How To Boost Your Metabolism For Accelerated Fat Loss

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Note: This is a guest post by Herculean Strength. Our views may not be the same. If you like this post, feel free to go and check out his website linked above!

Everyone wants to boost their metabolism with the goal to accelerate fat loss. A faster Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) makes life a lot easier. 

Imagine if you could eat more foods you love and lose more fat in the process?

Imagine if you could eat more foods you love and lose fat faster?

Well, it is possible, but we live in an age of now — everyone wants results, but they want results yesterday.

This present-mindedness has paved the way for skilled marketers to peddle promises in a bottle.

Take this pill for instant fat loss; lose fat in 4 weeks by taking this product; try this no-nonsense program to lose fat easier than before.

And so on, and so forth!

There is only one way to lose fat: expend more than you consume.

In other words: eat less and do more.

But don’t get it twisted, there are many prevailing fad diets and gimmicks that come and go.

And yes, some of them do work, but all of them — whether they mention it or not — underpin the same principle: to burn more calories than you eat.

Now, there are two ways to do this: eat fewer calories than you burn or burn more calories than you eat.

That’s it. It’s simply that simple.

Underlying this process is your BMR. This determines how many calories you typically burn at a state of rest. 

Doing cardio, strenuous activity, remaining standing throughout large portions of the day, and your job description can all help you increase the total number of calories you burn, but your BMR remains constant subject to fluctuations in body weight, lean muscle mass, thermogenic/stimulant use, and more.

Herein, we will discuss various techniques you can use to burn more calories at rest — by increasing your BMR.

Build Muscle

Building muscle is, undoubtedly, the king of methods you can employ to burn more fat at rest.

Muscle is metabolically active and metabolically expensive.

In layman’s terms, it means that you expend energy just by holding onto extra muscle tissue.

Each pound of lean muscle mass that you accrue translates to burning an extra 20-30 calories per day as opposed to just body mass which clocks in at around 15 calories per day.

To put this into perspective, the average person can gain between 20-40lb of lean muscle mass in 5-10 years of natural lifting, which means that you won’t have to resort to taking performance enhancing drugs to lose those extra calories through building muscle.

And if you want to take a little something extra, creatine — one of the most widely studied, used, and safe legal performance enhancing drugs — has been shown to supraphysiologically increase muscle mass. 

Creatine can enable your body to become stronger, more athletic, while gaining more muscle mass than you would be able to without it.

Eating Protein

Yes, although the purpose of this article is to showcase methods that will increase your metabolic rate at rest, eating is a constant in this equation.

Why?

Because you have to eat.

Out of the three macronutrients (four if you include alcohol), protein is the most thermogenic and consumes roughly a quarter of its total calories in digestion.

Say, for example, you eat a big juicy steak, a quarter of its calories in protein will be expended through digestion alone.

For those on a calorie-restricted diet, this should be one of the most dominant macronutrient choices, because aside from helping to preserve lean muscle mass in a caloric deficit and making you feel fuller for longer, you are burning a quarter of its total calories, whereas only 0-5% of the calories from fat and 10-15% of the calories from carbohydrates are burnt in digestion.

Drinking Black Coffee

Caffeine, the active stimulant in black coffee, can also raise your BMR.

Don’t break out the celebrations just yet as it is fairly negligible, but enough for it to be warranted as a serious consideration.

Caffeine can increase your BMR by 3-4% in the first 150 minutes following consumption.

For this reason, it’s perhaps the most common ingredient in over-the-counter fat burner supplements.

However, you shouldn’t get it twisted — over-the-counter supplements definitely do not warrant their lofty price tags.

Assuming you are dieting for fat loss, you shouldn’t take your foot off the gas and not do cardio.

Cardio is what makes dieting easier. Imagine trying to adhere to a calorie-restricted diet without doing cardio? Life would become nightmarish. Cardio will speed up your cut as well as make the experience altogether more enjoyable.

Caffeine — aside from marginally raising your BMR — will afford you the energy to do cardio when you don’t feel up to it or depleted.

Cold Exposure

This final point is a little more controversial as the fitness community is divided on cold exposure.

While it indubitably boasts various health benefits, cold exposure to some degree can health raise your BMR.

Cold exposure can raise your BMR through a process where WAT (white adipose tissue) is converted into BAT (brown adipose tissue). BAT — typically stored in the neck, upper back, and shoulder blades — is more efficient at regulating body temperature by burning chemical energy to create heat — or something known as “cold thermogenesis.”

Additionally, excessive deposits of WAT, which the average untrained person tends to hold,  have been linked to a slew of health issues, including diabetes and other metabolic problems. To underscore this point, there exists an inverse correlation with obese test subjects and BAT.

In summation, the fatter you are, the less BAT you will tend to hold.

According to a recent study [R]:

The researchers had 5 healthy men, average age 21 years, reside for 4 months in a clinical research unit in the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The men engaged in regular activities during the day and then returned to their private room each evening. The temperature of the room was set to 24 °C (75 °F) during the first month, 19 °C (66 °F) the second month, 24 °C again for the third month, and 27 °C (81 °F) the remaining month.

The participants were exposed to the temperature for at least 10 hours each night. They wore standard hospital clothing and had bed sheets only. All meals were provided, with calorie and nutrient content carefully controlled and all consumption monitored. At the end of each month, the men underwent extensive evaluations, including energy expenditure testing, muscle and fat biopsies, and PET/CT scanning of an area of the neck and upper back region to measure brown fat volume and activity.

After a month of exposure to mild cold, the participants had a 42% increase in brown fat volume and a 10% increase in fat metabolic activity. These alterations returned to near baseline during the following month of neutral temperature, and then were completely reversed during the final month of warm exposure. All the changes occurred independently of seasonal changes.

The increase in brown fat following a month of cold exposure was accompanied by improved insulin sensitivity after a meal during which volunteers were exposed to mild cold. Prolonged exposure to mild cold also resulted in significant changes in metabolic hormones such as leptin and adiponectin. There were no changes in body composition or calorie intake.

The findings suggest that humans may acclimate to cool temperature by increasing brown fat, which in turn may lead to improvements in glucose metabolism. These changes can be dampened or reversed following exposure to warmer temperatures.

All of these suggested techniques cannot undo a poor diet model as they are merely supplemental tools to facilitate fat loss.

The important thing to remember while losing fat is to determine your BMR.

A rough way to determine your BMR is to multiply your body weight in pounds by 15.

If you weigh 200lb, your BMR should be around 3000 calories per day (200×15).

Again, it’s a rough estimation that will require some trial and error on your part.

A good place to start if you seek to lose fat at a sustainable pace is to consume 11-12 calories per pound of body weight per day.

If you weigh 200lb, start with 2400 calories per day. If the scales don’t budge after 2-3 weeks, reduce your caloric intake by 100-200 per day at a time and re-evaluate your progress after 2-3 weeks until the pounds begin to shift.

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