The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of energy (measured in kilojoules or calories) that the body needs to maintain itself, including all the normal day-to-day bodily functions like breathing, digestion, circulation, temperature regulation and tissue repair. The metabolic rate is the speed at which the body burns these kilojoules. Some of us are born with fast and efficient metabolisms, while others have slower metabolic rates. BMR also drops as we age. This is mainly due to loss of hormone production, loss of skeletal muscle and a more sedentary lifestyle. The important thing to note is that no matter what your metabolic type, it can be controlled by what you eat and the lifestyle choices you make.
Here are my top tips for boosting your metabolism.
1. EAT A GOOD BREAKFAST
Eating a good breakfast is the first step to improving your metabolism. The Journal of the American Dietetic Association summarised the results of 47 studies examining breakfast consumption and its role in nutrition, and body weight. Those who ate breakfast were less likely to be overweight.
Eating a protein rich breakfast will help to boost metabolism and encourage significant weight loss.
My top 4 breakfast choices are:
Power Smoothies made from berries, leafy greens and Healthy Chef Protein.
My Super Food Muesli made with cultured organic yoghurt, Healthy Chef Superfood and topped with nuts and berries.
2. EAT PROTEIN
If you want a faster metabolism, think protein. Your body burns twice as many calories by digesting proteins than it does when digesting carboydrates. I aim to include protein into my diet at every meal. A protein-rich breakfast that includes organic eggs or a protein shake made from almond milk, Healthy Chef protein and frozen banana and blueberries.
A protein drink made from natural ingredients can replace a meal or snack. It helps curb sweet cravings and supports the body’s metabolism.
For lunch I love a simple bowl of green salad topped with nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic. Dinner may be a piece of fish like my steamed white fish in ginger and turmeric. The omega 3’s in fish also help burn more body fat.
3. DRINK GREEN TEA
High in antioxidants, green tea also contains catechins, a natural component that speeds up the metabolism. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown drinking three cups of green tea per day can help reduce body fat.
A type of antioxidant found in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is said to increase resting metabolism and stimulate fat burning.
My morning ritual is to drink a cup or two of Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha Tea that helps boost my metabolic rate and gets me going for the day. After lunch I like to sip on a milder and subtle form of green tea such as my Uplifting Zen that tastes delicious like popcorn.
4. STAY HYDRATED
Water is vital for life and a key player in your digestive process. Essentially, without it, you cannot efficiently and completely extract all the nutrients from the food you take in. Without drinking enough water, your metabolism will not run smoothly.
A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that obese middle-aged and older adults who drank 2 cups of water before each meal lost 2 ½ kilos more than a group of dieters who didn’t increase their water intake.
If there’s a top weight-loss mantra, it’s: ‘Exercise, exercise, exercise!’
Exercise increases your daily energy expenditure (resting metabolic rate), which allows your body to burn more fat. Our metabolism declines about 1 to 2 per cent per decade from the time we are twenty. Choose activities you enjoy and do them every day. My own personal exercise routine is also featured in The 80/20 Diet Body Shaping Book.
According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, the loss of muscle mass that occurs with ageing is associated with reduced muscle strength, loss of functional capacity and an increased risk of developing chronic metabolic disease.
Resistance exercise combined with eating enough protein stimulates its absorption and prevents loss of muscle mass and strength.
Good-quality sleep is essential for the body and mind to revive, repair and recharge. Experts say that if you want to boost metabolism, you need to get enough sleep.
Research suggests that depriving ourselves of quality sleep causes us to over-eat. Ghrelin levels (a hormone produced in our stomach) increase our feelings of hunger.
Not sleeping enough can also cause our human growth hormone (HGH) to tumble, which may make it harder to lose weight. When deficient in growth hormone, our symptoms include loss of muscle ,decreased energy ,increased fat cells, decreased sex drive and a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
7. DON’T BE A GLUTTON AT DINNER
Our metabolism is higher in the mornings and tends to slow down in the late afternoon and evening, so it makes sense to eat most of your calories in the morning and during the day, not in one huge meal at night.
Make dinner the smallest meal of the day and focus on fresh vegetables, salads and protein.
If you come home late from work and don’t feel like cooking, it only takes 5 minutes to grab some leafy greens from the fridge and combine with tinned tuna in olive oil and a little lemon, make a simple omelette or make a nourishing protein shake that will hit the spot before bed.