Our metabolic rate defines how our body uses energy. It is individual to each person, but there are things that we can do to make some improvements. Mornings are a great time to do just that.
The main factor is body composition. Bigger people appear to have a higher metabolic rate than average, because a larger body needs more calories to maintain it. That isn’t an excuse to dive into the cakes, sadly. The biggest calorie users in your body are the muscles.
So put on more muscle and you will need more calories to maintain it. Result – raised metabolism.
Your metabolic rate isn’t normally affected by the time of day, but there are still good reasons to schedule your exercise in the morning.
The way to put on more calorie-burning muscle is (of course) to do the right exercise. That is a mix of weight training and cardio. There is also evidence that your body continues to burn extra calories after your cardio workout. This effect is called the ‘afterburn’.
So why mornings? New research shows that ‘training fasted’ can be more efficient that a workout after eating. So a pre-breakfast exercise session is the perfect time for this. Combine that with the afterburn, and you’ve gained a metabolic rate bonus.
Plenty of foods are touted as being fat-burners or metabolism boosters, and so a great deal of research has been done into the effect of food on metabolic rate. Unfortunately there are no ‘magic bullets’ which will make a big difference –we wish!
Remember that even a 4% increase in your calorie burning capacity equates to just one biscuit.
It’s not all bad news, though. Protein is your friend here, because it helps you build muscle and that is what burns calories. So a protein-packed breakfast will kick-start your day. In addition, protein is filling so you will be less tempted to snack.
So it looks like a morning workout and a good breakfast will boost your day – and your metabolism too.
I think the difference increasing metabolism by 4% would make hardly makes it worth bothering to do it.
I feel very lucky to have always had a high metabolism. Or at least I think I have. I have lots of energy and like to move around a lot. I also am naturally muscular. I can eat what I want - some of us just got born lucky!