Understanding how metabolism works and its impact on weight loss is crucial for achieving your fitness goals. In this article, we will explore the concept of metabolism, debunk five common myths, and provide you with practical tips to improve your metabolic rate.
Metabolism encompasses your body’s physical and chemical processes that produce, maintain, and utilise energy. It involves various factors such as hormones, the nervous system, age, gender, muscle-to-fat ratio, diet, physical activity, and overall lifestyle.
The total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) represents the calories burned throughout the day, including basal metabolic rate (BMR), daily activities, and food digestion.
Myth #1: Slow metabolism causes weight gain
Truth: Contrary to popular belief, overweight individuals often have faster metabolisms due to the increased effort required to support their larger bodies. Weight gain is primarily attributed to excessive calorie intake and inadequate physical activity rather than a slow metabolism.
Myth #2: Metabolism slows down with age
Truth: Hormonal changes and muscle loss that occur with ageing can affect metabolism. However, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and a well-balanced diet can help maintain muscle mass and prevent a significant decline in metabolic rate. Age should not be used as an excuse for a sluggish metabolism.
Myth #3: Long runs boost metabolism
Truth: While steady-state aerobic exercises temporarily increase energy expenditure, they do not have a lasting impact on metabolism.
Instead, incorporating strength and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your fitness routine can lead to consistent metabolic enhancement by building lean muscle tissue.
Myth #4: Faster metabolism equals better health
Truth: While having a fast metabolism may seem advantageous, it can also accelerate cellular ageing and potentially increase the risk of diseases. Instead of obsessing over a super-fast metabolism, focus on maintaining a healthy metabolism that supports your overall well-being.
Myth #5: Metabolism is genetic and uncontrollable
Truth: You have significant control over your metabolism through lifestyle choices.
1. Stay active throughout the day by walking instead of taking transportation for short distances, using stairs instead of elevators, and engaging in physical activities regularly.
2. Incorporate strength training and HIIT workouts into your exercise routine to build muscle and increase metabolism. Incorporating strength training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts into your exercise routine can significantly benefit building muscle and increasing metabolism.
Let’s delve deeper into why these types of workouts are effective:
Strength training involves performing exercises that target specific muscle groups using resistance, such as weights, resistance bands, or body weight.
Here’s how it can help:
a) Strength training stimulates growth and development by challenging your muscles through resistance. As you build lean muscle mass, your body requires more energy to maintain and repair those muscles, increasing your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This means that even at rest, your body will burn more calories.
b) Another advantage of strength training is the post-workout calorie burn, known as the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Intense strength training sessions can elevate your metabolism hours after the workout, increasing calorie expenditure.
c) Strength training has been shown to influence hormone levels positively. It can increase the production of growth hormone and testosterone, which play a role in muscle growth and metabolic function. These hormonal responses further contribute to improved metabolism.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
HIIT workouts involve alternating between intense bursts of exercise and short recovery periods.
HIIT offers several advantages for boosting metabolism:
a) Increased Caloric Burn: HIIT workouts are highly efficient for calorie burning. The intense bursts of activity during the workout elevate your heart rate and maximise energy expenditure in a shorter time than steady-state cardio exercises.
b) EPOC Effect: HIIT triggers the afterburn effect similar to strength training. The high-intensity intervals create an oxygen debt in your body, causing it to consume additional oxygen after the workout to restore normal metabolic function. This high metabolic state results in continued calorie burning post-exercise.
c) Muscle Preservation: HIIT workouts are designed to preserve muscle mass while primarily targeting fat loss. This is beneficial for maintaining or increasing your metabolic rate because muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns more calories at rest than fat tissue.
Incorporating strength training and HIIT workouts into your exercise routine can create a powerful combination for boosting your metabolism.
Aim for a balanced approach that includes a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts as your fitness level improves.
3. Prioritise quality sleep, aiming for at least 7-8 hours each night to support optimal metabolic function.
4. Practice proper breathing techniques and consider specific breathing exercises to enhance metabolism.
5. Stay hydrated by drinking adequate water daily, as water is essential for optimal metabolic processes.
6. Consume adequate protein from lean sources, as it increases energy expenditure during rest.
8. Enjoy caffeine and theine in moderation, as they can temporarily boost your metabolic rate. However, remember to stay hydrated alongside their consumption.
9. Add spices, such as chilli peppers, to your meals to slightly elevate your metabolic rate when combined with other healthy lifestyle habits.
In conclusion, understanding the truth about metabolism and dispelling common myths is essential for optimising your weight loss and overall well-being.
Implementing the abovementioned strategies can improve your metabolism and help you achieve your fitness goals. Remember, a healthy metabolism results from a balanced lifestyle encompassing exercise, nutrition, and adequate rest.
Consult a qualified fitness professional to ensure proper form and safety during training sessions. For personalised guidance on boosting your metabolism, weight loss strategies, weight training, or HIIT workouts, we recommend contacting our professional personal trainers in St James’s, London. They have the expertise and knowledge to provide tailored advice and support to help you achieve your fitness goals.
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