7 Ways to Optimize Your Metabolism and Burn Calories Faster

Metabolism has always been a subject that has fascinated nutrition scientists and made them speculate about it. After all, it’s the process that converts the food we eat into energy which is the fuel for everything we do. Even when you are not active per se, like when you are sleeping, the body needs energy for basic life functions like breathing and repairing damaged cells.

The number of calories that is needed to sustain these basic functions is known as the resting metabolic rate or RMR and it can have an effect on a range of things like your waistline size to your energy levels.

Being on a diet can slow down your metabolism

Every time you put yourself on a diet, your entire metabolism slows down and it often does that more than you would otherwise expect. Research has found that people who were formerly obese have a 2 to 5 % lower resting metabolic rate than those who have never had the need to lose weight. However, this drastic RMR decrease is something you can avoid.

Other research has proven that exercising on a regular basis can counteract this effect. And losing pounds at a slower pace can keep the metabolism humming.

This is a good rule to follow: decrease your caloric intake up to 500 calories per day and try to burn as many calories by exercising. A deficit of 1000 calories per day can help you lose approximately 2 lbs. per week.

Stress slows down the burning of calories

Are you stressed out most of the time and you feel like you’ve gained weight recently? Recent research says that you’re not imagining it. It’s real.

When you are stressed, your metabolism slows down and the reason for that is that chronic stress triggers the production of betatrophin which is a protein that inhibits an enzyme in charge of breaking down fat.

One study has found that women who had been in a stressful situation one day before they ate one meal high in fat burned around 105 fewer calories in a time span of 8 hours after the meal than those who hadn’t experienced any stress.

The women that were stressed also had their insulin levels increased which directly contributes to storing more fat. This could add up to a gain of 10-11 lbs per year.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to help

Nutrition experts have largely advised that one should avoid fad diets which usually do more harm than good.

However, research has now shown that fasting on alternate days, which is basically eating with no restriction for one day and then consuming only 800 calories the other, can help you lose weight without screwing with your metabolism.

A study was done on women that had them follow this type of dieting for 8 weeks made them lose an average of 12 lbs.

When they compared their resting metabolic rate to participants who lost weight by decreasing their caloric intake by 25 % they didn’t see any big differences between the two groups.

And what’s even more interesting, after a couple of days, most of the participants in the group that did intermittent fasting didn’t say they were feeling hungry.

However, some experts say that this needs to be examined further in order to figure out the long-term effects of this type of dieting. If you decide to try it, consult with your doctor first.

You should lift weights properly

There has never been a dispute that resistance training is an excellent method to counteract the metabolism drop that comes as years go by. However, new studies have shown that resistance training is optimal when you are lifting slowly.

Increasing your rest time intervals to three to four minutes can actually increase muscle strength when compared to short rest periods.

In any case, what’s important is that you do it three or four times per week. You can combine various types of training like adding strength movements to an HIIT session.

Protein is macronutrient #1

You must have heard by now that the more muscle tissue you have, the greater number of calories you burn. And everyone knows that protein is the essential macronutrient for muscle growth, muscle tissue breakdown prevention that happens at a faster rate when you get older and when you are on a cutting diet. Protein-rich foods include lean meats, legumes, seafood, dairy, eggs, and nuts.

You can burn calories all day long

Here’s a list of tips you should do at certain hours of the day:

6 a.m.: Start exercising. Studies show that you can lose up to 20% more fat by exercising early in the morning on an empty stomach.

7:30 a.m.: Drink a whey shake. Research has found that those who ingest whey protein at breakfast had bigger calorie burning capabilities in the morning that those eating a meal high in carbs, like cereal.

11 a.m.: Refill the bottle with water. One study has shown that drinking 18 oz of water increased  the metabolic rate by approximately 30% for more than an hour.

1 p.m.: Have a salad. Add a sweet red pepper in it. Red peppers have a chemical known as dihydrocapsiate which is known for its metabolism-boosting properties.

3 p.m.: Go for a walk. Walks are relaxing and low in intensity and can burn up to 400 calories per day.

7 p.m.: Turn off all electronic devices before having dinner. When you are exposed to blue-enriched light emitted by smartphones, TV, and other devices during dinner increases insulin resistance.

7:30 p.m.: Have some carbs. One study showed that those who ate their daily carbs during nighttime burned more calories after their lunch than those people who ate carbs earlier in the day.

9 p.m.: Lower down the temperature. Sleeping in a colder room boosts the body’s creation of brown fat tissue which is a type of fat that burns calories.

Some illnesses can have an effect on your metabolism

  • Pre-diabetes is a condition where insulin levels are elevated which in turn inhibits the metabolism of fat. However, implementing healthy choices in your lifestyle like exercising and low-carb diet can help you repair your metabolism.
  • Thyroid disorders include overactive thyroid, a condition known as hyperthyroidism which can make your metabolism speed up way too much and underactive thyroid, a condition known as hypothyroidism, which can slow metabolism down to a crawl. Luckily, both conditions can be taken under control with proper medication.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome occurring in women where the hormonal imbalance presents a higher risk of developing resistance to insulin which impacts metabolism. Treatments for this condition include birth control pills meant to regulate the hormone levels and the drug metformin used for those suffering of diabetes.
  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis; conditions that do not have an impact on metabolism in a direct way but can have a detrimental effect on exercising. If you stop exercising it leads to muscle tissue breakdown and a drop in metabolism.

For the latest news and updates join our 1 Million fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Leave a Reply