Posted On 21 Sep 2010
Do you want to understand how to increase your metabolism if you are interesting in lasting weight loss?
What is your metabolic rate and how is it measured?
Imagine fasting for about 12 hours, which would make your digestive system inactive. In this “post-absorptive state” your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the measurement of how much energy your body is expending in a neutrally temperate environment.
The kinds of foods and beverages that you consumed prior to fasting can affect your BMR. So can illness and stress levels. (So can environmental temperature, which is why it’s important to eliminate that when measuring BMR.) These factors, then, can have a negative effect on the ways you can use with respect to how to increase your metabolism.
The bad news is that your BMR naturally decreases as you age. It’s impossible to stop aging.
The good newss is that, since your BMR also decreases when you lose muscle (lean body mass), you are able to increase your BMR by increasing the amount of muscle you have by strength training.
You might think that your fitness level, which is a product of fitness (aerobic, cardiovascular) exercise, correlates with your BMR. When the quantity of muscle is adjusted for, however, it doesn’t. The level of your resting metabolic rate (RMR) does not correlate with your level of aerobic fitness.
It’s not clear whether or not fitness exercise is able to raise BMR or RMR. It does, however, burn calories during exercise that would otherwise have not been burned. Although light endurance exercise may not raise BMR or RMR, it’s possible that heavy endurance exercise does.
So what should you do if you are interested in how to increase your metabolism?
I suggest not worrying about how to increase your metabolism. Instead, focus on decreasing your percentage of body fat.
Why try to re-invent the wheel? There are two groups of humans to emulate. First, your successful ancestors. They were doing quite well for hundreds of thousands of years prior to the agricultural revolution. Second, contemporary natural fitness models and bodybuilders. They have low percentages of body fat.
There are three habits to adopt.
Given what you have just learned with respect to how to increase your metabolism, the first is strength training. Because it can increase muscle, it can raise your BMR. I recommend a full-body routine twice weekly centered on the basic exercises, namely, squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, dips, and chins. [For details, click here.]
The second and third involve increasing the amount of energy you expend while not overeating.
So the second is to do regular fitness exercise. Like strength training, this will increase the amount of energy you burn — both during and after exercising. I recommend mild fitness exercise [for details, click here] every day or nearly every day as well as doing intense fitness exercise for a brief time two or three times weekly [for details, click here].
The third is to eat well. This doesn’t just mean avoiding overeating. It means getting the right kinds of calories with sufficient frequency. More specifically, it means eating every three or four waking hours, keeping carbohydrate intake low, getting plenty of fat and protein from natural sources, and drinking plenty of clean water [for details, click here].
If you adopt this program, you won’t have to worry about how to increase your metabolism. You’ll be keeping your metabolic rate sufficiently high while decreasing your percentage of body fat.
[If you have any comments on this, particularly any based on your own experience, they are welcome below.]