10 Ways To Increase Your Metabolism

    

 When we talk about dieting we hear the word metabolism thrown around a lot. Before we discuss how you can increase your metabolism lets take just a second to look at what “metabolism” is.

     There is a lot of science behind truly understanding metabolism and how if functions. My husband the chemist and best friend the biologist would no doubt be fascinated by the science, but  I’m not a scientist. Most of you reading probably aren’t either, so let’s keep it simple. On a very basic level, metabolism is the amount of energy (calories) your body burns to maintain itself.  So what we are looking at here are simple ways to cause your body to burn more calories.

     There are many tips out there for ways to boost metabolism. I’ve tried to stick to those with some scientific basis. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Feel free to do your own research to find other great tips. I hope you will share what you find with me.

1. Eat Enough – Don’t eat under 1000 calories a day. When the body isn’t given enough fuel it doesn’t work efficiently. Eating too few calories will actually slow down the metabolism because the body feels the need to reserve energy. This will cause you to lose weigh more slowly. Who want’s that?

2. Eat Frequently – The digestion process takes energy. If we eat small amounts frequently (every 2 to 4 hours) our body spends more of its time and energy digesting those foods. Be sure that you aren’t adding extra calories to your diet though. Eat smaller amounts at closer intervals to burn more calories.

3. Eat Breakfast – It’s important to get your body moving after its long rest. Research shows that people who eat breakfast are more likely to lose and control weight. Breakfast gets your metabolic clock moving and gives you the energy to start your day.

4.  Eat Protein (At Every Meal or Snack) – The calorie burning boost of the digestive process is greater with protein. In addition, protein helps build muscle and helps you feel more satisfied until the next meal. What foods might be easy to add and still stay on track with your calorie intake? Low fat Yogurt and Cheese, Lean meats, nuts and beans top my list.

5.  Break Up Your Workouts – Research has shown that  doing shorter high energy workouts a couple of times a day can produce greater results in weight-loss than a longer single workout . Your metabolism stays higher for a period of time after exercising, thus following a workout your calorie burn is increased. In addition, in short burst you can put in greater energy expenditure than over a long haul. Instead of running for 1 hour every morning, consider running morning and afternoon for 30 minute each time. This is great news for beginners. Every mini workout counts and if you give it gusto carry great benefits afterward as well.

6. Build Muscle – Muscle is the body tissue with the greatest energy usage. A muscular body uses up more calories than a flabby one. As you build muscle, more calories are required to maintain it. Add strength building exercises to your regimen. You can lift weights or do toning moves. Even situps and running are muscle-building. This is encouragement that as we become healthier, our new leaner bodies will be easier to maintain. Try checking out Angel’s Zumba Toning Class at Kipps Elementary in Blacksburg at Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m.

7. Get Enough Sleep – “Skimping on sleep can alter your metabolism”, says Sanjay Patel, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.  Not getting enough sleep will lower the number of calories burned at rest.  According to Berardi, the rate of calories your body burns at rest represents about 60% to 75% of your total daily calorie burning, which makes slowing it through lack of sleep a serious roadblock to weight loss. (from Webmd) Yay! I can add “get 8 hours of sleep” to my action steps.

8. Add Fish Oil To The Plan –  “EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found only in fish oil, may have the power to dramatically boost your metabolism — by about 400 calories per day researchers from the University of Western Ontario report. Fish oil increases levels of fat-burning enzymes and decreases levels of fat-storage enzymes in your body. For the best metabolism boosting benefit, choose capsules containing at least 300 milligrams of EPA and DHA total.”  (from WebMd)

9. Let Nature Control The Temperature – I’m not suggesting that you use no heat or air conditioning, but keeping your environment too comfortable can actually slow metabolism. The body was designed to compensate for nature’s fluctuations. If your body has to work a little harder to stay warm or to cool the metabolism increases. So consider keeping the thermostat a little less than prime.

10. Get Your Vitamins – Low levels of vitamins such as B and D can lead to fatigue, depression, and lowered metabolism. We primarily get our natural D from being out side and enjoying activities in the sunlight, so make outdoor play part of your day. Foods such as spinach, asparagus, beans, melon, broccoli, fish, poultry and eggs are rich in vitamin B. Magnesium also helps speed metabolism. Try eating nuts and whole grains to get more magnesium in your diet. If you haven’t begun your weight loss with a visit to your physician, I recommend you schedule one now. If your vitamin levels are clinically low your doctor can help you make great decisions to get those in check.

     Take a moment now to review these steps for boosting metabolism. Pick one or two that you feel you could relatively easily add to your routine. Take a moment to visit your inspiration journal and make a note of those you wish to add to next week’s action steps. Make small changes a few at a time and you can change your shape, your health, and your life – for GOOD! 🙂

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