- the frequency, nutritional quality and amount of food you eat, and
- the frequency, intensity and type of exercises you perform.
- Eat more frequent meals (i.e., every three hours) consisting of relatively small portion sizes. Each meal should consist of protein (fish is ideal for omega-3 fatty acids) and lots of fiber (ideally from vegetables). Protein and fiber tend to digest slowly which encourages your body to burn more calories (increasing your metabolic rate) for digestion to occur. Eating more frequently throughout the day helps to boost your metabolic rate because your body will not feel that it's starving and resort to storing fat for energy.
- Perform weight training two to three days per week to gain lean body mass (i.e., muscle). Muscle burns more energy than fat because this lean tissue is more metabolically active. In addition, it takes more energy for your body to recover and rebuild your muscles from a weight-training session than it does to recover from a constant-intensity cardiorespiratory session. Be sure to train at an intensity level which causes muscle fatigue resulting in soreness.
- Perform interval cardio training. Interval training enhances your metabolic rate due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC occurs as a result of your body's need to replenish oxygen debt from an intense cardiovascular training session. Your metabolic rate will be more elevated during recovery from interval training than it would from constant-intensity training.
- Sleep in a cooler environment. Your body's metabolic rate will increase in a cooler environment because it will burn more calories to maintain a healthy, warm body temperature. This is the easiest way for you to boost your metabolic rate!
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."