Everyone’s body has a different metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body burns daily. Metabolism simply refers to actions that are taken by the body that are necessary to sustain life by the use of energy – energy that is obtained through food. There are two subcategories of metabolism, the first being Catabolism, where nutrients such as food are broken down to give energy to cells, and the other category is Anabolism, which is when we take that energy obtained from Catabolism and use it to build important cells such as proteins.
Understand Your Metabolism
To get an understanding of your metabolism, we have to measure the individual’s metabolic rate. This is often referred to as BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This simply refers to the amount of energy your body needs to sustain functions at a resting state. To measure this, we look at the two simple formulas used to measure the BMR of both males and females.
BMR = 66 + (6.23 x body weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
BMR = 655 + (4.35 x body weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
(Note that the above formulas are measured in standard and not metric).
By using the formulas listed above, you can easily get a better understanding of how much energy/calories you burn on a daily basis while remaining in a resting state without the use of exercise.
How Do You Speed Up Your Metabolism?
So how do you speed up your metabolism? There are multiple ways in which one can do this. The first one is by performing more sets while lifting weights. A “set” is the number of repetitions you perform of a certain exercise before taking a resting break. By performing more sets and reps, you are increasing your workout intensity. By increasing your intensity of your workout while using heavy weights, you are using more energy.
For example, if person A weighs 160 pounds (73kg), they will burn about 200-250 calories during a 30-minute, low-intensity workout. However, the same Person A will burn about 350-400 calories in the same amount of time if exercising the same routine but at a higher intensity. The more reps and sets you perform and the greater the intensity, the more calories will be burned.
Burning the most calories while performing cardio can be tricky. One of the key tricks to understand is how your body uses its glycogen, or energy storage. The best way to get the most out of your cardio routine, is to exercise at a longer period of time. The reason for this is because you need to deplete your glycogen in order to burn fat, since your glycogen stores and supplies most of your bodies energy, and once you use up this stored energy, the body will resort to burning fat cells for energy. This is where your metabolic rate can help. By exercising for 30 minutes, you will burn up your body’s glycogen and fat storage, which in turn result in weight loss.
You Are What You Eat
I know we have all heard this before, but I’m going to quickly help give you an understanding of how you can increase your metabolism by eating.
Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein is the building blocks of the body. They take longer to digest and keep you fuller for longer periods of time than carbs. The body will use calories to help digest foods eaten, however, when one consumes protein, the body uses up about 2x the amount of normal calories to digest protein when compared to carbs and fats. The best sources of protein are chicken, beef, pork, fish and shrimp, and all of these sources each contain roughly around 22g of protein per 3 ounces of food (85g). Milk has 8g per cup and eggs have 7g per egg. Although these are just a few options available, these listed above are all complete proteins and have all 20 essential amino acids.
Eat Hard-to-digest Foods
These types of foods will take the body longer to digest and in return result in a larger amount of calories used to digest, which means a greater expenditure of calories, which increases your metabolism. Some examples of these foods are vegetables and fruit, such as asparagus, broccoli, spinach, green beans, and lettuce. These are all very low in calories and use lots of energy or calories to digest them. Some fruits that are similar are apples, melons, pineapple, berries and grapefruit.
Water is essential for life, and drinking lots of water can suppress your appetite. Water also helps move food in your body during digestion. I recommend minimum of 8 glasses of water a day (8 ounce glasses), along with another 8 ounce glass for every 30 minutes of exercise you perform. I also recommend cold water, because your body has to use calories to warm the water up to body temperature to use it. Lots of water is important because it also helps prevent dehydration, which can be felt in ways such as headaches, joint pain, and dizziness.
There you have it, a basic explanation of what your metabolism is and how you can take advantage of it. I hope this helps give you a better understanding of the way the body works by its use of nutrients consumed and how you use these foods to help you reach your goals faster.