Metabolism is a term that is used to describe all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism. Metabolism can be conveniently divided into two categories:
• Catabolism – the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy
• Anabolism – the synthesis of all compounds needed by the cells
Metabolism is closely linked to nutrition and the availability of nutrients. Bioenergetics is a term which describes the biochemical or metabolic pathways by which the cell ultimately obtains energy. Energy formation is one of the vital components of metabolism.
New research shows you can trick your body into burning calories more efficiently, especially if you hit the gym. By strength-training just a couple of times a week, for example, you’ll reverse 50% of the seemingly inevitable metabolism slow-down that comes with age.
The next time you run, swim, or even walk, ramp up the intensity for 30-second intervals, returning to your normal speed afterward. Using this strategy will help you consume more oxygen and make your cell powerhouses, the mitochondria, work harder to burn energy.
Here’s how to do it: Exercise for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph. Increase your speed to 4 mph for 60 seconds. Then go back down to 3.5 mph for 90 seconds. Repeat the entire sequence 5 times, twice a week. (To get a more challenging workout, increase the incline or your pace.)
Get your omega-3’s
Why does eating lots of fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, and tuna) help amp up metabolism? Omega-3s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate metabolism. They may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which researchers have linked to how fast fat is burned.
Not only does muscle weigh more than fat, but it uses more energy, too. The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day.
Green tea has long been heralded for its antioxidant polyphenols. But new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin, may crank up metabolism. Researchers conducted a series of studies in dieters and found that those who went green lost more weight than those who didn’t, suggesting that catechins may improve fat oxidation and thermogenesis, your body’s production of energy, or heat, from digestion.
Don’t slash those calories
It’s one of the most frustrating realities of dieting—if you cut out too many calories, your metabolism thinks times are lean and puts the breaks on fat-burning to conserve energy.
Here’s the trick to keeping your metabolism revved up while dieting: Eat enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate (what you’d burn if you stayed in bed all day).
Enjoy the after burn
Exercise is a gift to yourself that keeps on giving. In a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), your body can take hours to recover from a robust workout (one intense enough that you can’t hold a conversation) and return to its previous resting metabolic rate. The windfall: Your body is actually burning more calories than it normally would—even after you’ve finished exercising.
Get started in the a.m.
Make sure you eat breakfast. Eating a nutrient-rich morning meal (like oatmeal with almonds and berries, or a spinach-and-feta omelet with a slice of whole-grain toast) shortly after getting out of bed literally wakes up your metabolism.
Go ahead and graze
Noshing throughout the day is a proven strategy to help you curb hunger and eat fewer calories overall. Now, experts are promoting nibbling versus gorging as a way to keep metabolism running by holding blood sugar levels steady and preventing weight-gain-promoting insulin spikes. Enjoying six small meals a day should do the trick; keep them around 300 calories each, or divide your usual day’s calories by six.
Trim the trans fat
You’ve heard they’re bad for you. But trans fats also slow down your body’s ability to burn fat. “They have an altered shape and make your biochemistry run funny,” trans fat binds to fat and liver cells and slows metabolism. Eating trans fat can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which cripple metabolism and can cause weight gain.
If you’re on the fence about whether to buy organic, this news may sway you: Fruits, vegetables, and grains grown without pesticides keep your fat-burning system running at full-tilt because they don’t expose your thyroid to toxins,
Your body digests protein more slowly than fat or carbs, so you feel full longer (this is especially true when you have it for breakfast). Plus, it may also give your metabolism a bump. In a process called thermogenesis, your body uses about 10% of its calorie intake for digestion. So, because it takes longer to burn protein than carbs or fat, your body expends more energy absorbing the nutrients in a high-protein diet.
Physical Ways to up your NEAT
Some of these things seem small but combine a couple of these together and you will be surprised at the long term effects. See how many of the following you can incorporate into your daily routine, this will help you to become naturally more active. After a while these things will become natural and you wont have to think about them to do them.
5 minute walk every hour you are sat down. Or stand up and sit back down every 5 minutes thats 12 squats every hour. It soon adds up!
Get off a bus stop before your regular one. More steps = a higher NEAT
Park your car further away from your destination. Again more steps = a higher NEAT
House work/chores. All of these involve walking and moving.
Walk whilst on the phone.
Take the stairs not the lift.
Walk to the grocery store if you can for those small shops.
Up your fidgeting if you have to be seated for long periods of time. Any movement uses energy even small ones like tapping your toes and bouncing your knees.
Sit on a stability ball. The unstable chairs keeps you active to keep you upright.
Keep a diary of your activity, try to increase this list each week.
A pedometer is another good way to keep track of your daily activity and gives you targets to beat.
Cook your meals don’t order in. Stay standing until food is ready to eat.
Don’t sit and watch TV. Try stretching or other exercises for periods of time whilst you watch you favourite show
Clean the dishes by hand rather than relying on the dish washer.
Get a stand up desk for your office, or your home office.