Your metabolism is your body's furnace. Just like a furnace burns coal to power buildings, your body burns the calories you eat to fuel your body.
People like to blame their metabolism for the shape their body is in, but the truth is, you control your metabolism. Bubble busted. But, in reality, this is good news because this means you can transform your body into a calorie blasting machine. Here are a variety of things you can do to whip your metabolism into shape.
Build Muscle. The more muscle your body has, the more calories it burns, period. No matter what. The more lean muscle the better, so fall in love with strength training.
Cut your cardio. Less cardio? Rejoice! Well, sorta. Instead of doing an hour of steady state cardio, slash it to a fraction of the time by utilizing high intensity interval training, and get more results. HIIT alternates bouts of high intensity, near-maximum effort cardio with relatively lower intensity rest intervals and is the recipe for burning max calories during your workout, as well as hours after you are done.
Eat enough. We all know not to eat too much, but eating too little can work against your metabolism. Our bodies are made for survival, so when we eat too little it thinks we are starving and slows down its processes, including the metabolism, to save calories to stay alive. Even if you feel fine, if you eat too little, your metabolism may be running at half speed. Eat for your activity level.
Eat in regular intervals. Remember: your metabolism is a like a furnace, so you have to feed it a steady supply of fuel to keep the fire burning. Allowing too much time between meals with let it die out and eating too often will smother it. Eating every 2-3 hours will keep your metabolism performing at its peak, but you may need to redefine your idea of a meal to avoid overeating; these are not going to be the size of your 3 squares. Make sure each time you eat, you consume high quality carbs, protein for satiety and fruits and veggies for necessary nutrients.
Get your Zzzz's. This is your body on no sleep: When you don't get enough, the stress hormone cortisol is released. Cortisol increases appetite. Because of lack of sleep, your body has difficulty metabolizing carbohydrates. This leads to a spike in blood sugar, which causes an increase in insulin, which signals the body to store any excess calories as fat. Aim for 7-8 of shut eye a night to keep this whole hormonal fat storage mess at bay.
When it comes to your metabolism, don't blame, reclaim. Take control of your body and make sure it is running at its most efficient to get all the results you are working so hard for.