With all of the fad diets in the media that focus on calorie restrictions or avoiding certain foods that are high in carbs or fats, training the metabolism is often overlooked. The higher our metabolisms are, the more calories we burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Over time our metabolisms will begin to slow and it will become more difficult to keep the extra weight off. However, there are some things we can do to boost our metabolisms and help keep healthy and fit.
Eating plenty of protein each day is crucial in maintaining a high metabolism. Out of all of the foods we eat, protein causes the largest rise in the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). The TEF is the energy required for absorption, digestion, and disposal of ingested nutrients and its magnitude depends on the composition of the food consumed. Protein can increase your metabolic rate up to 35% whereas carbs or fats typically range from 1-15%. Eating more protein has also been shown to help prevent you from overeating and makes you feel full for longer.
Incorporating strength training and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your workouts also does wonders for your metabolism. Strength training helps in maintaining muscle when dieting which results in burning more calories even when at a rested state. HIIT training involves quick and very intense bursts of activity and can help you burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate, even after you have finished your workout. Mix up your workouts by incorporating aerobic exercises, HIIT and weight lifting for the best results in fat burning and boosting your metabolism.
Consistently getting plenty of sleep each night is also crucial to maintaining a healthy metabolism. Sleep deprivation is linked to a major increase in the risk of obesity and poor metabolism. It is also linked to increasing the hormone ghrelin which controls hunger and decreasing the hormone leptin which controls the feeling of fullness. If you struggle with sleep at night try supplementing with small doses of melatonin or increasing your workout routines.
When it comes to dietary changes to help increase your metabolism, try adding caffeine and spices into your diet. Green tea, oolong tea, and coffee have been shown to increase metabolism anywhere from 4-10%. The teas help to convert fat stored in your body into free fatty acids which aid in fat burning. With coffee, the caffeine levels have been shown to also aid in boosting metabolism and fat burning but is typically more effective in lean people.
Our metabolisms are constantly changing from several different factors that we encounter in our lives. Whether it be age, diet, sleep or our exercise regimes the speed will continue to change. By practicing certain actions we can, however, help keep them close to where we would like them to be. So try out a few of these tips to help keep your metabolism and energy levels high, you owe it to yourself to feel your best every day.