When it comes to successful and lasting weight loss, eating well is only part of the battle. Many wish to know how to increase calorie burn. Physical activity and building muscle will make weight loss quicker and easier by increasing your metabolic rate and burning more calories. Boosting the metabolism is the holy grail of weight watchers everywhere, but how fast your body burns extra calories depends on several factors. Some people inherit a speedy metabolism. Men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting.
And, for most people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. Although you can’t control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to get a boost.
In order to find out how to increase calorie burn, firstly, we need to understand what determines your metabolic rate and what you can do to influence it.
You burn calories to provide energy for three main functions:
- Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)
- Burning Calories for Activity
- Dietary Thermogenesis
This is the amount of calories you burn just by being alive – even when you are lying down, doing nothing. BMR accounts for approximately 60% of the calories burned for an average person.
This is the energy used during movement – from lifting your arm to operate the remote control to cleaning the windows. This accounts for approximately 30% of the calories burned by an average person.
The ‘thermogenic effect’ described as meal-induced heat production – the calories burned in the process of eating, digesting, absorbing and using food.
How to Increase Calorie Burn
For years, products have been marketed with the promise of helping you burn extra calories. But is there really anything you can do to increase the number of calories your body burns each day?
Well, yes and no, experts say. The truth seems to be that the No. 1 way to burn extra calories is the old-fashioned way – by moving more.
Still, research suggests that there may be a few other ways on how to increase calorie burn. Here are possible ways to burn more calories and fight fat:
Burn Extra Calories by Building Muscle
Our bodies constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time. In addition, after a bout of resistance training, muscles are activated all over your body, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.
How to Increase Calorie Burn by Fidgeting
Did your mum ever tell you to ‘stop fidgeting’. Well, for once she may have been wrong. Although the average person burns around 30% of calories through daily activity, many sedentary people (which would include most office workers) only use around 15%. Simply being aware of this fact – and taking every opportunity to move can make quite a dramatic difference to the amount of calories you burn.
The trick is to keep the ‘keep moving’ message in mind. Write the word ‘move’ on post-it notes and put them in places you’ll notice them when you’re sitting still. Then, take every opportunity to move – here’s some ideas for burning calories:
- Tap your feet
- Swing your legs
- Drum your fingers
- Stand up and stretch
- Move your head from side to side
- Change position
- Wriggle and fidget
- Pace up and down
- Don’t use the internal phone – go in person
- Use the upstairs loo
- Park in the furthest corner of the car park
- Stand up when you’re on the phone
- Clench and release your muscles
You’ll find lots of opportunities for burning extra calories if you remember that you’re looking for them! Keep thinking ‘keep moving’.
Eat Little and Often
There is some evidence to suggest that eating small, regular meals will keep your metabolism going faster than larger, less frequent meals. There are two reasons why meal frequency may affect your metabolism. Firstly, levels of thyroid hormones begin to drop within hours of eating a meal, and metabolism slows. Secondly, it may be that the thermogenic effect of eating several small meals is slightly higher than eating the same amount of calories all at once.
Provided your small meals don’t degenerate into quick-fix, high fat, high sugar snacks, eating little and often can also help to control hunger and make you less likely to binge.
Eat Spicy Food
Spicy foods contain chemical compounds that can kick the metabolism into a higher gear. Eating a tablespoon of chopped red or green chilli pepper can boost your metabolic rate. The effect is likely temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits may add up. For a quick boost, spice up pasta dishes, chilli, and stews with red pepper flakes.
As well as the actual amount of calories burned during exercise – studies have shown that sustained, high-intensity exercise makes you burn more calories for several hours afterwards.
Try 30 minute sessions of heart rate raising exercise, such as vigorous walking, step aerobics, jogging, cycling or swimming 3-4 times a week, as an excellent option for increasing calorie burn.
Power Up with Protein
The body burns many more calories digesting protein as it uses for fat or carbohydrates. Although you want to eat a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost the metabolism at mealtime.
Fuel Up with Water
The body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four glasses. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water before every meal and snack. In addition, try munching on fresh fruits and vegetables, which are full of fluid, rather than pretzels or chips.
To Find Out More – InBody Analysis
At health + aesthetics, we can help you understand more about your body and your metabolic rate to help you on the road to a healthier you, and find the best options on how to increase calorie burn, that’s tailored to you. The InBody 770 is the best body-composition analysis device in the world. It examines your Total Body Water, Fat, Protein, and Minerals, it also reveals percentage of body fat, muscle distribution, and body water balance; components that are key in understanding more about your body. The analysis is broken down per body segment showing muscle, fat and water content for each limb and the trunk of the body.
It is the top of the range analyser and is widely used in UK hospitals, universities, Health & Wellbeing centres and is now available at health + aesthetics. It is also FDA approved and its extensive results have been supported by research.
We provide the highest levels of care and attention and care and hope to welcome you at our clinic now and in the future, whether for our weight-loss programme or our treatments, such as our Botox and anti-fungal ones.