How to boost your metabolism and lose weight safely
There are lots of ways to lose weight, and finding a strategy that works for you can be tricky, especially if the generic advice of ‘eat healthily and exercise regularly’ is not making enough of a difference for you.
In general, if you can increase your metabolic rate then your body will be better equipped to burn fat and perform well during workouts, but how can you actually do this, and is it safe?
Everyone has different metabolisms to take into account, and if you are lucky then you will find weight loss relatively straightforward. If not, then choosing certain supplements to boost your metabolism will help to level out the playing field.
For example, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are used in a number of effective supplements to help your body convert more of your fat reserves into energy, and also make your recovery times quicker after intense workouts. Check out XTEND’s guide on BCAA’s benefits to get the full lowdown on how these kinds of supplements can assist with losing weight safely.
Avoid crash diets
While lots of extreme diet fads are still in circulation at the moment, it is actually a bad idea to go down this route for a variety of reasons, including the fact that crash diets actually decelerate your metabolic rate.
This is because in certain cases, diets which require you to dramatically cut your daily intake of calories will cause your body to break down muscle tissue for energy, and muscle requires more energy than fat cells to maintain, hence why people with higher muscle mass have faster metabolisms.
When you inevitably come off a diet, your body will more likely replace its energy stores with fats rather than with new muscle cells, so it is better to reduce your calorie intake more slowly and reach a sustainable level, rather than veering between two extremes with crash dieting.
Focus on muscle-building workouts
As mentioned, muscle tissue is more energy-intensive to maintain than fat, so the more muscles you have, the more calories your body will burn each day even if you are not doing anything especially strenuous.
This is why lots of people find that once they reach a certain level of fitness, it is much easier to maintain than those who are at an earlier stage in their weight loss journey. Aerobic exercises are all well and good, but remember that you should also integrate routines that emphasise muscle-building to help enhance your metabolism in the long term.
Intensity equals an increased metabolic rate
Following on from the importance of strength training, it is also worth noting that studies have shown that high intensity exercise is better for increasing your metabolism than lower intensity equivalents.
This applies no matter your fitness levels, so even if you are only going for walks as part of your weekly schedule of active experiences, jogging or running for short bursts in this context will deliver better results than if you just strolled the whole way.
Drink plenty of liquids
Studies show that the higher your hydration levels, the better you will be able to perform at a whole range of physical tasks, and your metabolism will also be better served too.
In addition to choosing water and unsweetened beverages to top up your hydration levels throughout the course of the day, adjust your snacking routine to focus on fruit and veg rather than salty treats, since the former will hydrate you while the latter will leave you parched.
Most importantly, pay attention to your body and make changes in your routine if any of your weight loss efforts are not working.