Losing weight means boosting the calories you burn compared to the calories you consume. It makes sense that you want to burn as many calories as possible when you’re trying to lose weight or keep it off. The problem is, your body is working against you as you lose weight.
Your resting metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn each day before counting your exercise, drops with weight loss. Part of the drop is because you weigh less, so your body doesn’t need to work as hard – or expend as many calories – to keep you alive and breathing.
Part of the drop is a protective response from your body. Your body thinks you’re starving it when you diet, so it slows everything down to save energy. That’s another way of saying that you burn fewer calories. To make things even more unfair, your resting metabolic rate stays slow for years after you lose weight.
How can you possibly hope to lose weight and keep it off? Boost your metabolism! Here are a few tricks for burning more calories throughout the day. Each of these tricks has one or more bonuses, too! This is just Part 1 of the two-part blog series…stay tuned for Part 2!
Strategy: Up Your Protein Intake
Compared to carbs and fat, protein is harder to digest. That’s actually a good thing, because it means you burn more calories when you eat protein than when you eat fats or carbs. You can easily up your protein by swapping BariatricPal versions of your regular faves. Go for low-carb BariatricPal Protein Breakfasts, such as oatmeal, omelets, and even cereal, or Lunch and Dinner Entrees such as vegetarian chili, nacho cheese pasta, and oriental chicken. You can also opt for Protein Bars and Shakes as an anytime snack or meal replacement for an extra shot of metabolism-revving protein.
Added bonus: Protein is slow to digest, so your meal or snack stays in your stomach for longer. That makes it a natural hunger suppressant to help you eat less at your next meal or snack. Protein also stabilizes blood sugar compared to carbs like bread and sugary foods, so you can count on more energy for hours…and having more energy makes it easier for you to be active and burn more calories. You can see why protein has been getting a good amount of media attention recently!
Strategy: Eat More Often
Remember that part about your body’s starvation response when you diet? Well, it turns out that your body is pretty smart…and that spells bad news for weight loss. Your metabolism actually starts to slow as soon as your body thinks you’re starving it, which can happen within hours of not eating.
If you usually get your daily calories in by eating a couple of large meals, you can boost your metabolism by dividing your calories into 3 small meals plus 2 or 3 snacks. You don’t need to worry about extra food prep time with helpers from The BariatricPal Store. Protein Bars, Cookies, Chips, and Cereal are ready to eat, while our Hot Protein Breakfasts and Lunch and Dinner Entrees are ready in minutes.
Added bonus: Eating more often can help keep your blood sugar levels more stable. That’s not only good for managing and preventing diabetes, but also for making you feel more energetic.
It’s not that hard to boost your metabolism, and you may see the results on the scale. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series for more tips on burning more calories all day.