Fire up your metabolism for fat loss

My clients will regularly hear me talking about keeping your metabolism high, and kick starting your metabolism, as the crucial tool in burning fat. A slow metabolism leads to the release of fat storing enzymes in the body which will aid fat gain, and will also result in lethargy and fatigue.

So what is your metabolism?

Well, your metabolism, or your metabolic rate, is what determines how many calories your body burns each day. It is affected and controlled by your thyroid, and is largely a factor of your muscle mass. For every 0.5 pound of muscle you add, your body will burn 25 calories per day, just to maintain it, let alone further calories burnt training and further developing the muscle. This equates to 9140 kcals per year, or just over 2.5lbs of fat. So you can see that gaining and maintaining just 2.5lbs of lean muscle will assist in burning over 13lbs or 1 stone of fat over the next year! This is through lean muscle gain – add on the cutting out of bad foods, short sharp interval training, and you’ll be dropping fat by the load!
Just another benefit of resistance training over steady state cardio!
Below are 7 key tips for raising your metabolism;
1) Exercise – it’s a sure-fire way to increase the amount of muscle you have, which in turn will speed up your metabolism. Do a mixture of short, sharp, cardio and resistance training for best results, and continued calorie burning effect. High intensity work is more beneficial than slow laboured workouts. Lean muscle gain is the key!
2) Eat little and often – there’s evidence that eating small, regular meals throughout the day, rather than one or two large meals, will help to keep your metabolism high. Aim to eat small every 3 hours. Surprisingly, around 10% of the calories we use each day go on digesting and absorbing food – so the more times you eat, the greater this effect is likely to be.
3) Eat a decent, low sugar breakfast. As you body has been asleep overnight, it is ready for nutrients to feed and fuel your body for the next few hours. What you eat should also rev up your metabolism. Stick with low GI foods such as oats, fruits, eggs, and wholemeal breads. Cereals should have 5g of fibre or more, less than 8g of sugar, and ensure sugar(glucose syrup, corn syrup, anything ending in xxxOSE) is not near the top of the list of ingredients. Oat based cereals are the best, eggs and wholemeal toast, or some fruit with nuts and live bio yoghurt will give a good balance.
4) Eat plenty of protein-rich foods, preferably with each meal – research shows that around 25% of calories in a protein-rich meal may be burnt off. But make sure you choose low-fat protein foods such as lean meat, skinless chicken, fish and low-fat dairy products.
5) Spice up meals -Spices like chilli are thought to raise metabolism by up to 50 percent for up to three hours after eating, due to increasing your heart rate. But before putting the local Indian takeaway on speed dial, work out which curries have the lowest calorie and fat content.
6) Swap you daily cuppa for green tea – there’s evidence that it contains antioxidants that speed up metabolism.
7) Get some kind of exercise in daily, even if its a walk at lunchtime, climbing the stairs at work, etc, anything to get the heart rate up, and the body working. Off the bum and onto the feet!
Your metabolism is your main fat loss key…keep it high , and work it hard!
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