Metabolism is somewhat a function of genetics, but you can increase basal metabolism by building muscle. Muscle cells are up to eight times more metabolically active than fat cells, and muscle burns more calories than fat (73 more calories per kilogram per day, to be exact). Adding weight-bearing or resistance exercise, such as weightlifting or exercise bands, is one of the ways to increase metabolism. So the more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be. Aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, running, or swimming can also raise metabolism if it increases your heart rate throughout the exercise. An efficient metabolism also requires the body to have sufficient antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C and also B vitamins; therefore, supplementation to correct any deficiencies is important.
Resting metabolic rate typically increases as much as two to three times more after eating proteins versus carbohydrates and fats. One should focus on consuming protein, high-fiber fruits and vegetables, with occasional high-fiber grains. Extending the time between meals makes your body go into starvation mode, which decreases your metabolism as a means to conserve energy and prevent starvation. Skipping meals does not help you lose weight. People generally eat less overall when they eat small, frequent meals rather than larger meals. As with food, depriving your body of water can also make your metabolism slower. When you drink ice cold water, you body burns calories warming it to body temperature.
These are just a few of the ways to increase your metabolism. As always, talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise or supplementation regimen.
Jerrilynn Primeaux is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and Certified Personal Trainer at Snap Fitness. For more information on this or other Snap articles, please call 893-0009 or take a virtual tour of Snap at www.snapfitness/Abbeville.