Metabolism is the energy required by your body to maintain itself. There are a few things that contribute to this. Genetics of course … but there ARE ways to increase your metabolism.
First and foremost – exercise! But the greatest metabolic burn occurs with high intensity-type of exercise. Interval training (HIIT), power training (explosive), and strength training are the BEST methods. These recruit all your muscle fibre types and use the most amount of calories to do so. They are anaerobic therefore they are high intense with shorter duration periods (meaning they require rest in between sets). They are MY favourite cardio exercises to do and in fact I am dressed ready to head to the gym to partake in my own HIIT session. 🙂 The great thing about these types of training is that you aren’t just burning extra energy whilst performing the activity itself, but you have the added benefit of burning more energy during the recovery period. Because these activities are so intense, the recovery period extends for a longer period and requires much more energy to repair the body than lower intensity activities.
Remember though that the workout is only a small part of fat loss. Don’t ruin your hard work by putting low quality food into your mouth after. If you want your body to use stored fat as fuel for your workout – then stop overfeeding it otherwise it has all the fuel it requires and doesn’t need to tap into its stored sites.
Please note: Some explosive exercises can be contraindicated for injuries (depending on the injury and the exercise being performed) so be aware and consult with a reputable musculoskeletal specialist (such as a physiotherapist) if unsure. Then get an exercise program designed by a reputable Exercise Physiologist (….I can refer a great one!)
Secondly, the types of foods you eat will determine the metabolic response. Natural foods take more energy to digest than their processed counterparts – as too does protein. It is largely believed (and actually promoted by a lot of fitness “professionals”) that “grazing” throughout the day helps to stoke the metabolic flame that helps you to lose weight. Specifically, that eating smaller meals more frequently will raise their metabolism enough to lose weight.
There is some truth to this statement in that our metabolism increases each time we eat, as our bodies have to use energy to break down the food we have put in. But what isn’t taken into consideration is how MUCH it increases. The more you eat at one meal, the more digestion and work needs to be done by the body and the higher the metabolic increase. If you eat less at each meal but eat more frequently, your metabolism increases more OFTEN….but not as much as with a larger meal. So which is better?
Bottom line: Choose the eating pattern that works best for you.
So we need to consider the TOTAL amount of metabolic increase over the entire day’s eating. If you were to eat 2000 calories over three meals, and the SAME calories (and types of food) over six smaller meals, your metabolic increase is roughly the same! Interestingly, adding protein to every meal does in fact increase energy expenditure because protein is harder to break down (see https://www.thehealthytruth.com.au/a-calorie-is-not-a-calorie/)
Enjoy, and don’t forget to put some quality into your training AND into your food choices and you will find your metabolic rate firing on all cylinders.