Introducing light habits into our routines has important effects on our health.
Physical exercise has many benefits. On a psychological level it helps you feel better because you release endorphins, it serves to relieve tension, reduce stress and help you sleep better. Likewise, it is a very healthy alternative and an option that we must all carry out.
However, many people, in addition to wanting a healthy life, aim to improve their figure. Although one should not be obsessed with physical exercise, who does not like to look good?
Increase metabolism, key to losing weight
Exercise is key to burning calories, but so are nutrition and psychological aspects. Did you know that one of the keys to losing weight is increasing our metabolism to burn more calories ?
If you have passed the 30 years, you will have realized that with age it becomes increasingly difficult to burn those “extra pounds”. This is because the metabolism slows down over the years, something totally natural and biological.
Now, our habits and the way we eat or train also have a positive or negative effect on the acceleration of our metabolism. That is why it is necessary that you know some keys if your goal to reduce your body fat percentage.
How to increase metabolism
But what are these keys? How can you increase your metabolism? Below you can find a series of behaviors and habits that will help you.
1. Don’t forget breakfast
Some people decide not to eat breakfast or eat little breakfast thinking that they will lose weight. This behavior is totally wrong, since breakfast is possibly the most important meal of the day.
Research has shown that people who eat a good breakfast burn more calories throughout the day. According to Barbara Rolls, professor of nutrition at Penn State University and author of The Volumetrics Weight-Control Plan , “Our body slows down while we sleep, and it doesn’t speed up again until we eat something.” To increase metabolism, just eat 300 to 400 calories for breakfast.
2. Do weights
There are individuals who believe that cardio is the ideal way to lose weight, so they skip weight training. Thinking like this is a mistake, as weight training speeds up the metabolism.
This acceleration of metabolism not only occurs at the end of the session, but by creating muscle, it increases the basal metabolism, which is the energy expenditure that our body carries out when we are at rest. If you don’t know much about nutrition or sports training, you may be wondering, what does this mean about basal metabolism? Well, very simple, the muscle makes you burn more calories even when you are resting and not doing physical activity.
3. Do sprints
And is that physical exercise is a good alternative to increase basal metabolism. As we have said in the previous point, many individuals think that simply by running they will burn more fat. While it is true that when we run at a moderate intensity for a long time we will burn more fat, with interval training we will burn more calories.
To increase your basal metabolism you can try doing intervals, with short periods of time in which you do sprints (around 80-90% of your maximum heart rate). Ideally, you should run at a low or moderate intensity (50-60% of maximum heart rate) for 2 minutes and then sprint for 30 seconds. You can do this sequence about 10 or 15 times (although you should always adapt it to your fitness level). This will create an imbalance in your body that will allow you to burn more calories during the next 24 hours, even if you are resting.
4. Train on an empty stomach
It is true that I have commented that it is necessary to have breakfast, because, after sleeping hours, until one eats food, the metabolism does not activate again. However, you can train on an empty stomach so that your metabolism kicks in and speeds up the process of burning fat.
The purpose of training on an empty stomach is to reduce glucose or glycogen stores in order to burn fat during exercise. If you opt for this option, you must be well hydrated and eat after training, otherwise you can end up very tired during the day.
5. Take care of the fat
Fat is essential for the body, so you should consume it in moderation. According to a study by Italian scientists that was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism , more calories are burned by eating low-fat foods.
Foods high in fat have more calories, and other macronutrients such as carbohydrates produce greater thermogenesis, that is, they use more calories to burn food. Specifically, the thermogenesis of fats is 3%, while that of carbohydrates is 7%.
6. Eat protein
The king of thermogenesis is protein. Although I said in the previous point that the thermogenesis of fats is 3% and that of carbohydrates is 7%, that of proteins is 27%. It is clear that protein consumption helps to increase metabolism.
In addition, proteins contribute to the formation of muscle, so you will increase your basal metabolism if you combine it with some physical exercise strategies, for example, with weight work.
