So, let’s talk about the mythical creature that is your metabolism. We say this because, despite being a bit of a buzzword of late, no one really seems to know much about it and what it actually does. Let’s break it down for you.
What is your metabolism?
In simple terms, your metabolism is all the calories that your burn every day. And, believe it or not, you don’t need to be breaking a sweat to be burning – we burn calories all day, every day, even when we’re asleep! This means that absolutely everything your body does contributes towards your metabolism. Still confused? Here are the three factors your metabolism is made up of:
Basal metabolic rate (BMR)
This is the number of calories your body burns in order to stay alive and keep your body functioning correctly. In other words, you could lie still all day and you’d still burn your BMR.
Non-exercise adaptive thermogenesis (NEAT)
The calories you burn by doing low impact, every day movements – fidgeting, standing and walking for example. This accounts for 20% of your metabolism and will vary day to day depending on what you’re up to.
Everything from your lunch time jog to your after work HIIT sesh. But, believe it or not, this only accounts for 10% of your metabolism
So, can you boost your metabolism?
Yes and no. It’s not a case of moving more and magically speeding up your metabolism (boo). But, there are ways you can make your metabolism work more efficiently. And here’s six of them! Thank us later!
1) Split things up
Now, if we said you needed to train twice a day in order to kickstart your metabolism, you’d probably tell us to shove our advice where the sun doesn’t shine , right? But, hear us out. Splitting your hour workout into two half-an-hour workouts – say, one in the morning and one in the afternoon - could seriously improve your metabolism. Splitting your training will cause your metabolism to spike not just once, but twice, meaning a higher calorie burn for a longer period – win!
2) Make time for breakfast
But what about fasted cardio, I hear you cry. Now, we’re not ruling it out but studies show that eating first thing activates genes involved in fat metabolism so you can up your calorie burn rate just by breakfasting – cool, huh! Not sure what to have? Here’s three easy, protein-packed breakfast recipes that’ll start your morning off right.
3) Hydrate yourself
Believe it or not, just 500ml of water can boost your metabolism by 30%* so make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day, especially if you’re consuming a high-protein diet. Not a fan of the clear stuff? Add a scoop of BCAA or an effervescent vitamin tablet into your H20 to add some flavour and additional benefits.
4) Up your supps
It’s pretty straightforward – if your body isn’t getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals, it won’t function properly, and neither will your metabolism. Iodine is an essential supp for those keen to speed up their metabolism as it keeps your thyroid healthy and your thyroid is responsible for producing the hormones that keep your metabolism in check. You can find Iodine in a range of sea veggies or it can also be found in some multi-vits and supplements.
5) Get an early night
Sorry to sound a bit like your mum but this one’s important. Your body experiences an increase in the hormones that control fat and carbohydrate metabolism at around 11pm each night…only if you’re asleep, though. So, get your head down nice and early and you’ll not only feel more awake, but your metabolism will thank you too.
6) Work out later on
Yep, you heard us right. Early birds, have you ever considered swapping your 6am sweat sesh for a post-shift workout? Saving your gym session until later on will get your metabolism working again just as it starts to relax, and you’ll also benefit from a bit of a lie in – what’s not to love?!