Janet TV is asked questions frequently about how to lose weight, weight loss, detox diet, weight loss tips, fat burning foods, losing weight, fastest ways to lose weight, and protein diets. I am going to address all of these questions by telling you the four ways that athletes and fit-focused women can increase their metabolism—naturally—and achieve all of their weight loss goals. [This article contributed by Unni Greene, Official Fitness & Diet Coach for Janet TV.com]
Each individual has a given resting metabolic rate, R.M.R. due to factors such as age, gender, weight, height and even genetics. This does not mean that you are “stuck’ with the same metabolic rate for ever. What are the things you can do to increase your metabolism?
There are ways that you can change your basic energy requirements. Your body can burn calories that come either from protein, fat or carbohydrates. The best thing you can do is to boost your metabolism so you can burn more calories. How can you do this?
1. EAT MORE FREQUENTLY
Small but more frequent meals help put your metabolism into high gear. In contrast, lowering your calorie and fat intake both decrease your metabolic rate. You need to eat at least five to six times per day. Sounds like a lot you say. Well, this is only three main meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner and two to three high quality snacks. Eating this way ensures that your metabolism stays elevated and you burn calories and fat throughout the day.
The worst thing you can do is to stop eating. We have all been there. You have a special event in a week, and you can’t even button the top of your pants. Your first reaction is to stop eating. What could be better, you think. Well, actually, that is the worst thing to do simply because your body is designed through evolution to immediately start storing everything you do eat as fat in preparation for the next “famine”.
When you go too many hours between meals, your metabolism actually slows down to compensate. The longer you go without eating, the more of your “non-essential” body functions start shutting down. As you metabolism slows to a crawl, you feel and look sluggish and fatigued. You start craving “bad carbs and sugar since your brain is low on glucose, and you are tempted not only to eat all the wrong things, but also to overeat.
Then, when you do eat, your new, slower metabolism burns fewer calories and you may end up gaining weight more easily than you did before you went on a starvation diet. This explains the so called “yo-yo dieting syndrome”, where it becomes more and more difficult to lose or even maintain your weight.
Instead, by eating small, frequent meals, you ensure that your blood sugar levels stay stable and you never get too hungry. Your body will burn what you eat, and will also start to burn additional stored fat for fuel as you increase your activity level through exercise. There is no threat of “starvation” so your body continues to burn and your metabolism is actually elevated.
2. EAT MORE PROTEIN
Along with all the other benefits of eating protein that we already discussed, you need to know that protein generally requires about twice as much energy to digest than carbohydrates or fats. The amino acids in protein will lower the levels of stress hormone cortisol in the blood which in turn boosts your metabolic rate. Eat protein with every meal!
Your body will burn fat through exercise. The great thing is that it will burn the most fat and require the most energy during the first two hours of intense exercise such as weight training or interval training. There is also an “after-burn” effect, which increases your metabolism for up to 24 hours after you work out.
Maximize the calories that you burn AND the “after-burn” by adding High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your workout. Alternate 30 seconds of all out effort with 90 seconds of “recovery,” or moderately-paced activity. Do this 10 times in one workout and you will burn an additional 100-200 calories. Exercise is invaluable in weight loss and weight control.
4. ADD MUSCLE
Every additional pound of muscle that you carry burns an additional 50 calories per day, just to maintain itself. Never be afraid to gain muscle! Also, by adding muscle you prevent losing muscle weight. You will lose fat, but maintain your muscle which prevents a slowdown in your metabolism.
Women are often afraid to add muscle because they think they will get too “thick” or too big. For a woman, it is very difficult to get too big and muscular—if not impossible—due to a lack of certain hormones. You will not get bigger by weight training. In fact, studies show that you will get leaner and increase your R.M.R by adding muscle.
So now you know that you are not “stuck” with a certain amount of calories that you should eat every day for your optimal body composition. You can indeed affect your metabolic rate by eating more frequent, small meals, adding protein to each meal, exercise and adding muscle. Sure, it takes a little effort and planning to do these things, but your body will thank you!
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