Metabolism: boostable or born with it?

Your metabolism – can you make it faster?

What is it?

Your metabolism is the chemical engine that keeps you alive.

How fast this engine runs varies from person to person. Those with a faster metabolism burn more fuel (kilojules) and tend to be lean, however, those with a slow metabolism will have left over fuel that gets turned into fat. Put simply, the faster your metabolism, the more fuel your body needs. This is likely the reason that Sarah can eat all those burgers without gaining a kilo – damn her! – but Samantha gains weight just looking at a doughnut.

The speed of your metabolism is known as your “metabolic rate”.

Metabolic Rate

Several factors directly affect your metabolic rate. Such as:

  1. Age. The older you are the slower your metabolic rate.
  2. Body Size. The bigger you are, the more energy you burn.
  3. Muscle Mass. The more muscles you have, the more energy you burn.
  4. Physical Activity. The more active you are, the more energy you burn.
  5. Hormones. Several hormonal conditions affect metabolic rate, such as hypothyroidism & Cushing’s syndrome.
  6. Temperature. In cold weather your body works faster in order to keep body temperature from dropping.

But don’t go booking a flight to Russia just yet..

Are we born with it?

Yes. Not everybody is created equal when it comes to metabolism.

But don’t fret – the metabolic rate that you are born with has far less to do with weight gain and obesity than does your diet & exercise.

Should I just eat less?

Absolutely not!

When you stop eating your body goes into metabolic adaption, or “starvation mode”. When this happens your body will actually sloooww down your metabolism even more. This is your bodies way of  trying to ward off possible starvation or death. For those of you out there who yo-yo diet.. Time to stop! This on again off again starvation mode could be what is making weight loss seem impossible.

How to speed up your metabolism

Some good news – is it possible to boost your metabolism. Here’s a couple of way’s to do so:

  1. Move yo’ bod. Get off that booty and get moving! Every body movement burns energy. The more active you are, the higher your metabolic rate becomes.
    • Fun fact: using a standing desk can increase the amount of energy you burn by 16%, spending an afternoon standing can help you burn an extra 175 calories that day, and even insignifcant activity like typing can boost your metabolic rate by 8%! (1, 2, 3)
  2. Do high intensity workouts. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective ways to speed up metabolic rate. These quick and intense bursts of energy even continue to speed up your metabolism once you’ve finished your workout!
  3. Lift weights. Not only does weight training burn a lot of energy, it also grows your muscles, and more muscle mass = higher metabolic rate. So get lifting! And no ladies, you won’t get bulky.
  4. Eat quality protein. Protein is the nutrient queen of weight-loss & metabolism! She prevents muscle mass, wards off cravings, curbs appetite and even manipulate “hunger hormones”.
    • Fun fact: after eating a protein packed meal your metabolic rate is boosted by 20-30%. Where as meals heavy in carbohydrates or fat will only cause a 3-10% increase – or less (4).
  5. Stop starving yourself. Seriously – just stop it. Not eating enough is completely counteractive to effective (& healthy!) slimming down. To learn how to slim down in the most simple & delicious way possible, click here.
  6. Hydrate. Yep, once again, water is the answer! Mum was right. Drinking a class of cold water will boost your metabolic rate. This is known as ‘water-induced thermogenesis’ (5).
    • But why cold water? Well when you drink cold water your body must work harder to heat it up to body temperature.
  7. Get your z’s. Beauty sleep is where it’s at! Lack of sleep, or even just poor sleep, can suppress your metabolism.
  8. Metabolism boosting foods. Add some coffee, green tea or chili to your diet for some extra support in the battle against the bulge.
    • Coffee: caffeine gives you a short metabolism boost, however regular coffee drinkers will build up a tolerance to this (6).
    • Tea: the antioxidants present in tea, specifically in green tea, helps it to boost metabolism as well as speed up fat oxidation aka. the breakdown of stored fat (7).
    • Chili: capsaicin, the active compound in chili that gives it it’s spicy punch, makes chilies one of the most metabolism boosting foods there is (8).

Want more?

If you are struggling to loose weight or simply sick of yo-yo dieting & calorie counting, check out my Lighten Up weight management program. You will learn how to effortlessly slim down and in the process boost your energy, manage your moods, improve your beauty sleep & clear your skin. Here’s a little preview: