4 ways to give your metabolism a boost

Diet and working out are easy ways to get your metabolism pumping, but there are other tweaks to our lifestyle we can make.

Metabolism is the term used to describe the body’s internal engine or how many calories it needs to keep you thinking, breathing, moving and sleeping.

Our metabolism or metabolic rate is influenced by genetics, gender, activity levels, muscle mass and hormones as well as by the way we eat and the foods we eat.

So while we can’t change everything about it, dietitian Susie Burrell lays out a few tricks you can try to give it a boost – and become more efficient at burning calories as a result.

Changing something changes everything

The body gets used to the same habits and routines very quickly and becomes more and more efficient at doing them, burning fewer calories over time as a result.

This means that if you have followed the same diet and exercise regimen for as long as you can remember, it is time for a change.

And the more you mix things up, the better both for your diet and your exercise program.

For example, try different types of exercise, mix up the times of day you are training and change the way you eat including the size of meals and the times you have them.

Such change constantly challenges the body, forcing it to work harder and burn more calories as a result.

Up your protein intake

Compared with carbohydrate and fat, protein as a nutrient requires more energy to digest, which means protein-rich meals increase the number of calories we burn each day – slightly.

So if your goal is to get your body working harder, aiming for 20-30g of protein at meals and 5-10g at snacks will mean your body burns extra calories each day compared with meals that are lower in protein.

Focus on foods that burn

A handful of foods actually increase metabolic rate slightly, such as chilli, drinks with caffeine including coffee, green tea and icy cold water.

Adding chilli to foods, using caffeine in a controlled way (300mg or less a day) and drinking your water icy cold are other simple ways to promote the burn.

Time to lift, baby

If you are serious about getting your metabolism going, you need to include some type of resistance training at least a couple of times each week.

This does not mean you need to lift weights like a body builder, but you should include some type of training that incorporates resistance via weights or body weight to place load on the muscle cells.

The more muscle cells you have and the harder they work, the more calories you will burn and the more efficient your metabolism will get.

If you are not familiar with weights, see a trainer to help write you a program or look for various classes held at all popular gyms that incorporate weights into their supervised classes.

Written by Susie Burrell.