What exactly is your metabolic rate?
We often talk about our metabolism or our ability to ‘burn calories’ whist trying to reduce our weight but what exactly is that and what can we do to make it work in the best way for us?
Simply, our metabolism is the process of converting food into energy (for keeping us alive, activity and digestion) and your metabolic rate is the speed at which your body carries out that process. In basic terms, in order that we reduce our weight, we need to put in less calories that we use up moving and keeping ourselves warm. This is a very simplistic view, as the chemical reaction of food in our bodies is more complex than that, but we can certainly help to boost the rate at which we ‘burn calories’ by changing some of our habits and what we eat.
Here are my 6 top tips to boost your metabolism.
Drink more Water
Water helps your metabolism work. A large part of our body is made of water and many vital functions in the body cannot work if they are dehydrated. It is recommended that we drink at least 2 litres of water every day. This does not include tea, coffee, fizzy pop or other drinks. To make sure you drink enough water each day, try filling a 2-litre bottle at the start of the day and make sure it is gone before you go to bed at night.
NB - Ice cold water has a bonus effect in that it requires your body to heat it up and that process burns calories! So, the next time you fancy an unhealthy snack, have a glass of ice-cold water instead.
You can really boost your metabolism by increasing the amount of muscle mass in your body. This is because, for every extra pound of muscle, you put on, your body uses around 50 extra calories a day. Training with weights just 3 times a week for around 20 minutes is enough to build muscle. Not only will you be burning more calories, you’ll look better – whatever your weight.
Although the average person burns around 30% of calories through daily activity, many sedentary people only use around 15%. Simply being aware of this fact – and taking every opportunity to move can make quite a dramatic difference to the number of calories you burn. The trick is to keep the ‘keep moving’ message in mind. Write the word ‘move’ on post-it notes and put them in places you’ll notice them when you’re sitting still. Then, take every opportunity to move – here are some ideas for keeping moving throughout the day.
Tap your feet, swing your legs, drum your fingers, stand up and stretch, move your head from side to side, dance at the sink or cooker, change position, wriggle and fidget, pace up and down, use the upstairs toilet, park in the furthest corner of the car park, stand up when you’re on the phone or clench and release your muscles
Spice Up Your Life
Eat Spicy Food - There is evidence to show that spices, especially chilli, can raise the metabolic rate by up to 50% for up to 3 hours after you’ve eaten a spicy meal. Try adding spices to liven up your meals and see the benefits in your weight loss.
Take More Exercise
As well as generally weaving more movement into your day as above, try to get 3-4 periods of sustained, high-intensity exercise into every week. These sessions of more vigorous movement really do work to help raise your metabolism and lose weight faster, as they make you burn calories during the session and for several hours afterwards.
The key to making exercise part of your everyday routine is about finding something that you enjoy. All it needs to do is get you out of breath for about 30 minutes 5 times a week and you will be on your way to improving your fitness levels and helping the weight reduce more quickly.
Eat Little and Often
There is some evidence to suggest that eating small, regular meals will keep your metabolism going faster than larger, less frequent meals. This is because, levels of thyroid hormones begin to drop within hours of eating a meal, and metabolism slows and the thermogenic (calorie burning) effect of eating several small meals is slightly higher than eating the same number of calories all at once.
The key with boosting your metabolism, like with any eating habit, is to start by making small changes. Remember that if we try to change too many habits at once, our subconscious mind kicks back and tries to derail our efforts. Try starting with one new habit this week, like drinking cold water, and see how that goes. After a couple of weeks, when that habit is becoming installed, try adding something else. Remember that you are looking for long term change not an overnight quick fix.
If you would like help in changing your eating habits so you can attain and maintain your ideal weight, shape and size easily and naturally then hypnotherapy is an amazing tool for that. You an call now on 07747 774953 to find out more.
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