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.
- 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.