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15 Simple Metabolism Boosting Secrets
Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. The faster you burn calories, the more weight you can lose even if you eat the same amount, so you can do everything you can to boost your metabolic rate if you’re trying to lose a few pounds.
You use about 60% of the calories you need each day just by living. It is the basal (or resting) metabolism. About 30% of calories are calculated by how much you move (activity metabolism). The remaining 10% is used by the process of digesting food (your thermal metabolism).
By making a few simple changes you can fire up all three types of metabolism and become faster.
1. Eat little and often
Small, regular meals every day will keep your metabolism going. If you eat the same amount of food in just one or two large meals as in five or six mini-meals and snacks you will burn fewer calories. This is because the metabolism slows down between meals. Don’t forget to eat to save calories. Having a low-calorie snack will be even better and will also prevent you from reaching for the nearest chocolate bar during the day.
2. Eat breakfast
Your metabolism drops overnight. When you have passed a period of more than eight hours without eating you need food to get your metabolism going again. So eat breakfast soon after you wake up. If you don’t have breakfast, take something healthy with you when you leave the house and have it as soon as you can face it. It is not good for a weight loss plan to boost your metabolism with a mid-morning cookie or cake.
3. Eat enough
If you eat too few calories, your metabolic rate will automatically decrease. This is a self-preservation mechanism, which starts when your body thinks you are starving. The safest bet is to eat about 250 calories less than you need at a sedentary level and take 250 – 500 calories of exercise every day to give you a steady weight loss of between one and two pounds a week.
4. Eat Lean Protein
It takes more energy for your body to digest protein than carbohydrates or fat. Studies have shown that people who eat a high-protein diet burn more than twice as many calories in the hour after eating as those who eat a low-carb diet. While the safety of a high-protein diet can be disputed, it makes sense to include some lean protein as part of every meal.
5. Eat fiber
Foods with a lot of fiber also increase thermal metabolism. Foods with fiber like beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains just take longer to digest and therefore burn more calories.
6. Season the food
Spicy foods (especially chilies) increase metabolism by twenty-five percent within a few hours of eating. So, eat hot and spicy food regularly and see if it helps you. Just go easy on the beans and guacamole if you’re going to Mexico!
7. Drink Coffee
Caffeine speeds up your heart rate and the faster your heart rate the more calories you burn. Not good if you have heart problems or trouble sleeping!
8. Drink Green Tea
Phytochemicals in green tea are supposed to raise the metabolism slightly by causing the brain and nervous system to run faster. Although not many large enough and conclusive studies have been done so far, drinking green tea instead of milky coffee or other high-calorie drinks will definitely help you lose weight!
Aerobic exercise for more than thirty minutes not only burns calories but also keeps your metabolism going for hours afterwards. The best time to exercise is in the morning because it will help speed up your metabolism for the day. If you can do 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise almost every day your metabolism will increase. Interval training will help even more.
10. Take a walk
If you prefer light exercise, try going for a walk after lunch or dinner. It increases metabolism after eating. No heavy exercise on a full stomach though.
11. Build those muscles
Muscles burn calories even when you are resting. For every pound of muscle you add, you burn an extra 50 calories a day without exercising anymore. So it’s a good idea to include some resistance or weight training in your exercise regime. Twenty minutes three times a week is enough to make a big difference in your metabolic rate as well as your body shape.
12. Go hot or cold
Any temperature extremes you experience will help raise your metabolism by 20 percent as your body tries to cool down or raise its temperature. Make sure you are safe to go in the sauna or on an arctic expedition though before trying this one. You may need to keep your home a few degrees cooler than comfortable to sit in during the winter and limit your air conditioning to the hottest days of the summer. In the winter it will help you get up and move and in the summer it invites you to the pool to cool off!
13. Drink Ice Water
Another trick is to drink a glass of ice water several times a day. You will increase your metabolism just by bringing the water up to body temperature. Drinking water is also necessary, of course, in order for the body to function properly (including metabolism).
14. Watch alcohol
On top of the empty calories that alcohol contains, it also has a dehydrating effect, which slows down your thermic metabolism. Alcohol also tends to inhibit the process of fat metabolism, which can reduce basal metabolism. And there’s no way you’d want to exercise after all that booze, so it might have an effect on your activity metabolism. Bad news all round!
15. Take up yoga
The chemical processes that comprise your metabolism are regulated by the endocrine system, especially the thyroid. Yoga has many postures that have a strong twisting and compression effect on the endocrine organs, strengthening and stimulating them and can help regulate and improve metabolism.
If you increase your metabolism with these tips, you will improve your overall health as well as your capacity to burn calories. You will not only find that you lose weight faster but also you will have more energy, more strength and you will be able to get through everything you have to do in the day easier.
Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small
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