Contrary to popular belief, embarking on that hour long run on the treadmill or out in the park may not be the best way to shed fats or help to effectively sustain an optimal weight. We will discuss some proven ways that can help increase metabolic rates, thereby, making weight management easier through burning fats naturally.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the chemical processes occurring within a living cell or organism that are necessary for the maintenance of life. In metabolism some substances are broken down or synthesized to maintain the normal functions of the body (1).
People with a slow metabolism seem to store fat easily, while people with a fast metabolism seem to be able to eat and never get fat.
Top 3 ways increase your metabolism and burn fats
1. Pack on lean muscles (2)
- During strength training, lifting weights stresses and breaks down existing muscles, triggering more new muscle cells to build over the old ones.
- It takes 3 times more calories to build, use and sustain the metabolically active muscle cells than fat cells.
- As the proportion of lean muscle increases, the body will tend to burn more calories – even at rest.
- In contrast, for cardio exercises, once the increased heart rate goes back to normal, the calorie burning process ceases. However, calories are continually being burnt several hours after a strength training session as the body and muscles gradually recover from the workout.
- For those who are looking for a toned and lean figure can utilize workouts which consist of lighter weights with more repetitions (preferably 12 to 15 reps). As for those who are looking to bulk, seek to carry heavier weights at lesser repetitions.
- Whether it is to bulk or to tone, the key is to elevate metabolic rates over a prolonged period of time by improving the overall muscle to fat ratio.
2. Intensify your cadiop workouts
- Slow and steady does not necessarily ensure that you win the fat busting race.
- A study revealed participants were able to boost their metabolic rates by engaging in intensive half minute cardio bursts.
- Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves short bouts of intense exercises that are alternated with intervals of lighter paced (resting) workouts in between. This keeps your routines way shorter, you would also be able to maintain a relatively high metabolism some hours after the session has ended.
3. A High TEF Diet (3)
- TEF or Thermic Effect of Food is defined as the energy required by the body to breakdown and digest nutrients in the foods we consume.
- A high TEF index would mean that the body will have to expend more energy and time to digest and absorb the nutrients .
- By consuming such foods, the body will experience higher metabolic rates as well as satiety levels will also be kept relatively high over a longer period of time.
- High TEF foods include those that are rich in protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates.
1. Hatfield, F. (2013). Fitness: The Complete Guide (8.6.6 ed.). Carpinteria, California: International Sports Science Association.
2. Lara, M. (2013, May 16). Boost Your Metabolism, Build Muscle. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from http://www.oxygenmag.com/article/boost-your-metabolism-build-muscle-8681
3. Dan, T. (n.d.). The Best Ways to Increase Your Metabolism. Retrieved November 10, 2015, from http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/best-ways-increase-your-metabolism
By : Alvin Ho
B (Eng), MBA, Certified Allied Healthcare/Fitness Professional (EIMS), Master Fitness Trainer / Fitness Nutrition, Resistance & Endurance Training Specialist (NFPT)