Three health and fitness trends that can slow up your metabolism

 What is your metabolism?

“You’re just big-boned son…and all our family have a slow metabolism”.

I was a teenage boy, standing in front of my mother, rolls of my stomach fat pinched between my fingers, when I first heard the term. I wanted to believe her. I wanted even more to know what I could do to change it.

Eventually I did. And if you take the tips below you can too!

Factors that affect your metabolism

  • Age: as you get older your metabolism slows down
  • Body type: bigger bodies have bigger organs, burning more calories even while resting
  • Gender: men’s metabolism is usually faster than women’s
  • Muscle mass: the more muscle you carry the more your body needs to burn to service it
  • Physical activity: physical exertion speeds up your BMR
  • Environmental factors: extremes of hot or cold force the body to work hard/burn calories to regulate its temperature
  • Diet: what and how you eat has a big impact on your BMR

And, lastly, Mum was right…

  • Genetics: Your gene’s play a significant factor in how well your body burns calories.

So how can I speed up my metabolism?

  1. Strength training

Every pound of muscle you have burns six calories a day; every pound of fat burns only two. So the more muscle mass you are carrying, the better a fat-burning machine your body becomes.

Even when resting: strength-training has been proven to raise the bodies metabolism 39 HOURS after the last rep was squeezed out. If that wasn’t a good excuse to get re-acquainted with the barbell I don’t know what is!

Compound exercises (that work the biggest muscles in the body: the legs, back and chest) or full-body circuits are the best.

  • High-Intensity-Interval-Training

HIIT training, as you might know it, became the hottest new exercise trend as the fitness world caught wind of its long-lasting metabolic benefits too.

Short-intense bursts of exercise punctuates by short rest intervals have been shown to not only burn more calories than traditional steady-state cardio but it keeps on burning them for up to a day afterwards. The gift that keeps on giving!

Less time: more rewards. When the sums stack up like that you can see why this is one trend that’s here to stay.

  • A high protein diet

When you sit down for your Subway sandwich * it takes energy for you body to digest, absorb and process the nutrients.

Protein requires the body to burn calories faster than carbohydrates or fat so replacing your carbs with lean, high-quality protein at lunch-time will give your metabolism a timely boost.

*Other foot-long sandwich vendors are available

‘Slow metabolism’? All is not lost!

So Mum was right, my genes may have been a factor in those rolls of puppy fat that clung lovingly around my midriff til…well, far too long. But a conscious effort with your exercise and dietary habits can help you too over-ride any handicapping factors- genetic, or otherwise- and get yourself a body closer to the one you really want. So go get it!

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