Top 4 metabolism boosters

I’d like to welcome another guest blogger to the Dallas South Family posting on the subject of health and fitness. Please welcome Jason Johnson who this week is going to tell us about the 4 Top Metabolism Boosters. 

By Jason Johnson, CPT 

We have all heard the term “metabolism.” You may have an envious friend who claims to have a fast metabolism, and seems to be able to eat whatever he or she wants. You might have a friend with a slow metabolism, who really has to watch everything he or she eats.

But what is metabolism?

Put simply- within the the human body, it’s the process of converting calories from food into fuel. A little known fact is that the human body is always burning calories-when you’re eating, sleeping, walking, typing on a computer, working out, or just sitting on the couch-your body is burning calories. Our goal in fitness should be to have our body burn as many calories as possible during these activities. Here are 4 ways you can do this:

1) Eat 5 times per day

Your metabolism is your body’s furnace. If you go too long without fuel, the fire dies down, meaning your body is burning fewer calories throughout the day. Keep the fire going all day long by eating smart, healthy foods every 2-3 hours, 5 times a day. This works like magic. But you have to trust the exercise science, believe it will work, and allow your body some time to get used to eating this often.

Give your body 2-4 weeks to get used to this process. Let your body and metabolism work for you. Don’t try it for a week or 2 and give up because you don’t think it’s working. It’s guaranteed to work, and every nutritionist and dietitian will recommend eating 5 times per day.

Be patient-let your body and metabolism work for you. 3 meals, and 2 small snacks-every day. That’s it. It doesn’t take as much time as you think to have the 2 snacks a day-an apple/handful of almonds; celery/yogurt; 1 cup of cottage cheese/pineapple.

Small snacks like this take less than 8 minutes to eat. I have actually timed this. How does this magic work? Metabolism is elevated during digestion, meaning your body is burning calories.

Sample meal times:
7 am-breakfast
10 a.m-snack #1
1 p.m-lunch
3 p.m-snack #2
6 p.m-dinner

2) Focus on protein

Nothing new here. Dietitians have been touting high protein diets for years now. And for good reason. Protein has a high TEF (Thermic effect on food). Meaning your body has to use more energy to digest the protein. More energy means more calories your body is burning. Less chance of this food converting into fat.

3) Focus on strength training (lifting weights)

Lean muscle tissue uses up more calories than fat tissue, even while just sitting on the couch. Research has shown that the average woman can replace 2-3 pounds of fat with the same amount of muscle in just 2 months by lifting weights twice a week. That increases your metabolism by 6-8 %, which translates to burning about 100 extra calories per day.

4) Kick up your cardio with intervals

The more intense you exercise, the higher your metabolism climbs during the workout and after the workout. This is super important. You want to get the biggest bang for your buck during your workout time.

By doing intervals, your metabolism skyrockets during the workout, and the exercise research shows that your metabolism is still elevated for up to 12 hours after your workout is over. Read that sentence again, let is sink in.

This is what we want from our workouts. You want your metabolism to still be cranking and burning calories after the routine is over. When you are showering, sitting at your desk in front of your computer, making dinner for the family, sitting on the couch-during this post exercise time, your metabolism is still sky high and trying to recover from the intense routine you just performed.

Sample interval cardio session: 1 minute fast walking/running, followed by 30 seconds at a slower pace, 1 minute fast walking/running, 30 seconds at a slower pace. If you are really pushing yourself during the 1 minute portion, you will only need about 15-20 minutes total of this interval and you’re done. There is no need to walk at the same slow pace for 45 min-1 hour. You can get a more efficient, effective workout in 15-20 minutes by performing intervals.

Stay healthy,

Jason M. Johnson, CPT

JMJ Fitness

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