Put as simply as possible: the metabolism is a measure of the rate that we burn calories. You may have that friend who seems to be able to eat whatever they want without getting out of shape – it is likely to be a result of a naturally fast metabolism meaning they naturally burn a lot more of the calories that they eat.
In this article we look at some ‘lifehacks’ to speed up your metabolism safely without the use of potentially dangerous pills:
The most important meal of the day
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and they’re not wrong. Skipping breakfast can be one of the worst things to do for your metabolism. Extended breaks without food causes your body to go into ‘starvation mode’ where it slows the amount of calories being burned – the opposite of what we’re aiming for. Try to eat shortly after getting up and a balanced meal rich in protein with some complex carbohydrates and good fats (eggs on wholemeal/rye toast with avocado is a favourite of ours in the Form office).
Lots of small meals!
In a similar way, we should try to avoid long gaps between meals: lots of small meals throughout the day is better than 2 or 3 very large meals.
Get the chilli out
Eating spicy food has been shown to cause a spike in the metabolism: add some chilli powder or cayenne pepper to your dishes for a metabolism-supercharging heat wave.
Tea & coffee
I’m sure you don’t need an excuse to grab another tea or coffee, but the caffeine in these drinks raises your heart rate / breathing and hence your metabolism. Green tea is especially good at boosting the metabolism and encouraging weight loss.
Hot drink before meals
Drinking a hot beverage such as green tea or lemon in hot water just before or while you eat can boost your metabolism as it increases the rate at which your body can digest food.
Drink cold water
Between meals, drinking lots of cold water has been shown to raise the metabolism as your body works to heat up the cold liquid. Drinking plenty of water has been shown to improve general health in many ways from your skin to brain performance, so fill up that bottle and get drinking!
Pick up those weights
Muscle burns more calories than fat does, so try to fit a couple of weight training sessions in each week; this will increase your muscle mass increasing the metabolism. Workout with gym weights or even bodyweight training and be sure to eat plenty of protein (30g per meal) to aid the muscle building.
Work up a sweat
Hard cardiovascular workouts require a higher calorie burn-rate to fuel the exercise, so hit the park or the gym to work up a sweat. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the most time-efficient way to do this, with a higher hourly fat-burning rate. Look out for our blog post on Wednesday 26th April, to discover the difference between HIIT and LISS training.