Christmas party season is upon us so that means January New Years health and fitness resolutions are not far behind. If you have already penciled in January to get fit and lean, then ditch the diets and raise you metabolic rate. Libby Limon our in-house nutritionist and yoga teacher tells you how.
Basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the rate at which your body burns calories when you are sitting or lying down, motionless. The higher your BMR the more calories you need to function optimally. Some people have a naturally higher BMR than others, this is generally due to their natural, genetic distribution of muscle and fat but it slows for all of us as we age.
There are a number of ways to boost your BMR so as to effectively burn and use the calories from food. This helps maintains stable body weight with healthy level of body fat.
1. Don’t Diet
Calorie restriction leads to the slowing of the BMR. The body adapts to the lower level of calories consumed by reducing BMR. This is why yoyo dieters hit plateaus and usually end up heavier than when they started.
2. Temperature Therapy
Use temperature therapy to boost brown fat and BMR. Brown is your friend unlike white fat, brown fat is very metabolically active, raising your BMR. We have lots of it as babies, but lose it as adults. One of the things the body does with energy is maintain body core temperature, thermogenesis. The more extreme the outside temperature the more energy is needed to maintain the internal body temperature, the more brown fat you create. The easy solution is to reduce the amount of time you have your central heating on winter and aircon in summer. More extreme but scientifically proven methods include taking regular ice baths.
3. Eat Breakfast
Some research suggests a relationship between eating breakfast and lowering your BMI, which
may happen in part by kick-starting your metabolic rate. Make sure your breakfast is nutritionally balanced including protein, complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, healthy fats and fibre. My favourite go-to breakfast is poached eggs with spinach on avocado seeded rye toast to tick all those boxes.
4. Drink Green Tea
Green tea, caffeine and catechin polyphenols in green tea aid in stimulating the metabolism. Scientists have found that green tea’s thermogenic effect cannot be completely attributed to its caffeine content because the effect of green tea is greater than an equivalent amount of caffeine.
5. Eat Spicy Food and Up Your Protein
Just eating food raises your BMR because you use energy to eat, digest and metabolise the food you have just eaten. Particular boosts are proteins and spicy foods such as chilli, horseradish and mustard.
6. Work Your Muscles
Muscle burns more energy than fat so building muscle tone and density through exercise is key. Resistance exercise whether by using weights or your own body weight is the way to achieve this. You don’t need to bulk up either try yoga or Pilates to build toned but long lean muscles.
7. Keep Moving
The more you move the more you burn energy. That means at the gym but also everyday incidental exercise. High-intensity interval training increases your calorie burn intensely whilst you are active but equally that increased energy use continues after you stop exercising.
8. Look After Your Thyroid
Your thyroid gland produces your metabolic hormones, poor thyroid function leads to lower levels of these hormones and slowing of BMR, therefore causing weight gain. Sub-clinical hypothyroidism is more prevalent than you might think and can affect people of any age. To maintain a healthy thyroid eat balanced meals, little and often to maintain a healthy blood sugar. Key nutrients include iodine, selenium, B12 and D vitamins.
If this all sounds fine and dandy in principle but you need helping hand from us at FRAME to implement it. Why not sign up to January’s REBOOTCAMP, hosted by Libby Limon, which will give you everything you need to get on the right path.