism
- Exercise More. Working out is the number-one way to keep your furnace cranking. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn all day. That’s because muscle uses energy – even when you’re resting.
- Do More Cardio. Aerobic intervals will help you maximize your burn and double the calories you burn. Intervals also keep your metabolic rate higher than a steady-pace routine does for as long as an hour after you stop exercising.
- Build More Muscle. A head-to-toe strength routine will turbocharge your calorie-blasting quotient. Add five pounds of muscle to your body and you can zap as many as 600 calories an hour during your workout.
- Eat More Often. We know you’re superbusy, but make sure you grab lunch. “Simply chewing, digesting and absorbing food kicks your metabolism into gear,” says Jim White, RD, a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.
- Eat More Filling Foods. Start by serving yourself protein at every sitting, such as low-far yogurt, chicken and salmon, says Darwin Deen, MD, medical professor in the department of community health and social medicine at City College of New York and a coauthor of Nutrition for Life. All three of the above foods contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote weight loss by increasing your feelings of fullness.
- Be More Active. Sitting too much (at your computer or in front of the TV), slows your metabolism, even if you’re exercising regularly. An easy fix is to stretch, stand at your desk for a few minutes, stroll, and even fidget throughout the day. That’s what scientists call NEAT, or nonexercise activity thermogenesis, and it can boost your burn and help you drop weight.
- Sleep More. Deprive yourself of sleep and your body starts to respond as if it were under siege. At the same time, lack of zzz’s throws the body’s hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin out of whack, making you more likely to overeat.
- Monitor Your Meds More. Some of the most dramatic metabolic dips occur when women start taking birth control pills and widely prescribed antidepressants known as serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.