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A Day in the Life of Your Metabolism

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

By altering your behavior in small ways throughout the day, and paying attention to your natural body rhythms, you can increase your metabolic rate and calorie burn-up considerably, as well as lowering the total amount of calories eaten.




7:00 A.M.


Get up! Getting up an hour earlier than usual everyday can burn off many extra calories, depending upon how you spend the time. Light household chores use up 2.2 times your basal metabolic rate (an average extra 75 calories burned on top of BMR per hour)


7:05 A.M.


Stand at an open window and breathe in deeply for a minute or two. This helps to waken your body and kick-start your metabolism


8:00 A.M.


Have breakfast- a light meal including some protein, carbohydrate and fat (e.g., wholegrain cereal, nonfat milk, and some seeds)- the ideal combination to avoid hunger pangs later in the morning. Don’t rush your food- eat it slowly.


8:30 A.M.


Take 20-30 minutes of light aerobic (cardiovascular) exercise (e.g., exercise bike, step video, or walk to work or the store). This will help convert the carbohydrate in your breakfast to glycogen for your muscle store and will give your metabolic rate, adrenaline (epinephrine) levels, and mental alertnes a boost, in addition to using about 3.5 times the calories of your normal BMR (average extra calories burnt up in 30 minutes=55)


10:00 A.M.


Stand up as much as possible throughout the day if you have sedentary job- e.g., when talking on the phone or to people. For every hour of standing rather than sitting, you can use up an extra 50 or more calories, depending on your BMR. Fidgeting, rather than sitting completely still, will also help to burn up calories, so stretch, move your legs, and wave your arms around!


11:00 A.M.


Take a 10-minute break and walk around or up and down stairs. Get some fresh air and eat a small healthy snack, such as an apple. The snack will help stave off hunger before lunch and increase your metabolic rate slightly.


12:45 P.M.


Relax a little to prepare your digestive system for lunch-it will absorb food better if you are not tense. If at work, make easy phone calls or read mail.


1:00 P.M.


Have a fairly high-protein lunch (chicken, meat, fish, legumes). Protein raises the metabolic rate and there is some evidence that a high protein, low carbohydrate lunch will avoid the post lunch tiredness slump that many people experience. Don’t skip lunch- research shows if you eat now you tend to eat a healthier than if you eat later. A lunch will also help you avoid bingeing on sweet or junk foods later. Take time eating your lunch- fast eating is linked with fat bellies!


1:30 P.M.


Take 20-30 minutes of light aerobic exercise (perhaps a walk at a good pace). Research shows that the metabolism-boosting effect of eating is increased with exercise.


4:00 P.M.


Have a small healthy snack, such as yogurt or some dried fruits and nuts. As for me, I love coffee with nuts.


5:00 or 6:00 P.M.


Visit the gym or exercise at home. Research shows that for most people, this is the best time to workout, when muscle and core body temperature is at its highest and endurance levels are are at their peak. Incorporate plenty of weight training. Taking 3-5 weight sessions a week, including up to 30 reps exercising all the major muscle groups, can increase metabolic rate by up to 15% over time.


7:00 P.M.


Have your evening meal, including carbohydrates, protein and fat. Leaving it any later than this will make you inclined to eat more or binge on fatty, salty or sweet foods before your meal is ready. Begin to relax and wind down.


9:00 P.M.


A session of easy yoga or stretching will help the body to de-stress and relax in preparation for bed, as your levels of adrenaline lower.


10:00 – 11:00 P.M.


The best time to go to bed, because the body increases its output of melatonin, body temperature begins to drop, and metabolic rate slows. As you sleep, lung function and breathing slow. Exercising when your body clock says it’s time for sleep is counterproductive.


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