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4 Ways To Ignite Your Metabolism

Scottsdale Personal Trainer

Your metabolism refers to how many calories you burn throughout the day. Your metabolism is comprised of several influencing variables such as your basal metabolic rate, the thermic effect of food, non-exercise activity thermogenesis, and the energy expended through conscious exercise or physical activity.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of caloric expenditure, or energy used, when at rest in a non-digestive state. Your BMR is the largest component of daily energy expenditure and is also highly variable depending on several individual physiological factors. Of these factors, it can be agreed that the most influential on BMR is the amount of fat-free mass or lean body mass that one carriers. Additional factors that also play a role are age, sex, fat mass, hormonal secretions of leptin, as well as thyroid hormone T3 and T4.

What this means is that individuals with more muscle mass and lower body fat percentages will have a much higher BMR, so they will be able to consume more calories and will likely have increased insulin sensitivity, increased leptin sensitivity and higher productions of anabolic hormones. Individuals with lower lean-body mass and higher fat-mass will have lower BMR’s and will likely have much more of a resistance to insulin and leptin which unfortunately will alter their ability to effectively transport glucose as well as feel satiety following a meal.

The implications of this suggest that people with higher body fats, not only have lower caloric requirements due to a lowered BMR but also find difficulty in feeling satisfied following a meal and also will not properly regulate hormones because of their high body fat percentages.

Calculating BMR has traditionally been done using several differing equations in the past, yet as new research comes out these equations must be altered or adjust to maintain relevance. Here is the popular Harris Benedict Equation

Because of the distinctive correlation between lean-body mass as well as hormones associated with musculoskeletal strength and hypertrophy training, it is extremely important that anyone who desires to increase their BMR, improve their body composition, or lose-weight must be focusing on increasing lean muscle tissue and promoting anabolic hormonal secretions.

Tips to Boost Metabolism

Lift Heavy & Often

Your basal metabolic rate is how many calories your body burns naturally at rest to maintain functionality. Your basal metabolic rate is highly dependent on the amount of lean muscle mass you have, therefore someone like a bodybuilder with a high amount of muscle mass and low body fat will have a dramatically higher BMR than someone with little muscle mass. Because of this it is extremely important that both men and women adhere to some form of a resistance training program aimed at increasing lean body mass and promoting secretions of important hormones that regulate metabolism such as growth hormone, testosterone, and thyroid hormone T3, T4, and TSH.

Eat More

It seems counter-intuitive but if you have been dieting, have maintained a low-calorie diet for a significant amount of time, or have had an eating disorder where calories had been extremely restricted; then it is highly likely that you have developed an adaptive metabolism. This means that as a result of extremely low-calorie conditions, several physiological mechanisms and hormones in your body have adjusted as a survival mechanism. If you begin to slowly increase your caloric intake you can reverse the effects of metabolic adaptation by increasing the thermic effect of food and bringing your leptin levels back up.


Protein promotes the highest levels of satiety of all the macronutrients, which means by eating more protein you will feel more full throughout the day. Additionally, protein has a greater thermogenic effect than the other macronutrients. The thermogenic effect of food (TEF) is a measure of energy that your body needs to digest food. What this means is that protein is harder for your body to digest and thus has a higher metabolic cost compared to fat or carbs. The TEF of protein is 25%, meaning 25% of the calories of each gram of protein is burned off through digestion, whereas the TEF of carbohydrates is 5%, and is only 2% for fats.

HIIT Training

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is far more effective than Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) because it takes less time, promotes anabolic hormonal secretions which allows maintenance of muscle and strength, and ultimately does not seem to cause a lowering of metabolic rate over time. High-intensity cardio causes long-term metabolic adaptations that enable you to increase your capacity to burn fat even when you rest.

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