All the hype these days is about ways to boost your metabolism and burn fat. It’s hard to know what fiction is and what fact is in this area. Here’s a break down of some of what you may be hearing:
Yes, it’s true. You CAN burn more calories SLEEPING if you have more muscle mass. Strength training is your way to build more muscle and is truly the fountain of youth. Keep in mind too, that studies show that you will gain a better metabolic boost by doing harder exercises. For example, it’s better to be doing 8-10 reps with a heavier weight than 20-25 reps with a lighter one. This could also mean doing more difficult body weight exercises like push ups and pull ups. It’s not always necessary to have a huge weight room to do strength training. There are many advanced body weight exercises that can aid in strength and muscle development.
Your metabolism won’t go into” starvation mode” without breakfast, but it is associated with successful weight loss. Make it a habit to consume some protein first thing in the morning. Also, insulin resistance is lowest at this time, so consuming some complex carbohydrates is a good idea at breakfast time too. This will keep your appetite in check till your next break or even lunch.
There are plenty of products out there that claim to ‘burn fat’. As desirable as this may seem, it’s likely to be too good to be true. You’d be better off saving your money. Most of these products contain caffeine. They may give you a mental boost, but that doesn’t mean they will significantly boost metabolism or burn fat.
Eating 6 small meals per day
This claim is simple and true. Eating actually does help boost metabolism which can help you burn more fat. One of the worst things you can do when trying to get leaner is to stop eating. The body needs energy, and providing small meals on a regular basis helps.
The real claim to fame with adding protein to your diet is the blood sugar stabilizing effect that it produces. You can reduce the insulin spikes that occur with eating carbohydrates alone, and reduce the roller coaster effect that the insulin produces as well. Often the addition of protein will result in an overall caloric reduction because your appetite is controlled better.
Long Slow Cardio
Many believe that in order to burn fat, you should stay in the ‘fat burning zone’. That is, modify the intensity so that you can carry on a conversation while performing the exercise. This type of exercise, whether it be on a treadmill, bike, walking or jogging needs to be maintained for over 30 minutes to get into ‘fat burning’. The real result of this can be overtraining injuries and boredom! If this type of cardio appeals to you, great, do it, but don’t expect to yield huge results in terms of metabolism boosting or fat loss.
Interval training causes a greater increase in post-exercise metabolism than regular, long slow cardio. A recent study found that a shorter interval program led to more weight loss than a twice-as-long aerobic training program. Bottom line: Intervals work!
It seems that common sense wins out again. Sound eating, hard exercise and not relying on magic potions to aid in your fat loss are your best bet to your best health. Add strength training, interval training, mini-meals, and protein to your weight loss plan and you’ll be leaner thanks to your faster metabolism.
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