8 Tips to Boost your Metabolism and Increase your Energy Expenditure
1] Eat more often!
This is the way to train your metabolism to speed up rather than slow down into conservation mode which happens when large meals are eaten with long intervals in between. The added benefit is that you tend to eat less at each sitting, decreasing your overall energy intake.
2] Substitute refined carbohydrates and foods loaded with fats for high protein foods.
Proteins require more energy to digest, increasing your energy expenditure. Make sure the portions are small and eat regularly. High quality, low-fat sources of protein include fish, lean organic meats, tofu, nuts and seeds, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy (yoghurt, cheese).
3] Spice it up!
Chilli and ginger can speed up your metabolic rate by up to 20% for at least half an hour after eating. Try adding cayenne pepper and turmeric to a salt shaker for an antioxidant, immune and metabolism boosting seasoning.
4] Add ice to your drinks between meals.
Your body burns more calories digesting ice cold beverages – up to 10 calories per day if you drink six glasses, which adds up! For best effect, make it iced water or tea so you are not adding those calories back. This trick is not appropriate in some conditions, especially during illness and menstruation or in the height of winter when you need to conserve body heat.
5] Drink more water.
Yes, this may seem obvious but water is needed to burn energy. If you are even slightly dehydrated you metabolism will slow down. Again, this is the body in conservation/starvation mode. Let your system know there is an abundance of energy available to function at its peak– plenty of water and adequate quality protein– so your metabolism will shift into high gear.
6] Coffee and green tea contains caffeine and catechins which increase your metabolism.
Two to four cups a day can burn up to 50 extra calories per day. Be aware that added milk and sugar will counteract this effect so black and unsweetened is best. Please don't exceed four cups of coffee on a daily basis or your liver will suffer.
7] Build up your muscle mass.
Muscle burns three times more energy than fat simply to sustain itself. That means that even at rest, people with higher muscle mass have a higher metabolism. Resistance training using weights is the best way to build muscle but if you are just starting with exercise, any increase in intensity will help to build muscle and sustain a higher metabolic rate afterwards. For example, when walking, step up the intensity with intervals of power walking until you feel fit enough to add intervals of running. Step out with 1kg weights in your hands and you will further increase muscle mass while burning fat stores to provide the energy.
8] Don't crash diet.
Extreme or crash dieting slows down your metabolism and is not sustainable, hence the retaliation weight gain commonly experienced afterwards.
Remember, the bottom line is:
Net energy intake – net energy expenditure = weight gain/loss. If your intake is higher than your expenditure, your body will store the excess as fat. If your expenditure is higher than your intake, your body will release fat stores to supply the energy it needs. Simple.
If you would like to find out your average energy balance and nutrient status, I offer this as a clinical service. The process involves you completing a three day weighed food record simultaneously with a three day physical activity log. The information is then run through the Foodworks® database and your overall energy balance (net weight gain/loss) is determined along with your individual nutrient profile and advice for correcting imbalances.
To find out more or to book this service, please use the booking form on the contact page or phone me on 0428 395 872.