Have you ever wondered how to increase your metabolism? Or which foods increase metabolism? Or even how to calculate how many calories you need a day? Well wonder no more, I have the answers in this blog post!
First, let’s get some terminology out of the way:
- Basal Metabolism: The body’s functions that are essential for life including the maintenance of body temperature, breathing, keeping blood pumping around the body and brain function. The ingestion and digestion of food also requires energy, as does the absorption and utilisation of nutrients.
- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): The amount of energy (calories) used to maintain your basal metabolism, which varies depending on gender, age, weight and body composition. Your BMR represents 45-70% of total daily energy expenditure.
- Estimated Energy Requirement (EER): The amount of energy (calories) from food needed to maintain body size, body composition, activity and growth. This is based on total energy expenditure (TEE) – the average amount of energy/calories used in a typical day. TEE is dependant on gender, age, muscle mass and activity/exercise levels.
In general, women require fewer calories than men, the older we get the fewer calories we need, the more muscle we have the more calories you need and the more activity that you do the more calories you need.
To calculate your daily calorie needs you need to work out your BMR, and then add on a physical activity level. To lose weight you should subtract 300-600 calories from the final figure, and to gain weight you should add this on (you may need to add or subtract between 500 and 1000 Kcal). Don’t take your calorie intake down below 1200 calories a day though – unless under supervision of a health care professional such as a doctor, nurse or dietitian.
1) Calculate your estimated Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):
2) Multiply your BMR with the following, depending on your lifestyle:
Light or Sedentary Activity: 1.4 – 1.69
Moderately Active: 1.7 – 1.99
Vigorously Active: 2 – 2.4
So, now you know your number! Remember though, all of these equations are just ESTIMATES, a figure to roughly go by and tweak as needed. If your weight is stable then you know that you’re eating to your bodily needs exactly.
You can however increase your metabolic rate which means that a) weight loss will be easier and b) you will be able to eat more to maintain your weight.. whoop whoop!
How to Increase your Metabolism
- Build Muscle – Muscle burns calories so make sure to include resistance exercise weekly (ideally twice a week); i.e. lifting weights or doing body weighted exercises such as squats. The more muscle you have the higher your daily metabolic rate will be.
- Get more Active – Reduce your sitting time. The more you move, the more calories you will burn and the higher your metabolic rate!
- Think HIIT – High intensity interval training (working out intensely for short periods repeatedly with short breaks in-between) not only burns calories whilst you’re working out but your metabolic rate is raised for several hours afterwards as well. It’s win win! My favourite HIIT workouts are from Fitness Blender.
- Include Protein with every Meal – Protein not only helps us to feel full but it takes more calories to digest than carbs and fat; in turn boosting your metabolic rate. Foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, yoghurt, beans and lentils all contain protein.
- Turn down the Heat – If your house feels chilly let your body do the work by trying to keep you warm rather than turning up the central heating. Regulating the body’s core temperature burns calories and it’s thought that our over reliance of heating and air conditioning is one of the causes of our expanding waist lines!
I really hope you find these tips useful and I hope it inspires YOU to increase your metabolism TODAY!