Metabolism by definition is the chemical processes of the body to maintain life. More simply put, it is how effectively the body will break down foods you consume to make energy to sustain physiological and hormonal processes of the body. As we age our bodies undergo a gradual decline in lean muscle mass, which results in a slower metabolism. Alongside a sound exercise and nutrition program you can implement these tips below.
1. Keep Hydrated
Water is vital to the survival of all cells and organisms in the body, as well as to the role of fat loss throughout the body. Water is one of the most crucial components of fat loss but more importantly it plays a large role in keeping off those extra pounds off. Without an adequate store of water that the body can draw from, the body shifts to “survival mode” and begins drawing water from alternate sources; the water found in fat stores. When water is pulled from fat stores instead of the bloodstream, the fat cell becomes less likely mobilized for energy in the body. The result: less fat burned. The water content throughout the cells of the body is vital to maintaining its physiological function. When water is not present certain functions are unable to perform, resulting in weight gain, decreased nutrient transportation and hormone imbalance. I always tell my clients that “A hydrated body; is an effective body.” I can’t stress enough the importance of drinking plenty of water regularly as means of encouraging the fat burning effect of the body and ultimately to increase your metabolism.
2. Make it to the gym – no excuses!
Exercise plays a large role in your metabolism, aiding in fat mobilization and increasing lean muscle mass. Muscle requires more energy from the body; therefore your workouts are actually causing your body to naturally speed up your metabolism. Whether you are lifting weights, performing cardio, or engaging in high intensity intervals your body undergoes physiological stress which increases the demands for energy on the body (think more calories burned), thus raising your metabolism. As you begin building more lean muscle, as a result your body will burn fat. This occurs because the body becomes more efficient as it mobilizes the free fatty acids into the blood stream, pulling them from fat deposits. Exercise also increases the HDL cholesterol (the good kind), as opposed to LDL cholesterol. HDL particles remove fats and cholesterols from cells more effectively and in larger quantities than LDL particles. Exercise helps to regulate hormone production and uptake, while improving how energy is used throughout the body. Hormone imbalance can lead to impaired mental clarity and loss of energy alongside a shift in mood.
3. Eat Consistently
Diet is more than half the battle when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. The food you put into your body is the same food that is utilized for energy. Therefore, you must be fueling your body with highly nutritious foods that will aid in the development of muscle mass and the reduction of body fat. Not only is the food source important for your body but the time in which you eat plays a large role. Eating meals often will help to speed up your metabolism as it begins developing an effective “schedule”, which uses the calories from food more effectively. By eating meals every 3-5 hours you feed your body with energy which helps to maintain blood glucose levels. As the body is fed, it uses those nutrients consumed to provide more energy to the body, thus more calories burned. Individuals who wait in between meals put their body into a fasted state, therefore when they do eat; their bodies are more likely to store that food as fat to ensure prolonged energy to the body. Foods like egg whites or a lean protein are good choices for food, as they are a good source of protein. Most people underestimate the importance of protein at each meal but it is crucial to offsetting the loss of muscle and supporting development of new muscle mass (feeding your metabolism).
Getting enough sleep each night is crucial to maintaining overall health and vitality of the body and mind. Lack of sleep has been closely linked to many metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes. In sleep, your body operates off a biological cycle of waking and sleeping is referred to as your circadian rhythm. It is directly tied to your metabolism and is vital to the function of all organisms and cells in the body. Research suggests that a regulated sleep pattern has been linked to improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Disrupting your sleep cycle prevents the body from performing the functions that are vital to maintaining your health. During sleep our bodies repair the damage that we performed the previous day while simultaneously working to balance hormones. Lack of sleep has shown to down-regulate the satiety hormone leptin, and up-regulate the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin, leading to increased appetite and weight gain.