What is metabolism and why is it important?
Increasing your metabolism is linked to losing weight.
Metabolism is your body changing food into energy. The “calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs” and the “number of calories your body uses to carry out these basic functions is known as your basal metabolic rate“, commonly referred to as metabolism. As metabolism is linked to burning calories and burning calories is linked to weight, it is important to increase your metabolism if you want to lose weight (we recommend that you consult with a medical practitioner before planning and starting any weight loss activity).
There are a number of ways to increase your metabolism.
One of the ways your body burns calories is by processing the food you eat. There are myths about eating certain types of foods and eating smaller meals to increase metabolism, however proteins are the food group that have been shown to increase your metabolic rate (by up to 30%). Eating more protein can also have the effect of helping you feel fuller, meaning you eat less, and reduce the amount of calories you consume, so eat healthy and include plenty of proteins.
You should always drink water: it has zero calories. If you are looking for flavour then “Infused water” is the new trendy drink that can have a low calorie count. Soft drink and alcohol can equate to up to 9 cubes of sugar creating a huge calorie intake that needs to be overcome by your body. Studies have also shown that just half a litre of water can also increase your metabolism by up to 30% for about an hour.
Physical activity and exercise count for your body burning up the calories not used to digest food. You can control how many calories you burn by the level and type of exercise.
Aerobic exercise is considered the most efficient way to burn calories and includes activities such as walking and running making a treadmill a perfect at-home activity for increasing metabolism.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is any workout that involves you alternating between intense bursts (1 to 3 minutes) of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. HIIT is also great for increasing your metabolism and is well recognised as a healthy and fat burning exercise.
Although only a slight increase, muscle does burn more calories than fat. Weight training and resistance training can help with muscle retention and growth combating muscle loss associated with dieting and improving metabolism.
When you stop exercising your body will revert to a resting metabolism so do not indulge in high-calorie foods and drinks after exercise thinking that your body will keep burning off the calories at a higher rate.
When we sit our resting metabolism calorie burn drops to just one calorie per minute. Although there may not be a significant difference between the calorie burning of sitting and standing it can add up. Just by standing for up to 3 hours each day rather than sitting you could burn up to 30,000 extra calories over a year. With those numbers you can begin to understand the increasing frequency of standing desks in the workplace.