My personal training and group fitness background brings many questions from health seekers who desire to get their bodies in peak physical condition. One of the most frequently asked questions has got to be about how to speed up metabolism. Start taking actions on these simple, doable tips today; and in just a few weeks, your body will be a calorie-burning beast!
Define Your Starting Point
Every journey has to have a definite starting point. Where weight loss and metabolism are concerned, the starting point you must define are two factors: How many calories is your body burning and how many calories is it consuming.
You can determine how many calories your body is burning by using several different methods. The most accurate measurement of your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR–basically a really fancy way of saying “calorie burn”) is to purchase a calorie management system. There are a few of these handy devices out on the market today; but the only one I use and recommend to all of my clients is called the Bodybugg. The Bodybugg will calculate your BMR with an accuracy rate of at least 92 percent.
An alternative method of measuring your BMR is free, but can only give you an approximation. Your BMR will vary depending on your fat-to-muscle ratio. To calculate your approximate Basal Metabolic Rate, use the BMR calculator found at FitWatch.com.
Don’t Be Afraid To Eat
Starving your body will cause your metabolism to slow to glacial speed and revert to fat-storage mode. In fat-storage mode, your body will begin to get its fuel from burning muscle instead of fat. Burning muscle is bad. Avoid fat-storage mode by never decreasing your daily calories by more than one thousand.
To ensure that your calories are within an acceptable range, take your BMR number and compare it to the amount of calories you are eating. If the resulting number is more than one thousand, your metabolism is on its way to fat-storage mode.
Ditch the Plain-Jane Aerobic Routine!
Doing the same continuous workout week after week causes your metabolism to become super efficient at burning fuel, requiring less fuel (i.e. calories) to get the job done. This is where those frustrating weight loss and fitness plateaus begin!
You can avoid aerobic adaptation and speed up your metabolism by adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your exercise regimen. HIIT is any movement that requires short but intense bursts of energy to execute. A common HIIT interval I have my clients do is a 30-second sprint on the treadmill followed by a 30-second brisk walk or light jog; they do this interval 8 or 9 times. HIIT is a sure-fire way to increase metabolism fast.
Little side note: never do HIIT on back-to-back days. Give your body at least 36 hours to recover and repair itself.
Start Strength Training ASAP!
How would you like to burn even more calories during your cardio workout? Lean muscle is very expensive in terms of calorie burn; it requires more calories to function. Lifting weights builds lean muscle mass, which causes your body to burn more calories during your cardio routine.
There are several ways to lift: resistance bands, free weight, dumbells, kettleballs, medicine balls, and barbells just to name a few. Be sure to work your entire body–upper body, lower body, and abs–two to three times a week for maximum results. Always start with your largest muscle group first and work your way down. Finish with abs. Don’t work the same muscle group two days in a row.
Combine proper nutrition in proper portions, along with HIIT and strength training, your body will begin to burn calories at an accelerated rate in as little as two weeks. Just don’t over do it!