Metabolism Part 2

What can I do to speed up my metabolism?

10 of the most effective ways of boosting your metabolism and burn more calories: 

  1.           Eat a good breakfast (Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and eat Supper like a Pauper) – you are less likely to crave a mid-morning snack if you eat breakfast – especially a high protein one
  2. Drink Green Tea - new evidence shows the active ingredient, catechin, may increase metabolism
  3. Aerobic activity. Aerobic exercise is the most effective way to burn calories (high intensity interval training helps too - HIIT)
  4. Strength training. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so increasing your muscle mass will help you lose weight
  5. Be active. Try to make activity part of your daily routine, walking, standing,  gardening, etc.
  6. Eat Plenty of Protein at Every Meal. Eating protein can increase your metabolism for a few hours, and keep you feeling full for longer
  7. Drink skimmed milk or low fat yogurt to boost your calcium intake.  Calcium helps your body metabolise fat more effectively
  8. Drink 2-3 litres of water a day
  9. Get a good night's sleep – sleep plays a vital role in regulating the metabolism and appetite
  10. Spice up your food - eating chillies (such as jalapeno and cayenne peppers) increase the body's release of certain hormones (adrenaline), which stimulates the metabolism and increases calorie burn and curb your appetite

 Sources: NHS, Women's Health Magazine and www.healthyfoodguide.com


Metabolism (Part 1)

What is it?

Essentially metabolism is the conversion of food to energy to keep you alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food.

The mimimum amount of energy your body requires to carry out these chemical processes is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Your BMR accounts for anything between 40% and 70% of your body's daily energy requirements, depending on your age and lifestyle.

Our bodies are still geared up for periods of feast and famine, so that if you eat more energy than your body needs, it will be stored for times of hardship - which in these days are highly unlikely to happen!

What factors affect your metabolism?

Body size, age, gender and genes all play a role in the speed of your metabolism.

Muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle tend to have a faster metabolism.

As we get older, we tend to gain fat and lose muscle. This explains why your metabolism may slow down as you get older.

In general, men tend to have a faster metabolism because they have more muscle mass, heavier bones and less body fat than women.

Your metabolism may be partly determined by you genes, although this isn't yet fully understood. Genes definately play a role in muscle size and your ability to grow muscles, both of which affect your metabolism.

Losing weight too fast, crash diets and other calorie restricted diets can slow your metabolism. With some diets, your body is forced to break down muscle to use for energy. The lower your muscle mass, the slower your metabolism. With less muscle and a slower metabolism, it then becomes a lot easier to put fat back on after coming off the diet.


MYTH: If I exercise I can eat what I want.
TRUTH: Weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise.
  • You can’t out-train a bad diet - Weight loss starts and ends in the kitchen.
  • Working out is the easy part – it’s the other hours of the day that you have to learn to be disciplined about what you put in your mouth.
  • Exercise makes you lose weight quicker and ensures you can sustain your weight loss but you’ll never drop the pounds on a junk food diet.
  • You can’t work out to “catch up” for what you’ve put in your mouth. To lose weight you have TO PLAN to create a calorific deficit.
MYTH: Celebrity bodies are attainable.
TRUTH: It is part of a celebrity’s job to look good. They have to make time to exercise and often train for a role or a red carpet event.
  • Celebrity bodies are attainable if you just quit your job; forget about your family; hire a trainer, a nutritionist, a chef and a masseuse; and spend a few hours every day in the gym.
  • The pressure on celebrities to look good means they push themselves to achieve amazing results in a short time. Real people can’t commit to that and it is not very often that the celebrities keep in that shape after the film/ red carpet event.
  • You should become the best version of yourself that you can.
  • Comparing yourselves to others just sets you up to fail.
  • Don’t try to be your version of someone else – just be yourself!
MYTH: Days not spent exercising are wasted.
TRUTH: Rest days and proper sleep both support weight loss.
  • Resting is crucial for your muscles, your nervous system, your brain, your body and also for weight loss.
  • Every time you place physical stress on your body you need to give it time to recover to be fitter, stronger and support your metabolism for the next time you work out.
  • If your work out strenuously everyday then your body will never have time to recover.
  • Getting sufficient sleep to allow your muscles to repair after an intense workout helps to improve your basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy your body needs at rest).
  • You are more likely to lose motivation as well if you work out every day.
  • Our bodies work with the rhythms of the sun so you need less sleep in the summer and more in the winter (at least six hours though) but still you MUST get your sleep.
MYTH: If a regime works, stick to it.
TRUTH: For maximum fitness and weight loss vary your exercise routine.
  • Your body is always searching for the most efficient way to do a task.
  • If you do the same exercise routine all the time your body will work less and less hard until it doesn’t feel like a workout anymore.
  • You should mix up your workouts; walking, Aerobics, Circuits, Toning, Resistance bands, Kettlebells etc. That’s why we mix it up at class.
  • Progression is about stressing the body. Varying your routine will yield greater results.
MYTH: Cardio is the best way to lose weight.
TRUTH: You will look leaner mixing cardio with strength, weight and resistance training.
  • While you will lose weight on a regime of just cardio, the best results are achieved if you aim for 40% cardio and 60% resistance training.
  • You can mix the two into one workout or do 2 days cardio and 3 days strength/resisitance training.
  • You need to mix it up to ensure your body becomes an efficient fat burner.
  • Resistance training doesn’t give you the same quick weight loss results that cardio does but it will achieve great fat loss results and help you become a more efficient calorie and fat burner.
  • We obviously mix it up in class doing squats/lunges in our aerobics routines and our toning at the end.
  • This is why it is important to stay all the way to the end because everything we do helps.

