Kickstart the New Year by Kickstarting your Metabolism
New Year – New You! The beginning of the year inevitably leaves people looking for change; we want a kickstart!
Whether it’s internal or external, a lot of times, New Year’s resolutions have to do with some facet of health and wellness. Increased energy, enhanced mood, looking and feeling better are all examples of changes we strive to make as part of our “new beginning”.
When we’re seeking elevated energy levels, we know a solid workout will get our metabolism going. Not sure what we mean by “metabolism”? Well, “metabolism refers to the chemical processes by which your cells produce the substances and energy needed to sustain life—and the higher it revs, the more energy your body burns.”
Kickstarting your metabolism will keep you energized and on your way to the new you when it comes to body composition and function. Here are some ways to set fire to your goals for a boosted metabolism:
“Muscle is made up of what is called metabolically active tissue, which means that it requires energy to be built, used and maintained.” Compare this to fat tissue, which doesn’t require any energy at all, not to create it and not to maintain it. How do you gain muscle? – Weight Train! Whether your new year’s fitness goals include strength, performance, or fat loss, weight training will boost your metabolism and help you regardless.
Intensity is key.
Steady-state workouts give your body a chance to work while actively recovering, and they definitely serve their purpose in an overall exercise regimen, but they’re not the optimal way to fuel the metabolism fire. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), combining periods of both all-out effort with periods of recovery, burns a similar amount of calories (if not more) compared
to longer, slower cardio sessions. Not only is it efficient with use of time and energy, but HIIT also continues to burn calories for up to 36 hours after you’re “done”. An example interval set is 30 seconds of intense work (I mean, run like your life depended on it) followed by a recovery period of 90 seconds (meant to get your heart rate back down).
Repeat this for 10 rounds, for a total of 20 minutes, and your metabolism fire will be burning for the next day and a half.
Eat Whole Foods (especially Protein).
Not all foods are created equal, some have more nutrients and thus take more energy to break down, digest and process than others (This is referred to as the Thermic Effect of Foods, aka TEF). By choosing unprocessed whole foods like lean meats, fish, vegetables and fruits, you are increasing the TEF and utilizing more energy (and thus calories) during the digestion process.
Protein requires a lot of energy to break down and digest, so the simple act of eating it can increase your metabolism. It also keeps you satiated longer than quick-absorbing carbohydrates which may provide energy temporarily but then cause your blood sugar to crash soon after. With protein’s powerful ability to increase muscles, decrease hunger and increase fat loss, why not eat up?! (Read more here).
Water is vital to life. It’s needed to extract and digest nutrients from food, and without it, bad stuff can happen (a less-than-hydrated colon is never fun). Water is your body’s natural lubrication, without it, your metabolism will not run optimally. Half your body weight in oz. of water per day is the ideal amount, more if you’re active and sweating a lot or undergoing a detox/cleanse. (Read more about the importance of water and hydration, here.)
Have you been attempting to utilize these methods in order to kickstart your metabolism in the new year?
-Health & Wellness Coach