Maybe, like a lot of people, you’ve blamed your slow metabolism for why you can’t lose weight. The metabolism gets a bad reputation for predetermining how your body burns calories, but it may be time to stop blaming our metabolisms and understand the science behind why and how our bodies burn calories.
Metabolism is the biological process of your body converting the calories you eat and drink into energy that your body uses for basic life functions, including breathing and circulating blood.
While your unique metabolism is determined primarily by genetics and your body composition, there are certain things you can do to increase your body’s ability to convert calories to energy and prevent weight gain.
- Add strength training to your workout. Muscle allows your metabolism to work more efficiently and transform calories into energy more quickly. When you increase your muscle mass, your body continues to burn more calories even while at rest.
- Incorporate intervals into your cardio. Incorporating high intensity interval training (HIIT) into your normal cardio exercise requires your body to consume more oxygen. The increased oxygen forces your cells to work harder and burn more energy. Adding HIIT intervals into your training is as easy as throwing sprints into the middle of your treadmill run or checking out FitClub’s HIIT class to get started.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently. Scheduling meals three to four hours apart ensures that your body has enough fuel throughout the day to process energy and stave off headaches and hunger. Skipping meals or eating too little signals to the body that it needs to convert calories to energy more slowly and conserve fat.
- Eat smarter. Food can either make you feel full of energy or lethargic and it has the same effect on your metabolism. Fried, sugary, or junk foods will slow digestion and leave you without the energy you need to accomplish your workout. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats and carbohydrates, by contrast, provide stable energy levels and allow your metabolism to convert calories to energy more efficiently.
- Eat early. Making time to eat a breakfast high in protein and low in sugar ensures that your metabolism wakes up when you do, and keeps converting calories to energy throughout the day. Eating a healthy breakfast also provides you with enough early morning energy to fit in a morning class at FitClub and sets the tone for a day full of healthy meals and snacks.
Don’t let the complicated science of metabolism be an excuse for weight gain. There are easy and effective ways to manage your weight, and give your body the tools it needs to convert the calories you consume into the energy you need to be your fittest, healthiest self.
Have you heard any myths or have questions about metabolism? Share them in the comments!