On the most basic level, metabolism is the combined processes of your energy intake and expenditure, and your metabolic rate is the speed of your metabolism, or the number of calories you burn over a specific period of time. Generally, there’s not too much we can do to change our metabolism, but there are a few effective ways to tweak it to your advantage, especially if you want to lose weight, as training specialist Christian Soetebier explains.
A staple component of the Freeletics experience is high intensity interval training (HIIT). And for good reason! Not only does HIIT have a strong anaerobic cardiovascular training effect, but it also induces the EPOC effect. EPOC stands for “Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” and describes the increased rate of oxygen intake following HIIT training. What does this mean? Well, the strenuous nature of HIIT forces your body to tap into a wide range of metabolic and energy processes. So while you rest, your body is still busy restoring its balance and burning off calories in the process.
#2: Strength Training
While HIIT provides you with the benefit of the EPOC effect, strength training itself can burn a lot of calories and, over time, improve body composition. Regular strength training means that the muscles being engaged burn more calories when resting, and this figure will increase the more often you train. If your goal is to lose weight and gain muscle, strength training should be part of your training regime and shouldn’t be overlooked.
#3: More protein
Surprising as it may seem, there’s actually a way to burn more calories by eating more: consuming protein! When we eat protein, our body is forced to use energy to get to all the amino acids within the protein. This is known as the “thermic effect of food”, or TEF, and makes protein weigh less in terms of caloric balance compared to other macronutrients such as carbohydrates.
At the same time, eating more protein will help you build more muscle and to improve your body composition while also decreasing appetite.
#4: Drinking more water or green tea
Another way to boost your metabolism is to avoid liquid calories that are “empty” such as soda. Focus instead on calorie-free beverages such as water and tea!
Stimulating drinks like green tea and coffee are also known for their metabolism-boosting effects as they decrease appetite. However, always be careful not to drink tea or coffee too late during the day or you’ll lose sleep – another factor that may be bad for your metabolism.
A less obvious (but nonetheless effective) way to get your metabolism going is to increase NEAT. This is the abbreviation for “non-exercise activity thermogenesis” and describes every way in which you burn calories by moving that isn’t actual exercise. A simple everyday example of this would be to take the stairs instead of the elevator. NEAT can be highly effective in boosting your metabolism as, unlike training, it can be done constantly throughout the day.
Metabolism is fairly set in stone, but there are a few things you can do to boost it slightly and enhance physical results.