How do I Raise my Metabolism Part 2

By Mike Butler CSCS

Last week in part 1 of our metabolism-boosting article we talked about weight training, eating healthy fats, remembering the little things that can help increase your calorie burn, choosing healthy, complex carbohydrates and “zigzagging” your calories. This week we’ve got even more tips to help you rev your metabolism and get the results you want!

Increase Protein

In order for protein to be used as fuel, your body has to engage in a complex chemical conversion. It takes up to 30% of the calories you consume to oxidize or use protein for energy. For example, 100 calories of protein may take up to 30 calories to process. Therefore, increasing the percentage of calories in your diet that come from protein may help raise your metabolism.

Perform High Intensity Cardio

High intensity cardio, like interval training, takes you into the anaerobic zone of training. This, in turn, creates what is known as “oxygen debt.” Even when you have concluded your exercise, the body is processing waste and recovering from the activity, and therefore keeping your metabolism elevated.

Increase Frequency of Eating

Consuming food triggers digestion, and digestion requires calories. By eating more frequent, smaller meals, you continuously supply your body with nutrients while forcing it to digest and break down the foods. This, in turn, can have the net effect of raising your metabolism.

Eat Whole Foods

Your body has to use calories, or energy, to break down the foods you eat and digest them. Your body must extract the fiber and nutrients, take chains of molecules and chop them into smaller versions to absorb them into your bloodstream, and perform a variety of tasks in order to assimilate foods. When foods are processed, much of this work is already done for you. For example, processed flour is ground into small pieces that the body can digest more quickly. This means your blood sugar rises faster and your body expends fewer calories processing the flour.

Whole grains, on the other hand, pack more nutrients, are higher in fiber, and force the body to work harder to use them as energy. Another advantage to eating whole foods is that many of the nutrients in these foods — such as vitamins and minerals — are co-factors in metabolic processes your body uses to burn fat and build muscle.

Drink Cold Water

This tip is probably overrated. Your body will expend more calories trying to raise cold water to the temperature of your body, but the exact amount is debatable. It stands to reason, however, that integrating this habit with the other habits listed above can contribute to the greater goal of raising your metabolism. Besides, cold water tastes better, and you should be drinking plenty of it, anyway!