Ever envy that friend that seems to eat anything they want, but still remain with perfect six-packs all year-round? Or your tall brother that gobbles an entire pizza with no problem? Whereas you might be spending hours at the gym, and if you slip in one meal, the weight piles back on?
That all comes down to metabolism (for the most part). People are born with different metabolic rates. This is mostly down to genetics, and other environmental factors that all come into play. How can you increase your metabolism in order to achieve your goals quicker?
Before we get started, what is metabolism?
Your resting metabolic rate, is the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest. These calories are used for things we need to survive, like breathing, nutrient delivery and much more. Think of all the body processes that go on throughout the day – that all needs to be fueled with calories!
Therefore, the higher your metabolism, the more calories you will burn. If you have a slow metabolism, you might notice that you can gain weight quickly, without necessarily consuming tons of calories.
Your resting metabolic rate is based on your age, sex, generics, and much more. These factors cannot be modified. For example, an 80-year-old woman will have a much slower metabolism than a 20-year-old woman. Men tend to have higher metabolisms than women. Your muscle mass also affects your metabolism. If you have a larger build and more lean muscle mass, your metabolism is faster in order to keep those muscles fueled.
If you don’t alter your dietary habits to match your ever-changing metabolism, that’s when the weight will creep up! Sadly, our metabolic rate is mostly out of our control, but we can do certain things to boost our metabolism!
When you train using resistance, you will stimulate your muscles to grow, via a process called muscle protein synthesis. As we saw above, more muscle mass = revved up metabolism. You can also increase your resting metabolic rate for two hours by 11-12% after a strenuous session at the gym!
In order to maximize the effect of weight-training on muscle growth, make sure you plan your workouts in advance. Hit a different muscle group every day, and be persistent! One day at the gym every month will not do anything for your metabolism! Make sure you get at least 8-12 reps for every moment, for at least 2-3 sets. Aim for a weight that is challenging, and build up the intensity as you get more comfortable.
2) High-intensity Workouts:
When you perform a bout of high-intensity movements, you are more likely to have an increased metabolic rate after your workout, rather than a steady cardio session! How does that work? Well, when you sprint for a few seconds, your oxygen consumption skyrockets to allow you to perform the workout. The rise in this consumption requires more energy from your body. More energy required = more calories burned! Your metabolism can actually remain elevated for up to 24-48 hours after a high-intensity workout. Don’t shy away from that Tabata circuit next time it comes around.
3) Consume Protein:
As you begin your weight-training journey, your muscles will require fuel to recover and grow. Protein is the best nourishment for this process! It is essential to ensure that you are consuming adequate protein after a workout session, in order to repair your muscles and speed up recovery. Consume around 25-35g of protein every few hours, to keep that muscle protein synthesis going! Remember, more muscle requires more energy fuel throughout the day, which will boost your metabolism!
4) Don’t diet!
Dieting and constantly changing your dietary habits really impacts your metabolism for the worse. When you consume a lot less calories than you should, your metabolism slows down to conserve the amount of energy you have left. The longer you do that, the slower your metabolism will be! Always stick to your recommended calorie goal, getting all your nutrients from wholesome foods and keeping your meals balanced. Eat a small meal every 2 hours, in order to keep that metabolism going throughout the day.
Always remember that patience is key, and consistency is essential! The more you train and the better you eat, the better your metabolism will be!