So you’ve been busy with family, work and all sorts of responsibilities for the last 10 years? I get it. That’s life. But lately you’ve noticed that you put on weight easier and it’s getting harder to lose those extra holiday indulgence pounds. Well, don’t beat yourself up – you can blame your metabolism.

With years passing by and maybe sliding into a more sedentary lifestyle, our metabolism tends to start to slow down. It makes it easier to put on weight, and it becomes harder and harder to shed that extra weight (unlike when you were in your teens or 20s. Back then, your body was a fat burning machine!).

The good news is, you CAN speed up your metabolism again. There are things that we can do in order to raise our metabolism and keep it optimal. (Want the science behind our fitness training programs? CLICK on the reference number and see the study on it)

What is metabolism?

First, let’s define metabolism. Metabolism is the sum of chemical reactions that take place to build up and break down the body. In this post we look at four ways to increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), which is the amount of calories required to sustain your body at rest.

Want to boost your metabolism and become a fat burning machine?

Here are the steps I suggest you follow:

1. Lift Weights

Research has shown that strength training will help increase your lean mass, which will lead to an increase in your metabolism. A study showed that 10 weeks of resistance training increased lean mass weight by 3 lbs (Based on training only 2-3 times a week!), increased resting metabolic rate by 7%, and reduced fat weight by 4 lbs.  1 2 (Click for the science link)

As often happens, after our 30s we start losing between 3% and 8% of our precious muscle mass each decade: averaging approximately 0.44 lbs of lean weight loss per year. After age 50 we’ll start losing between 5% and 10% each decade, averaging approximately 0.88 lbs per year. Our skeletal muscle, takes up to 40% of total body weight, and this muscle loss can lead to other health issues, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Muscle tissue is the primary location for glucose and triglyceride disposal, so muscle loss specifically increases the risk of glucose intolerance and associated health issues. 2

The good news is -resistance training increases our Resting Metabolic Rate in two ways. One is acute and the other is chronic. 2

Let’s start with the chronic impact: It’s long been proven that resistance training increases muscle mass. This extra mass on your body requires more energy to serve and sustain day to day. Specifically, it requires on average 20 calories per day/per 2.2 lbs of body weight.

Now let’s look at the acute impact that resistance training causes. It comes from the micro trauma that strength training causes in the tissue of the muscles you are working out. As the body goes about repairing these muscles, our metabolism will increase for about 72 hours after our training session.

Research shows that we can expect a significant increase in our RMR (approx. 7%) after only a few weeks of resistance training. (Yay!) More recent studies have shown an even more exciting increase of our RMR. They are showing evidence of between 5% and 9% for a full 3 days following a single resistance training session. These results indicate that if you incorporate resistance training into your fitness program, it may bump up your at rest calorie burning power by, at least, 100 calories a day! 2

On the topic of actual exercise and movement, we have our second super important tip to help boost your metabolism.

2. Do High Intensity Training (HIT)

When we talk about HIT, we are talking about activity that requires a very intense effort followed by a period of rest, and then a repeat of the same activity a few more times. Because of the level of the intensity of these activities, it’s impossible to sustain the same level of intensity. We can do them for a shorter duration and we need periods of rest between sets. (For example: 5 sets of 200m sprints with breaks between sets. Assault bike 20 seconds on 20 seconds break, hockey, CrossFit, strength sports, boxing and short track cycling

To summarize the basics – we have two categories:

· High-intensity, short-duration activity

· Low-intensity, long-duration activity

This concept of High Intensity Activity is a very powerful one and deserves its own detailed post so that you can maximize your results, and feel pretty darn good doing it also. It even involves some useful science dealing with your ‘excessive post exercise oxygen consumption’ or EPOC, so stay tuned.*3 (You don’t have to hold your breath, subscribe and you’ll get notified as soon as it is published!)

3. Increase Your Protein Intake

Did you know that the very act of eating and digestion requires calories and it also increase our metabolism? This is called the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF).

The question is, do all macronutrients (Protein, fat and carbs) need the same amount of calories to be digested and metabolized? The answer in no.

Protein has a higher Thermic Effect and it requires more energy for it to be digested and metabolized (20% -30% more). While fat requires 0-3%, and carbs require 5% to 10%.4

This means that if you eat 100 calories of protein, you’ll end up with 70-80 calories. This is because your body needs to “burn” 20-30 calories in order to break down those original 100 calories of protein (and by the way 97-100 cal for fat and 90-95 cal for carbs).

On top of its ability to increase our metabolism, it has other qualities that help us getting leaner.

Protein is more satiating than carbohydrate or fat. Increase it while reducing other macronutrients may help weight loss and reduce your overall amount of calorie consumption.5

In addition, protein in extremely important for muscle recovery and helps to rebuild it after a hard workout!

I suggest that you have protein with every meal and aim for 0.8 -1.7g per 1kg of your body weight (0.35-0.77g per pound) depending on your activity level.

A sedentary, generally healthy adult, needs about 0.8 g of protein per 1kg of body mass for general health. People who are 50 years of age and older should aim for at least 1 g per 1kg in order to maintain their muscle mass. But if you are training and if you do strength or resistance training, aim for 1.2g – 1.7g per 1lbs. 6

4. Drink Coffee (or caffeine)

How would you like to increase your metabolism between 3-11%? Well, here is where coffee comes to the rescue!

In a specific study, the participants were given 100mg of caffeine and their metabolic rate was measured after. What was observed, after a dose of this 100 mg of caffeine was that the participants’ resting metabolic rate increased 3%-4% for 150 minutes after? In this study they repeated this caffeine dose every 2 hours for 12 hours, and they observed that the metabolism increased between 8%-11%. The net effect was a significant increase in daily energy expenditure of 79-150 calories in the participants. 7

In another study, they had 2 groups. The first was given coffee before they consumed a 3080 calorie meal. The second group was given a decaf coffee before a 3080 calorie meal. They found that the thermic effect of the meal was significantly greater after coffee than after the decaffeinated coffee. 8

Coffee isn’t the only source caffeine that can increase our metabolism and thermogenesis. Green tea and other teas have the ability to do so as well. 8

So here we go my friends. Follow these four steps and you’ll increase your metabolism and you’ll burn more fat even while your sleep! Or, during your Netflix and chill time J

Make your fitness assignment with yourself fun this week as you:

1 Lift weights

2 Do HIT training

3 Increase your protein intake (unless you are already getting plenty of it)

4 Incorporate some caffeine into your diet

For now, please know that I’m here to help you and support you through your fitness journey. Call or email today to get started on a fitness program!

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Supporting Your Healthy and Active Life
Sam Jabarin
Canfitpro Personal Trainer
ISSA Nutrition Coach

*1 ISSA Nutrition the complete guide page 24

*2 ISSA Nutrition the complete guide page 138

*3 based on ISSA Nutrition the complete guide page 126-127

*5 ISSA Nutrition the complete guide page 126-127

*6 ISSA Nutrition the complete guide page 144-146

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