The word metabolism gets used a lot, but what does it mean exactly?
Metabolism is used to describe a set of chemical reactions that occur to keep all the cells in the body alive. Let’s get science-y for a moment and break this definition down even further by dividing metabolism into two categories:
- Catabolism – the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy
- Anabolism – the synthesis of all compounds needed by the cells
So, when we talk about metabolism we are essentially talking about the biochemical processes the body uses to fuel the cells – or give them energy and life.
“Well, that’s all fine and good,” you might be thinking, “but what does all of that have to do with weight loss?”
Well, metabolism is how your body converts the foods you eat into energy. It’s an incredibly complex process whereby the calories in the foods and beverages you consume are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function and, well, stay alive.
Now, when we talk about metabolism and weight, what we’re really talking about is your basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories your body needs to carry out basic functions such as breathing, circulating blood, repairing cells and adjusting hormone levels.
So, when we talk about metabolism and weight, we’re really talking about is basal metabolism, and there are different factors that determine every individual’s basal metabolism, including:
- Body Size and Composition – People who are larger and have more muscle burn more calories, even while at rest.
- Gender – Men typically have less body fat and more muscle than women, and therefor burn more calories.
- Age – As we age, the amount of muscle decreases while the amount of fat increases. This decreases the number of calories our body needs to burn.
Now, in addition to your own individual metabolic rate, there are a couple of other important factors that determine how many calories your body will burn per day. These are:
- Physical Activity – Whether it’s walking from your car to the store, playing a game of basketball, or vacuuming your entire house, physical activity requires calories. So, when we add the number of calories required for basal metabolism (breathing, blood circulation) with the number of calories required for the amount of physical activity you perform each day, we get an exact number of calories needed per day.
- Thermogenesis – Thermogenesis, also known as food processing, describes digestion, absorption, transporting and storing the foods we consume. This entire process also requires calories. The very act of eating burns calories.
With all of this science in mind, let’s take a look at 5 ways you can easily boost your metabolism, starting TODAY!
1. Move More
It really is easy to just move your body more. This means take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk around the block after dinner instead of sitting in front of the television. ANY amount of movement will help you boost your metabolism.
Having said that…
If you really want to rev your metabolism, there is a specific form of exercise you should consider, and that is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This form of exercise involves quick and intense bursts of activity, which in turn helps you increase your metabolic rate and burn more stored fat.
One example of a HIIT workout regime would be to walk for 30 seconds and then sprint for 30 seconds. After repeating this for 8-10 times, you will really start feeling the burn, but don’t give up, because pushing through is where you’ll really reap the benefits.
2. Drink Coffee
Here’s a tip most people will gladly follow. While drinking excessive amounts of coffee is never good, having a cup or two a day can actually be good for you. Studies have shown that caffeine can boost metabolism by 3-11%.
3. Stand up More
Your mother most likely told you to stand up straight, which is good advice. But what she really should have been telling you is to stand up more. Research has produced staggering evidence that sitting too much is bad for your health. Like, really bad.
Beyond just being all-around better for you, standing can boost your metabolism and, depending on how often you stand (and or how long), help you burn more calories.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
You know you feel awful when you don’t get enough sleep, but did you know sleep deprivation has a negative effect on metabolism? Lack of sleep is also linked with increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which can pack on the pounds and cause diabetes. Plus, sleep deprivation has been shown to boost the hunger hormone ghrelin.
It really is super important that you do your best to get 8 hours of quality sleep each night.
5. Eat More Protein
As we just mentioned, your body burns calories when it processes nutrients, particularly protein. So, the more protein you eat at each meal, the more calories you will burn. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Your metabolic rate increases by 15–30% when you eat protein, compared to only 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats.
As an added bonus, when you eat protein, you feel fuller, and this prevents you from overeating. And, eating enough protein at each meal helps you maintain muscle mass, which in turn helps you burn more calories.
Bottom line – start tracking how much protein you’re eating at each meal and be sure to get enough. Now, there is no denying that there is MUCH discussion about how much protein we really require at each meal, it’s a safe bet to shoot for roughly 25g per meal. Take into consideration that men may need a bit more, and athletes will require more than sedentary people.
One of the easiest ways to get more protein into your diet is with protein powders. But let’s face it, not all protein powders are created equally.
Primal Labs is incredibly pleased to offer Smash-It!, which contains 25 grams of slow and fast-digesting QuadSource Protein Blend. What makes this blend so special?
Well, it’s a mix of hormone-free whey, casein, pea, and cranberry seed proteins, that together help you:
- Feel fuller – and for longer
- Curb your cravings
- Build and maintain lean body mass
What’s more, to make Smash-It! the ultimate fat burning shake, it also contains the essential amino acid L-leucine. Try getting enough L-leucine in your diet from foods alone, you pretty much can’t do it. But L-leucine helps you maintain muscle mass and enhances your metabolism.
But guess what? That’s not all. Smash-It! offers even more benefits.
Find out for yourself why our unique protein powder can be the answer to your weight loss journey this year.