Maximum Nutrition with Minimum Bother!


The foods that give you a hit of everything you need & those that just aren’t worth the fuss.

 What  RDA*  Easy Option   Why Would you
 Calcium  700mg  1pt skimmed (or semi) milk  28tbsp cottage cheese
 Vitamin C  40g  5 strawberries  270 grapes
 Vitamin A  600mcg  Half a medium carrot  23 apricots
 Vitamin D  5mcg  Small 70g grilled salmon steak  13tsp margarine
 Selenium  60mcg  2 brazil nuts  250 pecan halves
 Zinc  7mg  1 small lean rump steak (125g)  9 boiled eggs
 Folate  200mcg  5 asparagus spears  20 tablespoons peas

*RDA for women

Calcium – essential for strong bones and teeth and important for blood clotting and muscle contractions, dairy products are packed with calcium but you need to choose wisely to get you RDA.

Vitamin C – Women need 40mg a day for healthy skin, bones, cartilage and teeth and to keep their immune system strong. Also a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C may protect against heart disease and cancer. It helps the body to absorb iron, so can help prevent anaemia.

Vitamin A – Needed for reproduction, healthy skin, hair and eyes and vision in dim light. This vitamin is also important for your immune system. Experts advise us to eat orange and yellow fruit and vegetable to boost our intake and meet our daily needs.

Vitamin D – Needed for strong bones and teeth and may also protect against heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, MS and rheumatoid arthritis. We make this vitamin in our body when sunlight hits our skin, but should still aim for 5mcg a day from food. Oil rich fish and fortified margarines and promoted as good sources.

Selenium – This antioxidant protects the body from free radicals that damage cells and increase the risk of disease. Selenium is also essential for healthy immunity and makes thyroid hormones that control metabolism.

Zinc – Essential for normal growth, enzyme function, wound healing, fertility and keeping your immune system strong.

Folate – This B vitamin makes red blood cells, keeps the nervous system and may protect against birth defects such as spina bifida. Green vegetables are a good source.


Energy metabolism or metabolic rate. You hear these terms all the time. But what do they mean?

Energy metabolism is the process of converting the energy we get from food into the energy we use for normal body functions, keeping warm and moving. Metabolic rate is essentially the speed at which we use this energy and burn calories, or the rate at which your body's motor is running.

"Basal metabolism" is the metabolic rate or caloric expenditure needed to maintain basal body functions such as your heart beating, breathing, muscle tone, etc. It's how fast your "motor" would run even if you stayed in bed all day and did nothing.

Basal metabolism can account for about 75 percent of the calories you burn on a daily basis and is at least 1200 calories in most people, but can be over 2000 in some. This depends mostly on your sex, weight, muscle mass and height.

The good news is that there are several ways that you can really rev up your metabolism. The more of these you're able to incorporate into your life, the more you'll boost the number of calories you burn per day. The more efficient you are at burning calories, the easier time you'll have dropping the extra pounds.

So get your motor running with these ten tips to rev up your metabolism:

1. Always eat breakfast! Skipping breakfast sends the message to your body that you're "starving" because you haven't had food in 8 or more hours. As a protective mechanism, your metabolism slows down. Food fuels your metabolism.

2. Never eat less than 1,200 calories (5016 kJ) per day! Fewer calories are usually not enough to support your basal metabolism, so they slow your metabolism.

3. Snack! Snacking prevents you from becoming too hungry. The hungrier you are, the less control you have over what - and how much - you eat.

4. Do some type of aerobic exercise -- walking, jogging, swimming, stationary cycling, aerobic dancing, etc. - on a daily basis and preferably in the morning. Our bodies were designed to be active on a daily basis, not just once or twice a week. When we are, our metabolism soars. In addition to your regular aerobic exercise, take a brisk 10 to 15 minute walk at lunch or in the evening. This serves to boost your metabolism even more.

5. Build your muscle with weight training three days per week. Toned muscles send your metabolism through the roof.

6. Look for situations to be active. Park as far from the shop as you can rather than looking for the closest parking spot. Use the stairs rather than the lift. Look for the "hard" way to do things.

7. Avoid alcohol. Alcohol depresses your metabolism and stimulates your appetite.

8. Avoid the three P's: Pills, Powders & Potions. People who try quick-fix weight loss usually end up devastating their metabolism. There are NO quick fixes!

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