As a personal trainer in Scottsdale, Arizona, one of the most frequently asked questions I hear is, ?How can I increase my metabolism?? Usually followed with, ?I have a really hard time losing fat, even with diet and exercise. I have such a slow metabolism.? If you've been around fitness for a few years, this might sound pretty basic. If you haven't, read on.
Sometimes it?s not their metabolism at all, but rather an underestimation of caloric intake or an overestimation of calories burned during exercise. Other times, the metabolism in question could truly use a make-over. Even if your metabolism is only slightly slower than it could be, you?ll hold unused calories as body fat. That could amount to extra pounds gained each year.
First off, metabolism is defined as the creation of energy for all of the bodily functions from food. Metabolism is the conversion of food into energy. The hotter this fire, the more calories the body will burn. If this process is slower, fewer calories will be burned and the unused will be stored as body fat.
When our metabolism is functioning properly, we eat, we digest and then we absorb. The nutrients enter into the cells. Then we use those nutrients to produce energy.
Your Diet influences your Metabolism
The raw material for your metabolism comes from your diet. And there is the catch: If you eat poor quality food, you metabolism will lower.
For example, man-made hydrogenated fats get absorbed by the body like natural fats. But unlike natural fats, the body has no enzyme to break hydrogenated fats down. So, because they cannot be used as fuel, the body incorporates the hydrogenated fats into cell walls. Without going too far into cellular biology, this causes cells to become less efficient at acquiring and burning fuel. The end result is sluggish metabolism.
Another cell structure that can be damaged is the mitochondria. The mitochondria within each cell are responsible for burning fuel to create energy. When these cells are damaged, metabolism slows down. It is believed that excess free-radicals cause mitochondrial damage. This happens when too few antioxidants are available. Antioxidants protect the body from these potentially harmful byproducts of metabolism, known as free radicals. The body operates in a way that assumes these antioxidants will be present, but with our modern diets, this often is rarely the case.
And it?s not only the quality of mitochondria but also the quantity that influence cellular metabolism. The more mitochondria a person has within their cells, the faster their metabolism will be. And while the health of existing mitochondria is partially determined by nutrition, the number of mitochondria in the cell is largely determined by lifestyle. The good news is that you can increase the number of mitochondria through specific exercise. Thats where the assistance of a Scottsdale personal trainer is helpful.
?So, what can I do to increase my metabolism??
Increase My Metabolism Step #1: Do Cardio Exercise
Do exercise that increases your body?s mitochondria levels. This boosts the oxygen capacity of your body. This capacity is frequently referred to as your V02. One of the best ways to do this is cardiovascular exercise like running, cycling, swimming. As a Scottsdale personal trainer, I also recommend certain kinds of circuit training with resistance.
Perhaps the most effective exercise for quickly building a faster metabolism is high-intensity intervals. This technique involves alternating short period of near maximum effort with periods of partial recovery, or decreased effort. Using running on a treadmill as an example, spend 1-minute at a high running speed and then 1-2 minutes at a moderate walking or jogging pace. The workout would alternate like this for 10 or 20 minutes, depending on ability level. A Scottsdale personal trainer can help you determine how much volume and intensity you should be doing.
In general, I recommend at least 30 minutes per day of aerobic activity, 4 days weekly.
Increase My Metabolism Step #2: Eat Less Hydrogenated Fats
Eliminate or at least decrease foods with hydrogenated oils, including partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. The most common foods containing hydrogenated oils are margarine, crackers, chips and packaged baked goods. A certified Scottsdale personal trainer can help you find alternatives to these foods.
Increase My Metabolism Step #3: Eat More Antioxidant Rich Foods
Include antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables in your diet. As a Scottsdale personal trainer, I recommend the popular acai berry ?native to the Brazilian rain forest- has the highest capacity to absorb free radicals ever recorded. Other foods high in antioxidants include garlic, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, plums and beets.
Increase My Metabolism Rule #4: Build More Lean Body Mass
A few extra pounds of muscle will burn hundreds more calories per day, even at rest. That adds up to many extra pounds lost yearly. And remember, a pound of muscle is much smaller than a pound of fat- you won?t look bulky, just more toned. A simple full body strength training routine 2 days per week can significantly boost your metabolism within weeks. A Scottsdale personal trainer can create a custom workout to meet your needs.
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