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How to Naturally Increase Your MetabolismHow to Naturally Increase Your Metabolism

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

How to Naturally Increase Your Metabolism

Understanding metabolism

Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) represents how many calories you would burn if you laid in bed all day. It is the minimum amount of energy needed to keep your body functioning. People with low resting metabolic rates often find it difficult to lose weight because their bodies require very few calories to function. Any extra energy is stored as fat.

Fitness centers often have the resources to measure RMR, but you will get more accurate results from tests conducted by universities or research centers that have exercise physiology labs.

How to decrease your metabolism

Although most people would prefer a faster metabolism, many dieters actually make changes that decrease their metabolic rate. They do this by severely restricting their caloric intake. The body responds as if there is a famine and uses less energy. As a result, they hit a plateau and stop losing weight.

How to increase your metabolism

The key is to minimize your calorie deficit. This means slowing down your weight loss, or even maintaining your weight, for the next month or two. Don't be dismayed. This doesn't mean that big things aren't happening. The goal during this time is to improve your body composition through exercise and to reset your metabolism. Your body needs to trust that there is food coming and that you're going to meet its energy needs through food intake. Once this trust has been established, you can start a small deficit of 500 calories per day, which translates to a weight loss of 1 pound a week.

When you feel true hunger signals, you should eat. Your body is telling you that it needs energy, so trust those internal cues. This can be difficult after years of ignoring those signals and denying yourself foods when fad dieting. Consciously work on recognizing these natural cues. Don’t skip meals. Instead, spread your food intake throughout the day by incorporating snacks.

Exercise

Exercise gives your metabolism a slight boost through a process called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). After exercise, your body works to return to its equilibrium. This takes energy.

Slowly work up to at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on most days of the week. Increase general activity throughout the day with short walks, housework, gardening, and taking the stairs. Incorporate strength training at least twice a week — this is imperative for rebuilding the muscle mass that was depleted during past dieting.

MyFoodDiary can guide you

MyFoodDiary is designed to help you lose weight the right way. We encourage gradual weight loss over time through a moderate calorie deficit, increased activity, and developing a healthy relationship with food. Unlike crash diets, we hope to help you achieve a healthier body and a faster metabolism, along with your desired weight loss.

Lori Rice, M.S., is a nutritional scientist and author with a passion for healthy cooking, exercise physiology, and food photography.
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