Most of the people who start their weight loss journey turn to cardio and endless hours of running to shred the extra pounds. Although it is a good exercise modality which helps with weight loss, there are many other things which can help you get rid of your love handles. One of them is boosting your metabolism naturally.
Our metabolism is mostly determined by our genetics and age. Regardles, there are a few tweaks you can do to naturally speed it up.
1. Drink plenty of water
I’m sure you already know that proper hydration helps you maintain your body temperature, skin glow, suppresses your appetite, but it can also help you speed up your metabolism temporarily. Researchers from Germany showed that increased intake of water speeds up the metabolism 30%. That increase happened 10min after drinking water and lasted for about an hour.
2. Eat Enough
One of the first things majority of people do when they start their weight loss journey is cutting calories. While it is highly beneficial for loosing weight, eating too little can have the opposite effect. Your body is already used to the amount of food that you are eating, and if you cut down on calories too much, your body gets the information that there is scarcity of food and it slows down your metabolism. In order to prevent that, talk to your personal trainer or to registered dietitian, and ask them to help you determine the right amout of food you should eat.
3. Spice-up your food
Eating spicy food like jalapeno, or habanero peppers, cayenne pepper and other spices directly boost metabolism and increase blood circulation. This is because of their capsaicin content. Capsacin is compound which stimulates the pain receptors in the body, causing increased metabolism and blood flow. There are also studies which show that eating spicy food can boost the metabolism up to 25%, a spike which can last up to 3 hours.
4. Go for green tea
Metabolism boosting effects of green tea are caused by its compounds called catechins and polyphenols. Studies show that the catechins in green tea also decrease the secretion of insulin, which promotes fat storage.
5. Drink coffee before your workout
Many studies show that drinking coffee 30min before workout will increase the usage of fat as an energy source during the workout. This only relates to drinking black coffee, without any additives like sugar or cream. Although, coffee is excellent for energy and metabolism boost, it can also have negative effects on your adrenal glends if you drink too much. The recommended daily amount is 400mg, which is about 2 strong cups. Anything more than that can negatively impact your metabolism and hormonal balance, making you feel tired and stressed out.
6. Get good night sleep
Sleeping less then 7 hours a day can have huge impact on your metabolism. It can even reduce or undo the benefits of your dieting and exercise. Studies show that people who had adequate sleep, 50% of their weight loss came from fat. On the other hand, when they were sleep deprived the fat lost decreased in half. Also, they reported that they felt hungrier, were less satisfied after their meals and lacked the energy to exercise. This is because sleeping affects the secretion of two hormones (leptin and ghrelin) which are sending information to our brain when our stomach is full (leptin) and when we are satiated (ghrelin). When these two are out of balance, we crave more food, especially carbohydrates.
7. Do strength training
Many women are avoiding strength training, thinking that it will make them look bulky. The truth is, the muscle growth formula requires much more that just lifting weights at the gym. Other things necessary for muscle growth are proper nutrition, weight training, and recovery, as well as presence of the hormone testosterone, which women have 10 times less than man.
The major benefit of strength training on increasing your metabolism, is through principal known as EPOC (Energy Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.) EPOC refers to the amount of oxygen required to restore your bodily functions to normal after the workout.
During a strength training session, the glycogen from the muscles is used for energy, little tears are created in our muscles from the weight lifting, and our body temperature is elevated. When we are done with the workout, our body starts the recovery process, and here is when the EPOC effect takes place. During that time, our body needs extra energy to re-synthesize glycogen for our muscles, repair the muscle tissues and restore all other body functions. To do all of this, our body keeps the metabolism elevated for a few hours after the strength training session.
Greater impact on the EPOC effect have strength training involving compound, multi-joint movements and circuit weightlifting exercises. They place greater demand of energy for performing the exercises during the workout, which yields greater EPOC effect during the recovery period, so that the body can maintain homeostasis.
8. Do HIIT training
HIIT is another type of training which has high impact on the EPOC effect. High Intensity Interval Training refers to doing exercises in very quick and intense way. The name itself applies that the exercises are performed in high intervals followed by recovery interval. The general protocol for the duration of the intervals is 1:2 (30 sec of high intensity followed by 1 min of active recovery). And the beauty of it is that it can be applied to any training modality (strength and cardio), and can add variety to your training.
Interested in strength training?