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Turn your body into a fat burning furnace

PHOTO: Born to Workout

Your metabolism is the sum of everything your body does. Each time you eat, enzymes in your body’s cells break down the food and turn it into energy that keeps your heart beating, your mind thinking, and your legs churning during a gruelling workout. A fast metabolism means more calories burned. The more you burn, the easier it is to drop pounds. And get this: you can increase your metabolism so it works harder, a lot harder, 24 hours a day. Here are some tips:

Eat Enough
If you want to weigh less, you’ve got to eat less, right? Well, if you take in too few calories, it can cause your body to lose muscle mass, which will decrease the rate of your metabolism. Plus, when you skip on calories, your body slows the rate at which it burns calories to conserve the ‘fuel’ it’s got.

Under-fuelling is just as risky as over-fuelling. In an attempt for quick, noticeable weight loss, many people wrongfully believe that eating as few calories as possible is the best solution. Not only can this lead to numerous nutritional deficiencies, as the body is getting less food overall, it can actually have the opposite effect on weight loss.

Drink Green Tea
If you always opt for coffee over tea, you could be missing out on a major metabolism boost. In a recent 12-week study, participants who drank 4-5 cups of green tea daily, then did a 25-minute workout, lost an average of two more pounds and more belly fat than the non-tea-drinking exercisers. What’s its magic? The brew contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.

Kick Things Up A Notch
When it comes to the best workouts for weight loss, neither weights nor cardio can completely move the needle on their own. Interval training is the best way to shed pounds, increase your metabolism, improve your cholesterol profile, and improve insulin sensitivity. At the gym, sign up for a HIIT class, or turn your favourite aerobic exercise, (running, biking, even walking) into an interval workout by adding periods of intense speed (start with 30 to 60 seconds) followed by periods of rest (normal speed) for the same amount of time. Do this six to 10 times to complete a fat-slashing workout. As you get better, slowly increase the amount of time of increased intensity.

Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Our bodies need dietary fat, particularly healthy oils, in order to lose weight and function properly. The right kinds of fats and oils help quash hunger, maximize your metabolism, and speed nutrients through your body. Healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil, can help the body to burn calories. Extra virgin olive oil may also increase blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. Plus, olive oil is also loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that help battle many diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and brain deterioration.

Put On Some Muscle
Even when you’re at rest, your body is constantly burning calories. In fact, 75% of the calories that you burn each day are being used up just keeping you alive. “Resting metabolic rate” is much higher in people with more muscle, because every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself. If you can pack on just five pounds of muscle and sustain it, you’ll burn the caloric equivalent of three pounds of fat over the course of a year.

Have Egg Yolk
Although it’s true that egg whites are low in calories, fat free and contain most of the protein found in an egg, eating the entire egg is beneficial to your metabolism. The yolk contains many metabolism-stoking nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and, most significantly, choline, a powerful compound that attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. Worried about cholesterol? New studies have found that moderate consumption of two whole eggs per day has no negative effect of a person’s lipid (fat) profile and may actually improve it.

Eat Enough Protein Daily
The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, no matter what you’re doing. Hitting the gym helps you build muscle to begin with, but eating protein keeps it from breaking down and slowing your metabolic rate as a result. Protein needs differ by individual, but typically consuming 0.8 to one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day should be sufficient to fuel weight loss. For a 130-pound (58 kilogram) person, that would equal between 46 and 58 grams of protein.

Research has found that because protein is more difficult for the body to break down and digest than other nutrients, it can increase post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent. Aim to incorporate some protein into every meal and snack throughout the day and look out for my next article, where I will share more tips.




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