Your body metabolism is defined as the processes that occur when your body converts food into energy. A fast metabolic rate is one which burns calories quickly which may be ideal for those of you who are trying to lose weight. Your resting metabolic rate accounts for 60-75% of the calories that you burn each day and is the amount of calories that you burn each day on essential body functions such as breathing. There are a number of ways you can increase your metabolic rate to allow you to burn more calories each day as the below information outlines:
- The most important factor that increases your metabolic rate is the amount of muscle you have. Muscle burns more calories than fat tissue so it is advantageous to convert your fat to muscle. This is most effectively done through weight training, ideally 2 sessions per week;
- Exercise in general is a great way to improve your metabolism. The period of time (up to 2 hours) after an intense exercise session is associated with the body burning calories at a greater rate than normal so the body can recover from the exercise and return to its rested state;
- Another way to increase your metabolism is to eat smaller meals but more frequently throughout the day. Ideally you should consume 4-6 meals per day about 2-3 hours apart. Avoid leaving big gaps between your meals and definitely don’t skip breakfast;
- Eating breakfast is essential to start your day and will stop you snacking and eating more throughout the day;
- Protein boosts your metabolic rate more than other nutrients so make sure you are getting enough in your diet;
- Light exercise (e.g. walking) after a meal can help you to burn off those calories you consumed faster;
- Maintaining good hydration levels is beneficial;
- Drinking coffee and green tea can increase the metabolic rate in the hours after consumption;
- There is some evidence to suggest eating spicy foods can cause a small increase in metabolism as the capsaicinoids in spicy foods are associated with thermogenesis.
As you get older, your metabolic rate slows down naturally as you lose muscle mass. This can be counteracted by continuing with weight training throughout your life. Another reason that it slow down is by restrictive dieting. Decreasing the amount of calories you take in will cause your metabolic rate to slow thereby making your body more efficient. Once you stop restricting the calories, your body’s metabolism will go back to its usual rate and this could lead to weight gain. Genetics can also play a role as some people are born with a higher rate than others.
Please feel free to contact the G4 Didsbury Clinic (Manchester) to speak to a member of our diet & nutrition team for any questions that you may have or if you wish to arrange a consultation to discuss your diet, nutrition and lifestyle.