It’s that time of the year.
Whoever you meet, whoever you speak to have the same New Year resolution: to get healthier, to eat better and 9 out of 10 times: to lose weight.
You start in high spirits; sign up for a gym membership, get new exercising gear, wake up a little earlier and go for a morning walk…
But then, sometime in the first days of March the motivation dwindles, the morning sleep seems irresistible and the gym…well, the gym still will be there in the afternoon, or tomorrow…
More often than not it happens because the results don’t much the expectations.
You thought that by March, after all the effort the weight will be dropping off effortlessly.
And it often has nothing to do with the ammount of effort you put into it, but everything with your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Let me explain.
The energy needed for our body to function at rest (while doing nothing) is called BMR. It’s the energy we need to perform functions such as breathing, digestion, tissue repair, temperature regulation and so on. The metabolic rate is the speed at which the body burns energy.
Muscles need more energy than fat tissue, so people with lean bodies use more energy than a person who is overweight. That also means that obese person, who has much more fat tissues than muscle mass, need less energy, and have lower basal metabolic rate. This is why some people (I’m sure you know someone !) can eat almost anything and stay lean. Not only they burn lots of energy while moving /exercising, but their muscles burn calories even while doing nothing.
Few facts about BMR:
• Some of us (especially young people) have much higher metabolic rate than others.
• BMR changes throughout the life due to hormone levels, sedentary life, ratio of muscle tissue vs. fat tissue.
• You can improve your BMR by changing what and when you eat and by moving more.
Do you want to improve your metabolism? Here is how!
1. Control your blood sugar levels.
Regulating your blood sugar levels it is absolutely crucial to weight loss and your metabolic rate. We need a certain amount of sugar in our bloodstream at all times to provide energy for our brain, muscles and the liver. Once absorbed into the blood glucose circulates causing blood sugar levels to rise. That’s sends the signal to pancreatic cells to secrete the hormone insulin. The more glucose there is in the blood the more insulin the pancreas is trying to produce, (which is a fabulous thing in itself, really) however: insulin is also known as the fat storage hormone. To explain it in simple terms: the more insulin you produce, the bigger the chance of depositing fat, putting on weight or not losing it. The less fat tissue you have the faster your metabolism, simples.
2. Eat a good, generous breakfast.
Have you heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Let me say it again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It sets the tone for the rest of the day. Depending on what you ate for breakfast your blood sugar will be either lovely balanced for the rest of the day (no sudden dips in your energy, no 3 o’clock-thitis, less or no cravings for sugar and refined carbs). Or it will be out of whack (if you haven’t had a breakfast or had sugary cereal, white bread or anything else white, refined and full of sugar).
3. Include protein and good fat in every meal.
For example: eggs for breakfast, beans for lunch, piece of chicken for dinner. Protein, healthy fats and fibre keeps us fuller and reduces the chances of food cravings.
4. Drink green tea.
Green tea is the healthiest beverage on Earth, right behind water. It contains bioactive substances called catechins, which besides being very potent antioxidants, they also speed up your metabolism.
Exercise, specifically resistance training increases the amount of muscle you have, and as I mentioned above, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.