6 Techniques That Will Ignite a Fat-Burning Bomb
1. Build Muscle
Your body still needs calories to function even if you’re not exercising. While resting your body still needs calories to be used by organs such as your brain, your digestive system and your muscles. All the processes that are happening in your body without your knowledge require energy and how much energy is required to keep your body functioning is what is referred to as your basal metabolic rate (BMR) or what is commonly referred to as “metabolism”.
Others will argue that metabolism is genetic. While this could be true to a certain extent, your metabolism is much more affected by your body’s composition than it is by your genes.
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat and the more muscle you have the more calories you will need to burn during your body’s resting stage. Some experts estimate that per pound of muscle you gain, your body will have to burn 30-50 calories more than it would if you had gained a pound of fat.
One of the best ways to gain muscle is to lift weights. Lifting itself is also one of the best ways to increase your metabolism. Lifting strains your body so much that in order to recover from the strain, your body will need to burn even more calories.
2. Drink Up!
A German study tested drinking water and whether it increased energy expenditure in the human body. What the researchers found was that after drinking about 17 ounces of water, the metabolic rates of the participants increased by as much as 30% in both male and female research participants.
If you do the math, drinking an extra 1.5 liters everyday could help you lose 5 pounds in a year.
3. Drink More Green Tea
If you’re looking for a “magic drink” that could help you increase metabolism and lose weight faster, look no further than green tea! A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract increased metabolism by 4% up to 24 hours.
Drinking 3 to 5 cups of green tea daily will allow you to burn 70 calories more every day, which can add up to losing about 7 pounds in a year. Green tea has also been shown to decrease fat absorption, prevent insulin spikes, and reduce cravings and appetite. So instead of drinking coffee after dessert maybe it would be wise to drink more tea instead.
4. Eat More Protein
Aside from filling you up and leaving you full for longer, protein requires more calories to burn than fat, fiber and especially carbohydrates.
The thermogenic effect of food (TEF) is measured by how many calories your body needs to burn in order to digest the food you ate. The TEF of proteins is 25% (meaning that 25% of the calories of the protein you just ate will be used to burn protein) while the TEF for carbohydrates is 5% and fat has a TEF of 2%.
5. Avoid Crash Diets
Crash diets can wreak havoc on your metabolism.
Crash diets are when you consume a less than healthy caloric deficit in a span of days, weeks or even months in an effort to lose as much weight as possible. Any time that you force your body to function on so much less calories than it actually needs to function, it goes into starvation mode. This means that your body will hold on to as much fat as it can in order to make sure it can run on something and may result to burning muscle tissue instead.
While crash diets are more counterproductive than anything, it is true that you will have to eat at a caloric deficit in order to jumpstart the weight loss process. The best way to go about this is to approach it with moderation. Start with a caloric deficit of 500 calories daily, either by reducing food intake or through working out.
6. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Cardiovascular exercise raises your metabolism while you do it. High intensity interval cardio raises your metabolism for up to 40 hours after. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is basically going at maximum intensity for 60 seconds and then resting for 90 seconds. Do this for a total of 7 rounds for about 21 minutes of exercise.
Why only 20 minutes? Isn’t that time too short to be effective?
Not with HIIT where a 20 minute session burns more calories than an hour of steady pace jogging. It’s so effective in fact, that experts will warn you not to do HIIT for more than 3-4 times a week.
A good analogy for this is driving your car at maximum speeds, then slowing down and then gunning it again, compared to driving it at steady speeds. Common knowledge will tell us that gunning and slowing burns exponentially more gas than driving at steady speeds. The same kind of thing happens to our bodies when we do HIIT.