10 Ways To Increase Your Metabolism
Mar 31st, 2010 - written by Stephan in Health
The MetabolismAs mentioned before, our metabolic performance has great influence on our life, and vice versa. Of course, the metabolic rate itself is as individual as every person, but there are several internal and external factors that determine how well it is doing.
Surprisingly, genetic conditions, with just 5% share, have only minor influence on the metabolic rate. Therefore "bad" genetics don´t deliver a plausible explanation for a low metabolic rate
It is rather age, sex and lifestyle that influence the metabolism. The first two factors we have to accept as they are. From the age of 25 on the bodies energy requirement underlies an annual decrease of 1%, which means that during an adults lifespan the metabolism decreases by up to 40%.
Fortunately, this process can be delayed and even turned around by the third factor: living an active lifestyle has a positive effect of the body´s entire energy demand, even in the state of rest.
The following chart shows the most substantial metabolic rate influences.
Simplified the total energy consumption is calculated as follows:
Complete Energy Turnover = Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) + Energy used by Activities
The Basal Metabolic Rate is the body´s energy demand in absolute rest, which makes up about 60% of our complete energy turnover. Physical activity itself demands about 30% and temperature regulation about 10%.
Concluding, a long-term and successful metabolic rate increase is mainly based on an improved BMR. There are many other possibilities, besides physical activity, to affect the the BMR in a positive way.
1. Regular Strength TrainingMuscles are active body mass. They burn energy even at rest, during physical activity the become fat burning furnaces that burn plenty of energy.
Excess body fat can only be burnt inside the muscles, no place else. The more muscles you have, the higher the chance of having an optimum body fat percentage.
After lifting weights the BMR remains on a high level for the next 48 hours. Therefore working out 2-3 times per week causes a permanently increasing energy demand, day and night.
2. Cardiovascular TrainingCardiovascular Training has a far less influence on the BMR..
Aerobic exercise with a heart rate of about 65% of your MHR (maximum heart rate) burns about 300-400 kcal per hour. It would take almost three hours of low intensity cardiovascular training per week to balance one larger meal.
Also, after cardio training the BMR remains on a high level for only about 1-2 hours, which is much less in comparison to strength training.
However, endurance is also an important part of the battle. It can be done on a regular basis without a great deal. Especially short, but intense training sessions or interval trainings of aerobic and an-aerobic exercise burn plenty of energy.
3. Daily ActivityAbandon many of your everyday comforts to increase your energy demand.
- Instead of using the car go by bike or walk short distances.
- Recognize even the smallest stairs as a short training session. Avoid elevators and escalators whenever possible.
- When sitting, get up at least once per hour and move. Maybe carry out tasks that require you to visit other floors or different departments.
- Be active whenever possible, even home works burns a lot of calories.
- Pick sporting hobbies, e.g. in team and ball sports.
4. Mental ActivityThe brain makes up about 3% of our body weight, but burns 25% of our resting energy. In contrast to muscles, the brain can only burn carbohydrates (glucose).
Since the brain can´t store energy, it has to take carbohydrates from the body´s storages.
Demanding mental processes do consume much of the daily fed carbohydrates. Since the body wants to compensate this by an increased carbohydrate intake, mental activity is one major cause of cravings for sweets.
It is not possible to achieve a long-term increase in energy demand, but since mental performance is similar trainable as physical, they are good way to burn a little more energy each day.
5. Eating and DrinkingTo maintain a high level of physical energy, you need to eat on a regular basis.
Have a small or medium meal every 3-4 hours. Doing this indicates a good supply situation and encourages the body to burn its energy storages (excess body fat).
However, what counts for training also counts for nutrition: Keep boredom at bay!
Ultimately you only may want to watch only your weekly energy balance. A long-term energy surplus leads to gaining weight, a long-term energy deficiency causes weight loss. Seek for an energy balance to maintain your bodyweight. The daily calorie intake should be subject of specific variations to not get your metabolism used to a certain energy level. Keep it interesting
Because almost all metabolic functions require water, drink a sufficient amount of fluid each day. 2-3 liters are a good estimation.
