BY ALEX CARNEIRO
Alex Carniero is an ACSM certified personal trainer, a kinesiologist, nutrition expert and IFBB physique pro. For more with Alex, you can visit www.alexcarnerio.com
Metabolism is such a nebulous term in the fitness industry., but it has a specific and very elaborate meaning. For our purposes, it is the rate at which your body burns energy. This, of course, is good to know for those of us concerned with body composition because the more energy you can burn, the leaner you will become.
Resting metabolism refers to the rate that your body burns energy while you do nothing. So if you can find a way to crank up your metabolism, you’re on your way to a much better body.
There are a few ways that you can enhance this rate of burn
and some might be less obvious than others. Use this short checklist to see if you’re doing as much for your metabolism as you can.
This shouldn’t come as a shock. Even daily movement. such as walking around your home or office will increase your metabolism but the key here is exercise – a conscious effort to train your body (and metabolism).
Exercise releases a variety of hormones that benefit your body in more ways than you can imagine. By strength training just a couple of times a week, you’ll reverse 50% of the seemingly inevitable metabolism slow-down that comes with age.
Bonus tip: Adding a few sessions of cardio to ramp up your heart rate will guarantee an elevated metabolism during the day, too. Add a few cardio sessions in the morning to really get your metabolic furnace going. Interval training has been shown to elevate your metabolism higher and for longer than steady state cardio. Heavy weight training (6-8 reps) also jacks your metabolism up for longer than training with lighter weights. (12 reps or more).
2. Build Some Muscle
It’s true that a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but each does very different things to your body.
Muscle is more metabolic – a pound burns 5-6 calories per day at rest – and demands more calories to be burned up in your body than fat. The more muscle you carry the more calories you’re burning daily.
Bonus tip: Try different styles of training to build more muscle. While there’s controversy on what the best way to build muscle is, the most common and studied is strength training. Make sure that progressive, specific weight trainingO. is a part of your overall fitness. plan.
3. Get a Morning Kick Start
If you’re not a morning person, then listen to this: Exercising in the morning can lead to greater caloric expenditure throughout your day. An elevated metabolism throughout the day only means that you’ll burn more calories. and lose more weight.
Bonus tip: Eating breakfast in the morning gets your metabolism going. Don’t skip breakfast and wait until mid-morning or afternoon to eat – this can slow you down and compromise muscle tissue. Eating breakfast will also help stop those cravings you may have later on in the day as well.
4. Eat to Increase Metabolism
Every time you consume food. your body needs to break it down so it can be used by your body. That process in and of itself increases your metabolism – it’s called the Thermic Effect of Food. That’s just one of the ways that eating solid meals increases your metabolism. But certain foods contain certain properties that can increase your metabolism.
- Egg whites are rich in branched-chain amino acids and will aid you in muscle building.
- Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a chemical compound that can really turn up the heat in your body.
- Milk is rich in calcium, which is a mineral that is extremely important in your daily muscle and metabolic rate.