I don’t want to get all scientific and put everyone to sleep here, so I’ll make this straightforward and basic: your metabolism is the number of calories your body burns doing nothing in a single day. We all inherit our baseline metabolism; it’s genetic. It also relates to our gender and our age, and as you know, we can’t change our age. While you could get gender-changing surgery, it’s a little extreme and it’s not going to increase your metabolism!
Once we accept the fact that our metabolism slows down with age, we can actually start to do something about it (and yes, men burn more calories than women. That’s another hard fact that you should just accept). Here’s an example of how my metabolism has changed over the last few years. In 2012, I had it tested and my resting metabolic rate was 2400. In 2019, I had it retested, and it was 1940.
That means my metabolism dropped 460 calories a day – A DAY! – in only seven years. Scary! The good news is, there are ways to increase your metabolism. Check it out.
Metabolism Booster #1: Exercise
Exercise and building muscle are incredible ways to boost your metabolism. Each pound of muscle burns 6 extra calories per day. And while 6 calories per day doesn’t sound like much, if you add 5 lbs of muscle to your frame, that equals 30 calories per day. Now that’s a few Hershey’s Kisses!
Don’t worry about getting bulky. That’s a whole other (mythical) conversation that you don’t need to worry about. Besides muscle building, another great way to increase your metabolism via exercise is to step up the intensity. This doesn’t mean that you need to go do box jumps if you have bad knees. It’s about increasing the intensity that you can do. So, if you’re a walker, integrate 30-second sprint walks into your workout. Walk as fast as you can, and then go back down to your normal pace. Repeat these intervals.
Metabolism Booster #2: Drink More Water
Water has been proven to speed up the metabolism and flush toxins out of the body. Would
you believe that “researchers estimate that over the course of a year, a person who increases
his water consumption by 1.5 liters a day would burn an extra 17,400 calories, for a weight loss of approximately five pounds”? It’s true!
Metabolism Booster #3: Eat Every 3-4 Hours
There are conflicting studies about the validity of eating every 3-4 hours when it comes to weight loss. Some say there’s no difference in your metabolism if you eat 1500 calories in one meal or if you spread them out through the day. Personally, I find that eating every 3-4 hours keeps my blood sugar regulated. I don’t enjoy the feeling of my blood sugar spiking and falling throughout the day; it makes me grouchy and uncomfortable.
Metabolism Booster #4: Increase Your Protein Consumption
Your body takes longer to digest protein than it does other foods, like carbohydrates. When you choose a chicken breast over McDonald’s French fries, you get a double-bonus: not only are there fewer calories in the chicken, but your body takes longer to burn them. Of course, I would never tell you not to eat French fries because I’m the Queen of Planned Indulgences.
Metabolism Booster #5: Get Lots of Sleep
One would think that lying in your bed, sound asleep doing nothing for 8 hours would slow down your metabolism. In fact, there are studies that show that getting the right amount of sleep will increase your metabolism and help you eat the right amount of foods at the right time. The one BIG DON’T: do not undercut your calories. Everyone has heard about Starvation Mode, and it’s real. The bottom line is that your body will slow down your metabolism to conserve its resources because it doesn’t know when you are going to get your next meal. Not only that, but your body will eat your muscles for fuel. And guess what? Your heart is a muscle. Yup!
Rather than guess your resting metabolic rate to determine exactly how many calories your body needs to lose weight, gain muscle or maintain your current weight why don’t you get it accurately measured for a change? I have a metabolic measurement machine with a built-in oxygen sensor to measure this for only $75. You only need to breathe through a specially designed mask for 15 minutes in a relaxed state. You need to be fasted for 8 hours and no vigorous exercise 24 hours prior to the test for accurate results. Message me today to schedule your resting metabolic rate test.