By Rosemary Marchese
Editor, B.A. Applied Sci (Physiotherapist)
Boost your metabolism
Ever wondered why some people can eat so much more than you and not put on any weight? This comes down to your metabolism. Your metabolism refers to the chemical processes in the body that need to occur in order for you to sustain life.
The good news is that your metabolism is something you can change. You can even change how much energy you use during your sleep. With a few simple steps you can start this as soon as today.
Metabolism consists of anabolism (the build-up of substances) and catabolism (the breakdown of substances). More typically in every day life the term ‘metabolism’ is used to refer to the breakdown of food in order to create energy.
7 ways to kick your metabolism up a notch:
- Lift those weights
Weight training increases lean body mass, which is great news because the leaner you are (lean, not skinny) the more metabolically efficient your body becomes. This means that you are a fat burning machine even when you sleep. Incorporating resistance training 2-3 times per week should do the trick.
- Get your omega-3s
Omega 3s are plentiful in lots of foods, including fish, and this will help you to balance your blood glucose levels and reduce inflammation, all of which contribute to positive effects on your metabolism.
- Kick it up a notch
Regular exercise is great, but sometimes you need to get off the plateau and kick your own butt a little. Up the intensity during a couple of your regular training sessions and you will increase the after burn of that session (more technically known as the EPOC or excess post exercise oxygen consumption).
- Turn to green tea
My favourite little ‘easy’ tip is to become a lover of green tea, especially after meals. Green tea has long been advocated for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows that the active ingredient catechin may crank up metabolism.
- Eat enough!
Slashing calories while trying to lose weight can be a great strategy, but you still need to eat enough. I’ve seen so many women literally starve themselves to achieve quick weight loss, especially before weddings! This creates a metabolic disaster in the body because so much lean body mass is lost. These women (from my experience) end up quite thin on their wedding day but then pack on the kilos straight afterwards and then really struggle with weight loss after having a baby. You need to make sure you eat enough so that you feel satisfied but not bulging at the seams after meals.
- Go organic where possible
Yeah, I know. The expense is a killer. But the cheaper options could come back to haunt you down the track. Non-organic food can blow your metabolism by interfering with your thyroid function. Your thyroid is the body’s thermostat and if its healthy is poor you can guarantee your metabolism won’t be in great shape either.
- Love your protein
Protein rich foods are definitely in vogue right now. This is not an advertisement for a low carb, high protein diet but it’s quite clear that protein rich foods do take longer for the body to burn compared to low protein foods. In the longer term, protein is essential for building of lean body mass, which will then also positively effect metabolism.
Rose is a Fit Busy Mum of 3 fit kids. She aims to empower mums who are time poor. She acknowledges that mums are ‘busy’ but tries to inspire them to regain their fitness through simple everyday habits that she promotes through her book ‘The Fit Busy Mum: Seven habits for success’. Visit www.thefitbusymum.com.au