When you think of “burning calories”, you probably picture a tough, sweaty workout. And it’s true that burning calories this way can help you lose weight over time.
However, your body’s basal metabolic rate is actually more important in the long run. We all burn a particular number of calories when we’re working, sleeping, driving, watching TV, and so on. You’re burning calories right now while reading this blog. But as we all know, to our frustration, some people simply have a “faster” metabolism than others. These people don’t tend to struggle with weight loss as much as the rest of us.
So, while you should continue your regular exercise routine, you might also take measures to increase your metabolism in general. When you’re burning more calories around the clock, you will lose weight faster (or maintain your lower new weight, if that’s your goal).
Eat more protein. Protein is metabolized more slowly, helping you to avoid sharp insulin spikes and drops. Plus, it helps to build lean muscle, which is important in our next step.
Build muscle. If you haven’t already added weight training to your workout schedule, start a program now. Muscle mass is the biggest factor in increasing basal metabolism, because it requires more energy. This is why men typically require more calories than women.
Eat foods that require more energy to digest, than they contribute to your diet. Foods high in water and fiber are often extremely low in calories, and your body actually burns more calories digesting them. Think of foods like fresh greens, or produce with a high water content like cucumber and watermelon.
And yes…. tweak your workouts. You don’t necessarily need to add more time to your workouts. Adding bursts of intensity (say, one minute of jogging for every five minutes of walking, or regularly switching to the uphill setting on your stationary bike) will greatly increase your calorie burn after you’re finished exercising.
Of course, everyone’s body is different, and you might actually have an underlying disorder that is affecting your metabolism. Make an appointment with us for a thorough examination, and we can help you pinpoint weight loss methods that will work best for your body type.