A slow metabolism is often blamed for failed weight loss attempts. If you fear that your slow metabolism is interfering with your weight loss goals here are 5 steps to fix your slow metabolism and maximise your body's fat burning capacity.
Step 1: Do not over restrict energy intake
Maintain a daily energy intake greater than 800cal (3000kj). Very low energy diets may result in a decrease in your basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is a survival adaptation in response to 'starvation' which results in the body conserving energy. You may lose weight rapidly in the short term with a very low energy diet but in most cases the weight is regained quickly when eating returns to normal due to a drastically slowed metabolism.
Step 2: Begin with breakfast as soon as possible following waking up
This is related to the 'starvation' adaptation discussed earlier. By the time you wake up your body has already gone 6-8 hours without energy intake. Don't let this time drag on any longer then necessary, have something to eat as soon as you can.
Step 3: Eat small regular meals spread as evenly as possible across the day
Aim for 4-6 meals every 3-4 hours. Include protein in every meal and choose unprocessed high fibre carbohydrate food sources to maximise the metabolic affect of your intake. These foods will also increase satiety helping you feel full for longer and control your appetite. Eating small more frequent meals usually results in total lower intake which helps weight loss.
Step 4: Exercise regularly
Aim to exercise on most days of the week (4-7 days a week) and aim for a combination of both weight training and continuous activity sessions. 2-3 30 minute weight training sessions that focus on the large muscle groups will increases muscle mass which in turn will increases BMR. Muscle mass requires energy for maintenance therefore greater your muscle mass, greater the energy you will burn at rest. Continuous or interval training sessions of running, swimming, skipping, riding etc lasting approximately 30 minutes should be included on other training days.
Step 5: Achieve adequate water intake
Aim to drink approximately 2L every day or 8 glasses. Increase water intake if fluid losses are increased such as during exercise or physical work or in warmer temperatures.
Maximising your metabolism will increase the likelihood of you achieving weight loss success. Kick start your metabolism with these 5 steps beginning with a healthy breakfast tomorrow morning followed by a weight training session!