Metabolism: the sum of the physical and chemical processes in an organism…
- 1. Eating
- 2. Resistance Training
- 3. High Intensity Interval Training
- 4. Drugs
A healthy and natural way to increase your metabolism is by eating a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate, and a healthy fat approximately every 3 hours. The constant break-down of food will lead to an increased calorie burn throughout the day, causing your body to be a blazing furnace, burning a lot of calories. It may take a few weeks to notice a difference, but when you begin eating every three hours, your body will get used to it and you will feel starved if you go 4 hours or more without any food. Seriously. This is because your body’s physical and chemical processes have increased (increased metabolism).
Take-home point: Eat every three hours to increase your metabolism.
2. Resistance Training
Resistance training, whether it be with weights or gravity, will lead to more developed muscles. Muscle fibers do not just sit around and lay there like fat cells. Muscle fibers take calories to exist, for repair, for use, and even for breakdown. The more muscle you have, the greater the calorie demand is. On average, every pound of muscle you have burns approx. 50 calories per day. This means simply by increasing your muscle mass by 1 pound, you can essentially burn an additional 350 calories per week, or 18,200 calories per year (about 5 pounds of fat). But remember, this is not pure fat loss because if you starve yourself the calories, your muscles are usually the first to get eaten up, not fat stores.
Take-home point: Increase your muscle mass to increase your metabolism.
3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
It is well documented that exercising in the high level of output zone (85-95% of your maximum heart rate) increases the rate of your Excess Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This simply means when you perform high intensity interval sprints (10-60 seconds) interrupted with rest intervals, your heart rate has the ability to stay elevated for up to 24 hours or until you fall asleep. How can you use this to your advantage? As early in the day as possible, perform a 15-30 minute HIIT exercise in order to increase the sum of your physical and chemical processes (metabolism).
The following is an ADVANCED workout. Please consult your physician prior to performing any high intensity exercise.
Example Treadmill HIIT Exercise
- Warm up: 3 minutes flat slow jog (i.e. 5 mph)
- Climb: 1 minute 3% incline, same speed
- Climb: 1 minute 6% incline, same speed
- Climb: 1 minute 9% incline, same speed
- Climb: 1 minute 12% incline, same speed
- Work 1: 1 minute 15% incline, same speed
- Rest: 2 minutes flat, walking (i.e. 2.5 mph)
- Work 2: 1 minute 15% incline, slow jog (i.e. 5 mph)
- Rest: 1 minutes flat, walking (i.e. 2.5 mph)
- Work + Rest (repeat for a total of 5-8 work intervals). You can change the work intervals to accommodate your level. For example, I may reduce the duration down to 30 seconds, or 20 seconds, depending on how my body responds.
- Cool Down: Flat walk for 3-5 minutes
Take-home point: For advanced athletes, perform high intensity interval training sessions to take advantage of the EPOC and increased metabolism.
There are stimulants such as caffeine and guarana to increase the sum of physical and chemical processes in your body. However, I caution the use of supplements. Taking a black coffee or a guarana pill prior to a workout can be beneficial, or up to two coffee’s or tea’s a day. Do not rely on stimulants for increased metabolism. The natural methods listed above are far superior for natural calorie-burn and fat loss.
Take-home point: Stick to the natural methods to increase your metabolism.