6. HeatFor most people an ambient temperature of 68-73°F is most convenient. Try to escape this area as often as possible, because then the body will have to use energy to balance its temperature.
Going to the sauna or taking hot baths are great examples for sources of external heat.
You can also put heat inside your body by drinking hot drinks or by eating hot meals, but beware to not burn your mouth.
7. ColdnessWhat is true for heat is even more true for coldness.
Have cold showers in the morning or have cold baths to push your metabolism. It will wake you up and costs lots of energy.
Don´t dress with too warm clothes. Rather leave it to the body to control its temperature.
Keep the room temperature below 70°F, which encourages your body to move and to maintain a certain level of physical activity to produce warmth.
Have cold food and, even better, cold drinks. Especially ice water, sipped over a longer period of time, is an ideal metabolism booster.
8. Spicy FoodSpicy food can also increase the metabolism.
You can recognize it when people begin to sweat while having a spicy meal. It is helpful, although it is not the perfect option.
9. SleepSleeping too little may cause your BMR to slow down, because the body is likely to suffer from poor recovery.
Sleep for 6-8 hours every day and try to get up in time without an alarm clock, which may require you to go to bed earlier.
Basically, start the day very early in the morning. Sleeping for too long , way longer than 8 hours, is also counterproductive and makes it hard for your metabolism to rise over the day.
10. Other ExtremesIn general, all time your spend outside the everyday comfort zones are stimulating the metabolism.
As already mentioned things like heat and cold an important role, but also hormone-releasing states such as pleasure, fun, fear, or (positive :-) excitement. Add several of these ingredients into your daily routine and your metabolism has every reason to remain at a high level.
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Effective Muscle Building and Fat Loss #2: Increased Metabolism
Feb 19th, 2010 - written by Stephan in Health
The Metabolism in Top FormThe secret of a slim and attractive body lies in the very personal metabolism of every human being. Those who are gaining weight from a (suspected) lettuce can assume that their metabolism is not running at high levels, meaning all body processes slow down and their physical energy and performance are low. A high metabolism causes a high basal metabolic rate, which means the daily energy need of the body increases.
Symptoms of Low Metabolism
- increased need for sleep
- decreased energy
- often cold hands and feet
Very seldom it is "bad genes" that have a negative effect on the metabolism. Rather, the behavior and habits of everyone figure it. Building muscles and therefore burning excess body fat is directly linked to a good metabolism. Any kind of sufficiently intense physical but also mental activity has a positive influence on it. Besides physical activity there are a few other factors playing an important role in this game. Here are the most successful strategies on the way to a good metabolism.
Strategy 1: Physical Activity | Fitness and Everyday LifeDaily exercise is the best way to control your own body weight. A good combination of targeted and non-targeted exercise is the most effective way to increase your metabolism.
|Targeted Exercise (Training)||Non-targeted Exercise|
|Training Frequency| Metabolic Trend||Explanation|
|Very punctual (although long) training session, e.g. only on weekends, with several days of rest have only little positive effect on the metabolism, it is stagnating.|
|Regular workouts of 30-60 minutes a significant increase of the metabolism. Have a strength training on at least two non-consecutive days.|
Strategy 2: Calorie Intake | NutritionOne of the most successful strategies to increase the basal metabolic rate is a smart diet. It is by no means about counting calories or living very ascetically. On the contrary, a sensible and intelligent handling of this issue creates enormous scope for culinary delights.
