Your metabolism is a wise and wonderful thing….but at times it can frustrate the hell out of you. Sometimes it can feel like it’s launching guerrilla warfare against your fitness objectives. Most of us have been there, when you get to that stage when no matter what you do, not only are you not losing weight, but you feel like you’re putting some on.
Simply put your metabolism is your body’s converter of food into fuel. This results in the energy you need to go about your daily life, and to exercise. Lots of people don’t fully understand how the metabolism works and this is why many of us end up at our wits end, when we work so hard at our fitness regime and don’t get the results we expect.
Recently I had a chat with London personal trainer and natural bodybuilding champion, Rolandas, who let me in on these metabolism miracles. This first one shattered everything I’ve been told over the years.
Here are 8 metabolism miracles that you can adopt straight away to speed up your metabolism
1. Grab yourself a bedtime snack
I know, it’s shocking! We’ve all heard it, try not to eat after around 8 o’clock at night. However there are actually studies that show that if you eat a snack of 150 calories, around half an hour before you sleep, it will boost your metabolism the next morning.
Now before you get excited and think that this applies to you, wait a moment because it doesn’t unless you’re exercising regularly. So no, the studies from the Florida State University are not just an excuse for anyone to eat an extra 150 calories half an hour before sleep. The principle applies to those who are exercising on a regular basis, and ideally you should have a protein snack, such as cottage cheese.
2. Turn up the intensity volume
Whenever you next walk, run or swim, turn up the intensity volume for intervals of 30 seconds. Then afterwards just return to a normal pace. What happens when you do this is that you need to consume oxygen, which triggers your mitochondria (cell powerhouses) to need to work harder in order to burn more energy.
3. Know your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) t is the amount of calories your body burns per day naturally when at rest. Once you know this number, then you can calculate the amount of calories you need to consume if you wish to maintain your current weight, or obviously, if you wish to lose or gain weight.
4. Embrace omega-3s
Salmon, tuna and herring are examples of fish that are rich in the all-important omega three fatty acids. These little guys are so important when it comes to regulating your metabolism, balancing your blood sugar and reducing inflammation. Some researchers also think that a omega-3s may reduce resistance to leptin, which is the hormone that is linked to how fast your fat is burned.
5. Bring on the cardio
In tip number 3, I mentioned your basal metabolic rate (BMR). If you do some form of cardio exercise between 3 to 5 times each week, you will raise your metabolic rate when resting.
6. Fall in love with green tea
I remember the first time I tried green tea, I really didn’t like it at all. However I had read about the health benefits, so I was determined to convert my taste buds. What I didn’t know at that time was that green tea is not only amazing because of its antioxidant polyphenols, it can also increase your metabolism. Its active ingredient catechin has been tested in a series of medical studies carried out on dieters. One group of participants drank green tea, and the second group didn’t. Very simply those who drank green tea lost more weight than the participants who didn’t.
7. Say goodbye to yo-yo dieting
The temptation to yo-yo diet through frustration of not having what you perceive to be a perfect body is horribly common. The media feeds us images of other women and men, who subliminally we feel we should look like. Unfortunately yo-yo dieting is super bad for your metabolism. Your metabolism wants to take care of you, so when there seems to be a scarcity of food, it will work to prevent starvation. Also many people who diet in this way, do so without proper supervision. This means that not only are they losing weight but they’re losing muscle as well as fat. The bad news is when you put it back on, it’s mostly going to be fat. Yo-yo dieting slows down your metabolism and is not healthy for your body as a whole.
8. Lift to build more muscle
Especially if you’re worried about getting a little bit older and your metabolic rate dropping, lifting weights to build more muscle is the perfect solution. Of course this applies at any age, and the reason why is because of how much more calories a pound of muscle can burn. Did you know that a pound of muscle can burn up to 9 times more calories than a pound of fat?