According to the Mayo Clinic, your metabolism influences your body’s basic energy needs, but how much you eat and drink along with how much physical activity you get are the things that ultimately determine your weight.
The term metabolism refers to all the processes in the body that naturally use energy. However, the way you increase or decrease the rate you burn calories depends on your age, gender, daily habits, and any underlying health conditions. Your resting metabolic rate, or RMR, is the number of calories you burn while sedentary. Your RMR is approximately 60 to 75% of your total daily calorie needs. Everyone’s RMR is different. For example, someone who is very large and muscular needs more calories to maintain his body at rest than someone very small. As you get older, your muscle mass decreases and fat accounts for more of your weight, which slows down calorie burning.
We often blame metabolism for weight gain and are mystified by teenagers who can eat anything they want and not gain weight. Unfortunately, weight gain is a complicated process. It’s often a combination of genetics, hormonal controls, diet composition, and the impact of the environment on your lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity, and stress.
Below are a few ways to boost your metabolism at any age:
Eat more protein. Eating small amounts of lean proteins each day, like chicken and fish, may increase the number of calories you burn. Easy ways to incorporate more protein is to choose Greek yogurt which contains 17-20 grams of protein, pairing peanut butter with fruit, or snacking on cheddar cheese.
Strength training. When your body has more muscle mass, you burn more calories, even when resting. Aim for at least two weight sessions a week. Try the row + weights work out below! All you need is a rowing machine (at most gyms) and two dumbbells!
- 6 x 500 m row
- 6 x 10 bicep curls
- 6 x 10 overhead press
- 6 x 15 weighted squats
- 6 x 10 weighted lunges (each leg)
Get more sleep. Regular sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your hunger and appetite hormones, which may cause you to overeat. Shoot for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Exercise. Physical activity that raises your heart rate such as running, swimming, aerobics, and walking, fuels your metabolism and helps burn calories. Rigorous exercise may also suppress your appetite post-workout. The workout above incorporates cardio, too – killing two birds with one stone!
Eat often. To keep your brain and body full of energy, eat regularly through the day. Eating four to five small meals throughout the day while being mindful of the amount you eat at each meal will help boost your metabolism.
In addition to the tips above, any extra movement helps burn calories, so seek ways to walk and move around a few minutes more each day. This may include gardening, doing laundry, or taking the dog for an extra walk. Even simple movements like sitting up straight or standing at your desk will boost your energy and improve your metabolism.
Quote of the Week: Positive thoughts generate positive feelings and attract positive life experiences.
Recipe of the Week:
No-Bake Dark Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter Energy Bites
This is an excellent snack as a pre-workout, after-dinner treat, or healthy addition to your kid’s lunchbox.
· 1 ½ cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
· ½ cup of ground flax seed
· 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
· ⅓ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
· ½ cup of raw honey
· ½ cup of almond butter
· 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
· ½ cup of dark chocolate chips
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form energy bite mixture into 1″ balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Enjoy!