Thursday, October 24, 2013

Increasing Your Metabolism

What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is a biochemical process by which your body breaks down food and converts food into energy.

3 Factors that determine your metabolic rate or energy needs:
1) Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) [60-75% of needs]: energy needed for basic body functions like breathing, growing/repairing, blood circulation.  BMR is based on age, sex, body size, and amount of lean body mass.
2) Food Processing (Thermogenesis) [10% of needs]: Energy needed to breakdown and digest food.
3) Physical Activity [15-30% of needs]: Energy needed to perform your daily activities and exercise (i.e. walking, running, cleaning the house, etc.).

The 3 keys to increasing your metabolic rate are to increase your lean body mass, increase your daily physical activity and consume a diet adequate in calories and protein. And here is how...

4 Steps to Boost your Metabolism
1. Aerobic Exercise
  • Aerobic exercise works to increase your metabolic rate and is the most efficient way to burn calories.
  • Examples: walking, running, playing tennis/basketball, cycling, etc.
  • Your body not only burns calories while exercising but continues to burn calories for a period of time after exercise.
  •  Higher intensity workouts increase basic metabolic rate more than moderate intensity workouts (e.g.  running vs. jogging).
  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 days a week.

2. Strength Training
  • Strength training helps build lean body mass and increases your daily basal metabolic rate.
  • The higher your percentage of lean body mass the more calories your body burns a day. This is because lean body mass burns more calories than fat mass.
  • Exercise examples: Weight Lifting, Push-Ups, Sit-Ups, Pilates, etc.
  • Aim for strength training exercises at least 2-3 times per week.
3. Protein
  • Your body burns more calories digesting protein than fat or carbohydrates. Therefore, diets with a higher percentage of protein have a higher percent of calories burned through thermogenesis.
  • Dietary protein also helps build/maintain lean body mass.
  • How much protein do you need a day?  50% ideal body weight (e.g. Ideal weight: 140 pounds= need ~70 grams protein per day
  • Include protein at each meal/snack
    •  3-4 ounces protein per meal
    •  1-2 ounces protein per snack

 4.  Consume an adequate amount of protein and calories throughout the day!
  • Eat at least 1000 calories per day.
    • Going on a crash diet will cause weight loss, but your metabolic rate and lean body mass will also decrease. 
  • Eat Breakfast!
    • Eating first thing in the morning helps kick your metabolism into gear. 
  • Eating smaller more frequent meals.
    • Eating throughout the day helps keep your metabolism running, allowing your body to burn calories more efficiently.  

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