Thursday, March 21, 2013

12 Quick Tips to Boost Your Metabolism

There are a lot of people who would give a lot to increase their metabolism. Having a high metabolism enables one to maintain burn fat and lose weight fast with the least amount of activity. Metabolism is the rate by which the body produces and consumes energy and calories to support life.

There are several factors that affect the metabolism, such as the amount of muscle tissue, the frequency of the meals one consumes, genetics, stress levels, personal diet and activity levels.

Metabolism slows down due to the following factors: loss of muscle because of not enough physical activity, the tendency of the body to cannibalize its own tissue because there is not enough food energy to sustain it, and the decrease of physical activity that often occurs with old age.

Here are several ways to fire up your metabolism:

Strength Training Circuit-2
Strength Training Circuit-2 (Photo credit: Phil Manker)
1. Build lean, mean body mass. There is a slight decline in metabolism with age, but it is possible to counter the effects. The amount of muscle a person has is a very strong determinant in the ability to burn calories and shed fat. So it goes without saying that exercise is essential. Build strength and resistance by working out at least twice a week, preferably with weights. Do easy exercises in between workouts. Simple tasks such as walking the dog and using the stairs in place of the elevator can already take off calories. The key is to match the amount of eating to the amount of activity one has. Here are some guidelines in getting the right exercise:

For strength training

-Increase the amount of repetitions of a particular exercise.
-Up the level of resistance
-Utilize advanced exercise techniques if possible

For cardiovascular training

-Insert intervals between exercises
-Perform cross-training and combine the exercises
-Increase resistance and/or speed

2. Eat breakfast. A lot of people ignore the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It may seem counter-intuitive, but those who eat breakfast are usually thinner than the ones who do not. Metabolism can slow down considerably if breakfast is taken during late morning or if one waits until the afternoon to eat, as your body starts to go into starvation mode and conserve calories.

3. Avoid sugar. Avoid sugar. Avoid sugar. (This one is so important I had to repeat it three times!) Sugar enables the body to store fat. For best results you should consume only food that helps sustain an even level of blood-sugar. Additionally, regular exercise at least 2-3 times a week helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

4. Eat spicy foods. Hot cuisine with peppers can increase metabolism.

5. Sleep more. According to research, people who do not get enough sleep are much more likely to gain weight. Also, muscles are regenerated during the last couple of hours of slumber, so if you're short on sleep your muscle mass may start to decline.

6. Increase water intake. Water flushes out toxins that are produced whenever the body burns fat. The majority of bodily functions involve water, and lack of water causes the body systems to slow down, and produces unneeded stress as a result.

7. Eat smaller meals. It is advisable to consume 4 to 6 small meals per day that are timed 2 to 3 hours apart. This keeps your body from going into "starvation mode," as it sees there is plenty of food available, so there is no need to store fat.

8. Never skip meals. People tend to skip meals in order to lose weight, which is a big mistake since it slows down metabolism. (See # 7 above.)

9. Plan meals in detail. Always prepare the right amount of food to be consumed at the designated intervals. Do not commit the mistake of eating meals in sporadic patterns. (See #7 above.)

10. Ditch the stress! Stress, be it physical or emotional, triggers the release of a steroid called cortisol, which decreases metabolism and increases fat storage. Also, people tend to eat excessively when stressed.

green tea
green tea (Photo credit: vordichtung)
11. Guzzle that green tea. It can be used as a substitute for coffee. Tea has the ability to stimulate metabolism, and unlike coffee, it has no undesirable side effects when too much is consumed. It is absorbed more evenly into the body, so you won't get the jitters like with coffee.

12. Include more energy foods in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains. Whole foods contain complete complexes of nutrients that the body needs to function optimally and shed excess fat.

Achieving your desired body weight is never impossible if one has the determination and patience needed to stabilize your metabolism, which plays such an important role in weight loss. However, you do need to realize that eating right and working out is not just a passing fancy, but a way of life - at least if you intend to make lasting positive change to your health and fitness.

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