Miles per week – it’s always the first thing to spring to mind when you think of someone who’s trying to shed a few pounds.
And it’s something to do with physical activity, right? You burn calories, you increase your metabolism, and you help keep your body active.
But there’s more than one way to increase your metabolism – from changing what you eat to lifting weights to running. Which one of these tips will help you get rid of that unwanted weight?
Let’s look at the research.
The Metabolism-boosting Effects of Running
Increasing your daily activity – whether that’s walking, running, or dancing – can help to increase your metabolism and, in turn, help you to lose weight.
In a 2018 study published in the journal Nutrition & Dietetics, researchers explored whether or not there’s a link between exercise and the body’s fat-burning capabilities.
The study followed a group of overweight and obese adults who were participating in a weight loss program. The participants were either randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group or a stretching and muscle-toning group.
Over the course of the 12-week program, the stretching and muscle-toning group improved their resting metabolic rate by an average of 2.85 metabolic equivalents. The aerobic exercise group saw an increase of 3.35 metabolic equivalents.
Researchers concluded that there’s ‘strong evidence’ that participating in an exercise program can help to increase your metabolism and, as a result, the pounds you lose will be more easily burned off than if you weren’t active at all.
The Impact of Diet On Metabolism
The fuel you eat influences how your body functions. The macronutrients – the building blocks of food – carb, protein, and fat, impact your body in very different ways. These nutrients supply your body with energy and act as precursors to hormones and antioxidants that regulate your metabolism.
Research indicates that a diet rich in carbs might help to increase your resting metabolic rate by up to 10 percent.
In a study published last year in The Nutrition Journal, researchers looked at the effects of diets rich in carbs and protein on the resting metabolic rate of men and women. They also explored the impact that these macronutrient profiles have on several obesity-related metrics, including insulin sensitivity and weight loss.
The scientists divided the participants into three groups. Two of the groups’ meals were designed to be isocaloric and isonitrogentreated alike. The only difference between the diets was the source of the carbs. One of the groups ate a lot of bread and pasta, while the other consumed a lot of rice and potatoes. These foods are high in carbs, and the study participants who ate more of these foods had significantly increased resting metabolic rates compared to those who followed a diet rich in protein.
The researchers pointed out that although both diets reduced body weight and improved the studied markers of glucose metabolism, the effect was greater in the group who followed the high-carb diet. And while the high-carb diet didn’t impact insulin sensitivity, the high-protein diet did. However, when the participants were asked to rate how satisfied they were with their diet, the groups who followed the high-protein diet were the most satisfied.
This is important because it means that even if you’re not losing weight, you might still be benefiting from the food you’re eating. Your metabolism is boosted, and that’s the key to keeping your body fit and functional as you age. With more people living longer, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as long as possible.
How Many Miles Should You Run?
Let’s put this into context. There are plenty of ways to increase your metabolism, and one of the best ways is by doing physical activity. But that doesn’t mean that all forms of exercise are created equal. There are many different types of physical activities, and some are better suited than others to increase your metabolism and help you lose weight.
For example, if you want to increase your resting metabolic rate, it might be a good idea to start by doing some weight training. A 2018 study published in the journal PLoS ONE followed a group of overweight men and women who were either given a weight training exercise routine or asked to just maintain their normal lifestyle. The scientists measured the resting metabolic rate and total fat oxidation in the study’s participants before and after the 12-week program.
The weight training group – who did squats, lunges, and pull downs – increased their fat oxidation by 9.2 percent, and their resting metabolic rate increased by 5.95 metabolic equivalents. The control group, who didn’t engage in weight training, experienced an increase of 3.85 metabolic equivalents in their resting metabolic rate and an increase of 2.45 percent in their fat oxidation.
The researchers concluded that weight training can be an effective tool in weight loss for some people. They also noted that there’s been a lack of research on the long-term effects of weight training, which makes it difficult to know how safe or effective this method is over time.
The Impact of Temperature On Metabolism
Temperature is another factor that can influence your metabolism. Your body cools down as you exercise, and if you continue at a high temperature, your metabolism will slow down. You don’t want to overdo it and end up with overheating, but if you keep your body at a comfortable temperature, you may experience an increased metabolic rate.
In a study published in PLoS ONE in 2018, researchers examined the effect that different temperatures have on the resting metabolic rate of sedentary humans of both sexes. They also looked at how different temperatures affect body fat and leptin levels in the participants. Leptin is a protein produced by the fat cells that communicates with the hypothalamus, a body region that controls appetite and other functions, about the amount of food the body needs at any given time.
To test the impact that temperature has on the participants’ metabolism, the scientists set the experimental temperature at 36 degrees Celsius (°C) either at rest or during their exercise. At this temperature, the participants had a 25 percent higher resting metabolic rate than at 20 degrees (°C). At 40 degrees (°C) the resting metabolic rate more than doubled compared to that at 20 degrees (°C). If you overheat your body, especially your extremities like your hands and feet, you may experience discomfort as well as reduced functionality.
There’s a lot of conflicting research on how to boost your metabolism and how many calories you need to lose to become skinny. But what we do know for sure is that you’ll reach your destination faster if you use the right tools. If weight loss is your goal, you should start by measuring your resting metabolic rate (the calories you burn while at rest) with a home-kitchen appliance like a multigasometer or exercise-battery tester. This will give you an accurate idea of how much you need to lose to reach your goal weight.
Then, you can decide whether or not you want to incorporate a diet change or an exercise regimen into your plan. If you choose the former, you might want to try a calorie-restricted diet – at least until you reach your goal weight. In this case, it might be a good idea to try and incorporate more vegetables into your diet than usual. If you decide that a workout routine is the better option for you, you should look into different sorts of fitness that can increase your metabolism. Walking, swimming, and cycling are all excellent choices, as long as you do them regularly and make sure to warm up first. And don’t forget about the importance of nutrition, especially if you want to lose a lot of weight. Eat healthy foods regularly and avoid those that are high in calories. You’ll be on your way to healthier living in no time at all!