Is it possible to speed up your metabolism?
– Belinda B.
Thanks for reaching out with your question, Belinda! Your metabolism is essentially a term that represents the rate your body burns calories, or energy. How your body burns calories can be broken down into three categories: basal metabolic rate (BMR), thermic effect of food (TEF) and thermic effect of physical activity exercise (TEPA).
How Your Body Burns Calories
BMR is the total amount of energy your body burns over a 24-hour period while at rest. It doesn’t account for the calories burned while exercising, walking, typing or even digesting food. That said, it still accounts for the majority (about 60 to 75%) of your total daily energy expenditure.
TEF is the amount of energy your body needs to convert food into energy and process nutrients. It accounts for a smaller amount of your daily energy expenditure (about 10%).
TEPA is the amount of energy your body uses for physical activity, as well as post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), often referred to as “the afterburn effect.” This accounts for the remaining calories your body burns throughout the day (about 15 to 30%).
Increasing Your Daily Caloric Burn
If your goal is to burn more calories per day (a.k.a. speed up your metabolism), here are a few proven practices to try:
Lean Body Mass
Studies have shown that the more muscle you have the more energy your body will use at rest. One of the best ways to build muscle is with a structured resistance training, or weight training program. Aim to hit the weights two to three days per week to successfully build lean muscle mass and increase your body’s daily caloric expenditure.
Sleep & Stress
Sleep and stress levels both have an impact on your metabolism. In fact, sleep deprivation has been shown to slow your body’s metabolic rate. When your body is tired or stressed it tries to store any nutrients it can to keep you safe. As such, practicing proven stress-reducing tactics and sleeping an adequate amount per night (7 to 9 hours) can help you keep a healthy and thriving metabolism.
Eating Enough for Your Essential Needs
Your metabolism is adaptive. Therefore, when you don’t consume enough calories your body will sense that food is scarce and lower its metabolic rate as it tries to preserve energy. Any drastic reduction in calories for a long period of time can cause this metabolic decrease.
Not only is protein great for keeping you full, maintaining lean body mass and supporting your metabolism, but it also takes the largest amount of energy to digest when compared to fat and carbohydrate. This is due to the thermic effect of food. It takes energy for the body to digest, absorb, transport, metabolize and store nutrients. Therefore, including enough protein in your diet can help speed up your metabolism.
Overall, the methods shown to support your metabolism are the same factors found in a healthy lifestyle! Focus on building strength, eating enough to support your body’s energy needs and making time to rest.