7. Consume Omega 3
If you are going to consume fats, make sure they are healthy, that is, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. (If you do not know how to differentiate these types of fats, you can read our article: ” Types of fats (good and bad) and their functions “). One type of fat that will benefit you in terms of accelerating metabolism is omega-3 fatty acids. This is the reason why nutrition experts recommend eating fish.
Salmon, mackerel, or herring are good options. A study by Obesity Research showed that if we train, a good dose of fish oil helps to burn fat more effectively.
8. Eat several times a day
Some individuals have the belief that by eating much less they will lose many more calories. It is true that if we eat less than what we spend we can lose weight, but it is not worth stopping eating or eating very little.
On the one hand, when eating we increase the thermal effect and the basal metabolism by 8% and 16% during the two or three hours after the meal. Therefore, it is ideal to eat several times a day (experts recommend five). Also, if you are one of those people who practices physical exercise on a regular basis, you will have to eat to be able to train and have optimal energy levels.
Our organism is intelligent, and if the body notices that you are not eating enough, it goes into protection mode (because it believes that you are in a dangerous situation in which you cannot feed yourself), so your metabolism slows down and saves money. caloric.
9. Increase your NEAT
If we want to increase metabolism, we must have an active lifestyle. This does not only include doing physical exercise, as this only represents between 15-30% of total caloric expenditure. The thermogenesis that has been mentioned in the previous lines represents 10-15% of the total caloric expenditure and the basal metabolism 50-70%.
One of the best strategies to increase metabolism is through what is known as NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), which are the daily activities that we carry out and that are associated with the calories burned. For example, climbing stairs, domestic activities or walking to work will help you increase your NEAT and, consequently, your metabolism.
10. Surprise your body
The human organism has a great capacity for adaptation. That is why, when we do physical exercise, we must progressively increase our intensity or volume of training. After a few weeks, the same training is no longer as effective. To avoid this, you can modify your workouts and do things that cost you and surprise your body, for example, changes in speed, rhythms, duration or loads.
11. Control carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy, and although they have a bad reputation, they do not need to be eliminated from the diet. You just have to know how to eat them.
To do this, you must eat complex carbohydrates, which are those that contain a low glycemic index, that is, they keep insulin levels at bay, are transformed into glucose in a longer time than what is known as simple carbohydrates and produce a release of energy gradually and slowly. Foods that contain complex carbohydrates are: brown rice, most fruits and vegetables or whole wheat pasta, among others.
12. Drink green tea
Green tea has great health benefits and is rich in antioxidants like polyphenols. New research shows that catechin, a substance found in this infusion, can increase metabolism. The data from this study suggests that the subjects in his experiment who drank green tea lost more weight than those who did not.
As the researchers conclude, catechins can enhance fat oxidation and thermogenesis. Five cups of green tea a day can produce a caloric expenditure of 90 calories a day.
13. Go organic
Organic food is healthier and, at the same time, it also speeds up your metabolism. A study has found that fruits, vegetables and grains grown without pesticides speed up metabolism and help burn more fat, because they do not expose the thyroid to toxins.
“Non-organic products block metabolism primarily by interfering with the thyroid, which is your body’s thermostat and influences metabolism,” explains Hyman, director of the research.
14. Put the alcohol aside
Do you like to have your glass of wine with your meal? Well, if you don’t want to slow down your metabolism, you’d better eliminate this habit from your life.
In addition to slowing your metabolism, several studies have shown that having a small glass before a meal causes people to eat about 200 more calories. Another study has found that the body burns alcohol first, which means that calories from food are more likely to be stored as fat.
15. Take spicy
Adding spice to food boosts metabolism significantly. At least that is what concludes a research paper from Pennsylvania State University in the United States. According to his study, when consuming spicy the metabolic rate of the body increases up to 20% for half an hour. If you want to burn more fat, go spicy.