Rev Up Your Metabolism!

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Hey Healthy Panthers!

This week’s blog post will be a combination of food and fitness tips on how to increase your metabolism!

Metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself. This requires the use of calories as your body’s main energy source.

The rate of your metabolism depends on the interaction between:

  1. The number of calories you consume
  2. The number of calories you burn while eating and exercising
  3. The number of calories your body burns based on its genetic makeup

Unfortunately, you are unable to control the makeup of your family genes. However, the best way to rev up your metabolism is to increase your body’s need for energy!

Increasing your body’s need for energy involves physical activity. For example, the body requires extra energy after workouts consisting of interval training and heavy lifting. While your body struggles to obtain energy during your workout, it continues to burn calories for energy, long after your workout has been completed. This process, known as the Afterburner Effect, is able to last up to 24 hours after your finished workout. In a nutshell, your body can burn high amounts of calories when you study for calculus in your dorm or catch up on new episodes of The Walking Dead, as long as you’ve exercised first!

Afterburner Effect

Afterburner Effect

Although increasing your metabolism and the Afterburner Effect go hand in hand, there are many other options to kick-starting your metabolism!

  • Building muscle
    • Each extra pound of lean muscle can burn up to 50 additional calories just to maintain itself, revving up your body’s resting metabolism.
      • Workout: Instead of following a workout plan with three sets of 10-12 repetitions at the same weight, cut your reps to 6-8 while bumping up the amount of weight you are lifting and still performing three sets. By lifting heavier weight, your muscles must to adjust to the new capacity, forcing them to grow.
  • HIIT
    • (HIIT) High Intensity Interval Training, like we discussed earlier, is a useful form of exercise that results in the Afterburner Effect.
      • Workout: Alternate 3 minutes of moderate intensity cardio (jogging, stationary biking, Stairmaster) with 30 seconds of all-out effort. Repeat for 5 sets.
HIIT

HIIT

  • Sleep more
    • Not sleeping enough can decrease the number of calories your body burns while resting. The rate of calories your body burns at rest represents roughly 60% to 75% of your total daily calories burned. So instead of grabbing your laptop and browsing Netflix, grab your pillow and hit the sack!
  • Eat more frequently
    • Eating every 2 to 3 hours stimulates your metabolism for a short period of time. This means that the more often you eat, the more you will increase your metabolism! This eating method feeds your muscles and starves your fat, causing the body to reduce its fat content and not use it for stored energy. With a constant supply of food, your body knows that you are not starving it and that food is always available.
      • Another reason to never skip breakfast: by not eating breakfast and eating large portions for lunch or dinner, the body stores fat, for energy, in case a meal never comes and it must wait a long time before food is eaten. Make some oatmeal!
  • Eat right
    • Eating frequently does not mean snacking. Instead, consume “mini-meals” with servings of veggies and protein (eggs, turkey, chicken). If not a “mini-meal”, consume something nutritious like a handful of almonds, apple slices and peanut butter, or a protein shake with a banana. Step away from the greasy potato chips!

Eat Right

As a freshman at Chapman, I understand how difficult it is to find time/motivation/energy to walk through the double doors of the Fitness Center for a workout. However, the tips listed above prove that a high metabolism can be maintained with a busy schedule and a lack of energy. By eating properly, attempting to sleep more, and occasionally working out, you can put your sluggish metabolism in gear!

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