Many of us wish for faster, more efficient metabolism! While the BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate is about 60% responsible for how we burn calories, the other 40% IS changeable. 30% of our total daily expenditure comes from exercise and physical activity and the other 5-10% comes form the thermic effect of the food we eat (body burns calories through digestion).
Looking at these areas, we can see that we do have a lot more control over our metabolisms than we might thing! Here are some thing we can do (and not do) to help keep our furnace burning. And remember, a calorie is a measure of heat, so it stands to reason that exercise plays a big, big role in our daily burn!
* EAT BREAKFAST. This will start your engine. Without breakfast, its like your car sitting in the driveway. There is no rev and the fuel just sits in the tank (or the food in your belly!)
*AVOID SKIPPING MEALS. Eating through the day keeps the furnace burning. It also keeps blood sugar levels on an even keel, keeping you from getting too ravenous and overeating out of starvation.
*AVOID DIETING WITHOUT EXERCISE. Of course calorie control is paramount in losing or maintaining weight, but restricting calories without exercising can cause your metabolism to actually slow down. While we definitely want to do cardio to both burn calories and keep the metabolism fire burning (while we strengthen our hearts and lungs), we definitely want to do strength training, too (great for our muscles AND our bones)! Keeping in mind that muscle is more active than fat and requires more calories at rest to maintain, we definitely want to engage in a regular weight lifting routine.
For the sake of time, I have been teaching, doing and advocating mixing up cardio and weights and doing some intensive circuits with weights, resistance tubing and plain old body weight. This enables us to keep our heart rates up, burn lots of calories and grow those muscles, all leading to a healthier, happier, stronger and more fit, YOU!
So don’t feel victimized by a slow metabolism. Do your part to add the fuel needed to turn that fire up. And if you haven’t eaten in the past 3 hours, this would be a good time to pull some food out of your fridge, desk, purse, gym bag or wherever you are keeping your healthy stash!
- Don’t Starve Yourself Skinny ? Rev Up Your Metabolism (fitnesstipsforlife.com)
- How do you build lean muscle (wiki.answers.com)