Why is it that some people can regularly enjoy burgers and fries and still look great, while others just look at a fast food menu and gain five pounds? It all has to do with metabolism – the way our body converts calories to energy. If you are part of the latter group, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of ways you can boost your metabolism to help you lose or maintain your weight!
“Eat a high-protein diet and drink plenty of water in combination with high-intensity interval training and weight training,” said Amy Wages, regional fitness trainer for OrangeTheory Fitness. “Interval training not only burns fat, but also gives you the highest metabolic afterburn, which means you’ll burn calories at an accelerated rate even after your workout ends. Weight training increases muscle mass, which tones your body and increases your metabolic rate, so you burn more calories at rest. If you are trying to burn fat, don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights for the best results.”
Wes Cade, TELOS Fitness nutrition specialist, also believes that weight training is one of the best ways to boost metabolism. “Increasing lean muscle mass will permanently up-regulate your resting metabolic rate as long as you maintain the muscle gains; that’s why strength training is the ideal exercise for those trying to get leaner,” he said. “On the other hand, if an individual lowers their daily caloric intake below their metabolic rate, they will slow their overall metabolism. Additionally, the individual may lose lean muscle mass due to insufficient caloric intake, and this will also result in a slower metabolism.”
When trying to boost your metabolism, make sure to avoid the myths. For example, Wages said don’t believe that smaller people have higher metabolism – “Actually, larger people have a higher metabolism because their bodies have to work harder to do everyday activities with the extra weight,” she said. “If they create a calorie deficit, they will lose weight the fastest.” Other myths include drinking lemon juice, coffee, green tea and eating spicy peppers, which Wages says can help but aren’t as effective as increasing muscle mass.
Cade adds that you should be careful about taking any supplement or pharmaceutical that elevates one’s metabolism, as this can only be temporary and may have dangerous side effects. In addition, he says it is true that most people’s metabolism slows as they age, although “it is not a factor of just aging; rather, it is typically due to a loss of lean muscle mass as they get older.”
Need a place to work on your muscles to increase metabolism? At TELOS Fitness Center, all new members will receive their award-winning Ortho-Kinetics® Assessment and a complimentary nutrition consultation, which will help guests learn more about their diet and metabolism.
At OrangeTheory Fitness, you can work out with a series of high and low-intensity exercises combined with strength training to build muscle. “In my opinion, this is the best one-hour program to put you in metabolic overdrive,” said Wages. Backed by science, this workout helps you reach a heartrate goal that will increase metabolism up to 36 hours after the workout. “Here’s the catch – if weight loss is your goal, then to be successful, you need to control your diet and resist the urge to eat extra, negating the extra calories (fat) your body will burn,” she explained.
No matter what type of workout you like the most – lifting weights alone in a gym or doing cardio with friends for example – the best way to up your metabolism is consistency. Exercise regularly, eat well and don’t do crash diets, and your metabolism will naturally increase. Your body will be healthier, and every now and then you’ll be able to say “yes” to the question: “do you want fries with that?”