Updated: Oct 19, 2020
A popular question I hear is, “How can I boost my metabolism?” I was asked this just yesterday and my initial response was, “You can’t.” In the sense of what you see written in magazines and on Facebook, there is not a simple trick to “boosting your metabolism.” No magic berry or frequent meal is going to help you burn fat faster. “Boosting your metabolism” is a lifestyle.
Let’s start by explaining what your metabolism is. Metabolism is the process by which your body expends energy and burns calories. It is constantly working, and you do not need to eat breakfast to turn it on every morning. It converts food and nutrients into energy that your body needs to survive.
Ultimately, your metabolism is mostly determined by your genes. If your metabolism doesn’t reach your expectations, feel free to blame grandma and grandpa. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to give up.
The actual answer to “How can I boost my metabolism” is not an easy fix. According to an article written by Harvard Medical School, there are a few answers.
1. Eat protein:
Depending on your activity level and goals, you should consume 0.5-1g of protein per pound of body weight. That’s not an easy number to hit on a daily basis for many. Stock your fridge with all kinds of meat, eggs, Greek yogurt, and maybe even Whey protein to help yourself reach those goals. Make it a point to not have any meal that doesn’t include some sort of protein. Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbs and fat, making it technically more effective for your metabolism.
2. Strength train:
True strength training includes progressive overload, which means over time, you are lifting heavier weights. That could mean a young athletic adult lifting 200, 300, 400 pounds or more over time, or a retiree lifting 15, 20, or 25 pounds. The idea is always to increase the weight you can lift in compound, multi-joint exercises with pristine form.
3. High intensity interval training:
Interval training is much different than strength training, and doing both is helpful. HIIT typically involves around 30 seconds of activity with 30-60 seconds of rest. Those times can vary, but the idea is to push yourself and then lower the intensity on and off for a period of time, usually 5-15 minutes.
Now, other factors can negatively effect your metabolism, like age, but the number one reason your metabolism isn’t great is that your diet and activity levels aren’t great. It’s not your metabolism’s fault, you are just eating too much and moving too little. Now, how can we change that?
Often, we are told we have to eat many small meals throughout the day. But the truth is, you need to do what your body feels comfortable with. For example, I most often eat just two larger meals per day. My stomach hurts if I eat too early, so I settle for an early lunch and dinner. You may feel best with 3 meals and a snack, or 5 smaller meals. Whatever your body feels most comfortable with, and that allows you to control your caloric intake, do that.
The point is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for eating less. You have to find foods that keep you full (Protein!) and meal sizes/frequencies that satisfy you. That can be a process to discover.
The same goes for your activity levels. What is it you LIKE to do? We learned strength training and gaining some muscle is important, but you won’t do that 7 days per week. Do you like to hike with family? Cycle? Kayak? Take daily walks? Whatever it is you like to do, in addition to some form of strength training, is going to help you “fix your metabolism” (Really, just lose the excess fat.)
When you see a magazine at the store that says “7 simple tricks to boosting your metabolism,” if it’s not in this blog post, it’s probably sensationalized in some way. As with most answers to improving your health and the way you feel, a healthy diet with plenty of protein as well as strength training and frequent movement are the answer.
Ready to start on your personal health and fitness journey with Evolve? Contact us at EvolveTrainingNJ@gmail.com or 201-485-8584 to learn more about a complimentary first workout session!
(Blog post by Owner/Personal Trainer Cory Cannici)
Image Credit: https://traineracademy.org/