Basically, there are the following three options:
- Losing body weight, caused by energy deficiency,
- Keeping body weight, caused by energy balance,
- Gaining body weight, caused by energy surplus,
|Calory Intake | Metabolic Trend||Explanation|
|Energy Balance: To keep up your body weight, it is enough to adjust the average energy intake and consumption. This, of course, should of course happen at a high level.|
|Energy Surplus: An increased energy supply causes a higher metabolism. If this generates an energy surplus, the body weight increases, which is highly desirable at least for building muscles.|
|Energy Deficiency: A reduced caloric intake provides an energy deficiency, to which the metabolism adapts quite rapidly. First, the body weight decreases, followed by the basal metabolic rate, until you again reach a point of energy balance or surplus. That is why no diets will ever work without strength training.|
|Weekly Energy Balance: To occasionally surprise and stimulate your metabolism, get your weekly energy in balance, meaning that you can vary between daily energy surpluses and deficiencies. Consequently your metabolism increases along with the chance for regular days where you will have an energy deficiency. A very enjoyable way of keeping or even losing body weight.|
Strategy 3: The Right Timing of MealsSince the body needs energy on a regular basis, it should also be supplied this way. You body will reward a constant energy supply by an autonomous reduction of body fat. On the other hand, skipping meals for long periods of time leads to a decreased metabolism as it prepares itself for further possible shortages. At the same time you body increases readiness to store any energy supplied as fat. It just does not know better... A constant supply of energy is as important for weight loss as for the increase of body mass. To not produce the exactly unwanted results by mistake, you have to comply with the following rules:
- Never Fill up Completely, unless you want to gain weight. It doesn´t make sense and may even be counterproductive to eat large quantities at once, because you will have to have a meal every 3-4 hours.
- Eat Slowly and With Intention. Food eaten too fast is not digested correctly. A lack of concentration leads to unconscious food intake, and inadequate self-control.
- Drink a Lot. Drink about two to three liters of water per day to maintain the body´s metabolism and detoxification capabilities. Add another liter per hour of exercise.
- Prefer Whole Foods. If you are unsure what exactly to eat, remember to keep it as simple as possible. Avoid any industrially processed food. Instead, eat fresh, natural foods, and prepare your own meals from them.
Example Daily Schedule
Time Meal Recommendations 06:00 am 1. Breakfast In the morning you should eat particularly easily digestible carbohydrates from foods such as cereals, bread, fruit or fruit juice spritzer. That will wake you up and saves the coffee. As source of proteins choose little sausage, fish or dairy products. In general: do not eat too much and too heavy, because that will promote fatigue and will make it difficult unnecessarily to start the day. In the morning it is particularly important to drink a lot of water, because it will support the still ongoing detoxification processes of the night. 09:00 am 2. Breakfast or Snack As with each snack you should avoid hard to digest and fatty foods. Otherwise, there are no limits. Dairy products such as yogurt and some fruits and vegetables are a good choice. Again, remember to drink some water. 12:00 Uhr Lunch For most people lunch is the largest meal. Avoid high concentrations of fats and abandon the idea that lunch has to be a warm meal. Heat kills most vitamins, enzymes and takes away all vitality. Of course, some foods need to be cooked or fried to be made edible, but overcooked vegetables only suit as lifeless stomach filler. Drink a glass of water before and after lunch. 15:30 Uhr Snack In the afternoon most people use to have coffee and cake or other sweets with plenty of sugar for desserts. A great idea if your intention is to feel tired and weak as soon as the blood sugar level returns to normal values. Again prefer fruits, nuts and a healthy source of protein, and drink some water. 19:00 Uhr Supper Except on training days, avoid significant amounts of carbohydrates in the evening. Instead eat combinations of vegetables, e.g. as a salad, or fish and meat. It is perfectly okay to eat a little more of that in the evening, because hunger has a negative impact on sleep quality. Drink enough fluid. 22:00 Uhr Late Snack Whoever goes to bed very late or wants to build muscle mass, should have a late snack that in best case is content-wise related to the supper.
Under the condition of maintaining the distance of about 3-4 hours between meals, the times listed here must be adjusted to the individual possibilities and requirements.
Also read part 1: Effective Muscle Building and Fat Loss #1: The Basics