What is your metabolic rate and how do you improve it in natural healthy ways?
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) has several different definitions, at its most basic level it is the rate at which your body expends energy to maintain your vital functions such as heartbeat, breathing, and maintenance of body heat while you are in a state of rest. Another way it can be explained is as a measurement of how much food (fat, protein and carbohydrates) is converted into energy daily while you are at rest I always recommend that my clients come in initially to do a RMR test as it tells us how many calories you should be consuming in order to meet your goal. Once the test has been completed we have a base line for where we need to go with your nutrition and exercise plan in order to help increase your rate at which you are burning calories while at rest. The test also gives us an indication if you have a metabolic issue going on in your body such as a problem with your thyroid , hormones or adrenal gland.
Help increase your rate at which you are burning calories
Once established there are several areas which have been proven to increase your metabolic rate. It is important that you are expending more calories than you are ingesting in order to lose weight if that is your goal. Should you be trying to increase muscle mass you need intake more calories with the appropriate macronutrient balance depending on your body typing . Speak to a nutritionist in order to set up an appropriate nutrition plan for your specific dietary needs. Hire a certified personal trainer to help you set up and modify an appropriate cardiovascular , resistance training and flexibility programs. Listed below are the areas you will need to pay special attention to in order to meet your goals.
1) Build Muscle: Resting metabolic rate is higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses approximately 6 calories a day just to sustain itself. Even small differences can add up with time. After each training session, muscles are activated all over your body and your heart rate is artificially elevated for a period of time which raises your average daily metabolic rate.
2) Step Up Your Workout: Aerobic exercise does muscles not build but it can rev up your metabolism in the hours after a workout. This phenomenon is called recovery oxygen uptake (ROU) or Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) these are essentially the after burn effect. The key is to push yourself at least once to twice a week. High-intensity exercise delivers a bigger, longer rise in resting metabolic rate than low- or moderate-intensity workouts. To get the benefits, try a more intense class at the gym or include short bursts of jogging during your regular walk. Keep in mind it is important to also include longer , lower intensity days to help increase your fat burning enzymes.
3) Drink plenty of Water: Your body needs water to burn calories and to help with the breakdown of energy in the Krebs cycle . Even mildly dehydration causes your metabolism to slow down. Stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water or other unsweetened beverage before every meal and snack. General rule of thumb is for an adult to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day however there are several calculators on line to help give you a more specific measurement for your size.
4) Grazing : Eating small amounts more often can help you lose weight. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals. Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranked up , so you burn more calories over the day. Your body can also only utilize so many calories during a meal after which it will store excess calories as fat.
5) Power Up With Protein: Your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does after eating simple carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replace some simple carbs with foods containing lean protein which can boost metabolism. Always ensure you are getting enough good quality fat as well such as olive oil or avocado. Good sources of protein include organic or wild game meats such as lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, nuts, bean and eggs.
6) Recharge With Green Tea: Drinking a high quality green tea offers catechins which is a substance shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple of hours. Researchers suggests that drinking 2 to 4 cups of green tea a day may push the body to burn 17% more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short periods.
7) Avoid Crash/Fad Diets: Diets involving eating fewer than 1,200 (if you’re a woman) or 1,800 (if you’re a man) calories a day — are bad for anyone hoping to speed up their metabolism. Consuming too few calories will make you lose muscle, which in turn slows your metabolism. The result with these diets is your body will burns fewer calories and in turn you will gain weight faster than before the diet.
Always contact the appropriate health professionals before starting any new nutrition or exercise plan. See your family doctor if you have any pre-existing health conditions so they may give you guidelines to follow with a certified personal trainer. Ensure the certified personal trainer your hire has the proper credentials to build a program specific to your needs.
To book your Resting Metabolic Rate test, contact INFOFIT
By Cathie Glennon , BCRPA Certified Personal Trainer / BCRPA SFL