Although muscle weighs more than fat, it uses more energy (meaning that you will even burn more calories at rest!). The average woman in her 30s, who weight trains 30-40 minutes, two times a week, for about 4 months, will increase her metabolism by 100 calories per day.
Your body digests protein slower than it does fats and carbs, so you’ll feel fuller for longer. About 10% of the calories you burn during an average day is due to the energy your body uses to digest your food. Because it takes longer for your body to digest protein than it does carbs or fat, your body expends more energy to absorb the nutrients.
Muscle cells need a lot of energy, so they burn a lot of calories. Even when you’re not exercising, your muscle cells are burning calories. Physical activity reaps calorie-burning benefits even after you’re done sweating!
Cortisol triggers the release of glucose into the bloodstream, which fuels the body to react to a threat. Because cortisol is not necessary to combat most daily stresses it tends to build up in your system. An excess of cortisol leads to many detrimental side effects, including storing fat in the abdomen. It can also lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
Sleep deprivation is related to several undesirable changes in metabolic activity. As cortisol levels in the blood increase, the immune response decreases, and the body’s ability to handle glucose diminishes, which causes the appetite control to suffer greatly.
Omega-3’s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, which helps regulate metabolism. Studies have also found that Omega-3’s can reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which has been linked to how fast fat is burned.
In addition to its plethora of antioxidants, new evidence shows that catechin, the active ingredient in green tea, may increase metabolism. If you drink 5 eight-ounce cups of green tea a day, your energy expenditure can increase by 90 calories per day.
Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast shortly after getting out of bed wakes up your metabolism and keeps you going throughout the day.
Trans fats slow down your body’s ability to burn fat. It binds to fat and liver cells, slowing metabolism. Eating trans fats can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, resulting in a slower metabolism and weight gain.
The human body wasn’t meant for the level of inactivity many people are accustomed to these days. Between 8 hours of sleep, and additional 7-10 sitting at their desks, people are sedentary now more than ever. In addition to the negative side effects discussed in detail in our Sitting Is The New Smoking article, a British study found that standing at work burned 50 more calories per hour than sitting.
- Pasiakos S. Effects of high-protein diets on fat-free mass and muscle protein synthesis following weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. The FASEB Journal. 2013.
- Acheson K. Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011.
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