Sometimes the holidays involve more treats, less physical activity, and a crash in energy. Are you feeling that?? It’s rough! If we keep those habits up too long, especially as we age, we end up with a slower metabolism, which is no bueno. BUT! The good news is there are ways to manipulate metabolism to make it more efficient!
Metabolism is the rate at which food is converted to energy (calories) and used, aka burned, by the body. The human body is a complex machine with millions of processes going on at any given time. Each of these requires energy. The faster the body burns through energy, the less likely a person is to gain weight.
- Having more muscle. Yup, a huge reason why I do resistance training and constantly encourage others to do the same! Muscle is metabolically active. The more you have of it, the more energy it takes to maintain it, and the more calories you burn- even when NOT exercising!
- Increasing exercise intensity. Most people understand that exercise burns calories… don’t trust the machines’ calculations however, as there are a lot of factors! Most of us have heard of HIIT- high intensity interval training. The harder the activity, the faster and harder the heart beats to deliver oxygen and blood to muscle. This high intensity is shown clinically to raise metabolism, likely because it’s more difficult for the body to adapt to the exercise. You end up burning the maximum amount of calories during and after your workout! (EPOC).
- Muscle-building and thermogenic foods. Protein is a big one for long-term metabolism support. You ideally want high-quality forms, such as denatured whey (especially over soy). When foods such as protein boost metabolism they are considered to be thermogenic, which means they require a high amount of calories just to be digested. The more calories used in the digestion process, the fewer will be stored as fat, and metabolism will increase. If you struggle getting enough protein in your diet, consider a high quality meal replacement (I love the brand I use) that will also replenish your nutrients.
- Other foods have thermogenic properties: fiber, green tea extract, capsaicin from chili and cayenne peppers, etc.
*There are supplements that can aid in fat burning AKA “fat burners” or thermogenics. While successful weight loss is due mostly a healthy diet and exercise, these supps can indeed boost the process! It is important to note that many of these products are not scientifically tested or proven for safety or even efficacy, and many can cause jitters, dependency, and a host of other problems. The thermogenic I use when starting a weight-loss goal is all-natural, stimulant-free, and has been scientifically proven to be effective. Be sure to do your research!
Now that you know how to get your body in FAT-BURN mode, implement that even through the holidays! A slow, aging metabolism is not something you need to just accept and be stuck with. Do something about it!