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Many people wonder how to speed up the metabolism to burn fat. In this article, I am going to explain what you can really do and what are the myths.
How to speed up metabolism
Surely you have heard the expression have a slow metabolism many times. Does this mean that if I have a slow metabolism I cannot lose weight?
Not exactly, but it is true that not all people have the same metabolism. For example, people with an ectomorphic constitution are burning machines.
As I imagine you know, there are three types of constitutions or bodies: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.
People with an ectomorphic constitution are those who find it difficult to gain weight and build muscle, this is due in part to their accelerated metabolism. However, the reverse happens to people of endomorphic constitution.
What is basal metabolism?
I guess at this point you ask yourself:
Okay, this is fine, but if I am an endomorphic person; Is there no way to change my metabolism?
Well, the fact is that there are actions that are in our power to carry out to accelerate our metabolism.
This is where the concept of basal metabolism comes into play:
Basal metabolism is the number of calories our body needs to be able to maintain the vital functions of our organs without including any extra activity.
To know the number of total calories that we must ingest daily, we must take into account our basal metabolism and our degree of physical activity.
How to calculate basal metabolism
There are many equations to calculate our basal metabolism. The one that I usually use, and it is surely one of the best known, is the Harris-Benedict equation.
Using this equation we can calculate the GER (energy expenditure at rest) or basal metabolism, using weight in kilograms (kg), height in centimeters (cm), and age in years:
GER = 66.6 + (13.7 x weight) + (5 x height) – (6.8 x age)
GER = 66.5 + (9.6 x weight) + (1.85 x height) – (4.6 x age)
To know our total energy expenditure (GET), that is, the number of calories that we should eat per day, we must place the GET in relation to the physical activity factor (FA) and the stress or aggression factor we suffer (EF).
GET = GER x FA x FE
Proteins to speed up the metabolism?
Do proteins serve to speed up the metabolism? You have surely heard this statement on more than one occasion. The people who sell the keto diet defend this argument vehemently.
However, it is not true that proteins “speed up the metabolism.” What happens is that the digestive system uses more energy to synthesize protein, in contrast to other macronutrients (fats and carbohydrates).
Should we take protein to speed up metabolism?
We must follow a healthy and balanced diet. It would seem pretty foolish to eat a protein-based diet just for this reason. In addition, we must remember that an excess of protein in the body can be extremely toxic.
Tricks to speed up the metabolism
If you have reached this point, I imagine it is very likely that you intuit what we have to do to make our metabolism act faster. So I’m going to tell you some “tricks to speed up the metabolism”, although really, they have a few tricks.
How to speed up the metabolism to burn fat?
It’s simple, we have to increase our basal metabolism. By increasing our basal metabolism we get that for each action we perform we burn more.
Actually, this option is not so much acceleration of the metabolism, but of the performance of the same.
The way to increase the speed of our metabolism itself would be through activation and stress.
I tell you the two proposed strategies:
1. Increase the performance of our basal metabolism
As I said before, we must raise our basal metabolism. Basal metabolism increases with our body weight.
By increasing our muscle mass we achieve that for each action we perform our body consumes more calories.
How can we increase muscle mass?
Most people when they want to lose weight they begin to exercise. A common mistake is that this exercise is only aerobic in nature, neglecting muscle training.
If you want to accelerate the metabolism and lose weight, it is essential that you also work on muscle gain for the reason that I have explained to you through physical exercise. I leave you the link to an article I wrote about how to train to gain muscle mass.
In short: we will have to work with high loads of weight and a moderate number of repetitions.
Protein intake and increased basal metabolism
The preferential consumption of proteins also contributes to the increase of our basal metabolism.
Be careful, I’m not talking about taking protein to build muscle, that’s another story. When we consume proteins during lunch or dinner especially, for the synthesis of said proteins, the body requires 25% of the energy ingested. While in other macronutrients such as fats and carbohydrates, the metabolic energy expenditure is 2% and 5% respectively.
2. Activate the metabolism
This is increasing our level of activity. Physical exercise promotes the activation of our body, and therefore, accelerates metabolism.
However, not all sport formats contribute in the same way to such activation. If we want to know how to increase metabolism to burn fat through sports, we have to know how to exercise;
Let’s think that if we go out for an hour and run for 20 minutes, it is possible that the caloric expenditure in both actions is similar. Let’s say, about 300 kcal.
However, why do we say that running makes you lose more weight?
How to speed up the metabolism to the maximum?
The reason is that the burning of fat does not only occur during the development of the action but also does it afterward. Running activates us in a way that walking does not. So even after we have run, we will continue to burn.
In this sense, it is proven that the best sports to burn fat are those that involve aerobic and anaerobic exercise simultaneously. Again I refer you to an article where I explain in more detail how to train to optimize fat burning.
We have to do a type of exercise where we simultaneously have to work strength, endurance, and power.
High intensity in a short time is also very effective as it subjects the body to high levels of stress. In that sense, HIT-type training is the most recommended option if we want to lose weight.
So if you wanted to know how to speed up your metabolism to the max, you know how you have to break a sweat.
Does stress speed up or slow down the metabolism?
Regarding this issue, there is a great controversy, depending on your characteristics people one thing will happen or another.
For one thing, stress promotes fat retention. The reason for this is evolutionary. In the past, a stressful situation could indicate the inability to feed.
On the other hand, when we are stressed, we activate ourselves and it makes our brain (which alone accounts for 25% of the expenditure of all our basal metabolism) consume more resources and energy.
Is there a diet to speed up the metabolism?
I have read that the ketogenic diet or that the intermittent fasting diet serves to accelerate metabolism.
This is not true either, what happens in both types of diets is that when we stop eating, our body has no choice but to have to draw on reserves to obtain energy (fats). That is to say, it does not accelerate metabolism much.