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 it makes sense to do everything you can to increase your metabolic rate if you are trying to lose a few pounds.
You use about 60% of the calories you need each day just by being alive. That’s your basal (or resting) metabolism. About 30% of calories are due to how much you move (your activity metabolism). The remaining 10% is consumed in the process of digestion of food (its thermal metabolism).
By making a few simple changes, you can activate all three types of metabolism and lose weight faster.
1. Eat little and often
Small, regular meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism high. 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 your metabolism slows down between meals. Never skip meals to save calories. Having a low-calorie snack will work much better, and it will also prevent you from ravenously falling for the closest candy bar later in the day.
2. Have breakfast
Your metabolism slows down overnight. When you’ve gone for more than eight hours without eating, you need food to get your metabolism working again. So eat breakfast as soon as you can after waking up. If you are not a person who eats breakfast, take something healthy when you leave the house and have it as soon as possible. It is not good for your weight loss plans to have to boost your metabolism with a cookie or cake in the middle of the morning.
3. Eat enough
If you eat too few calories, your metabolic rate will automatically decrease. This is a self-preservation mechanism, activated when your body thinks it is starving. The safest bet is to eat about 250 fewer calories than you need at the sedentary level, and take between 250 and 500 calories of exercise each day to achieve a consistent weight loss of between one and two pounds per week.
4. Eat lean protein
The body needs more energy to digest protein than carbohydrates or fats. Studies have shown that people who eat a high-protein diet burn more than twice as many calories in the hours after eating as those who eat a high-carbohydrate diet. While the safety of high-protein diets may be questioned, it makes sense to include some lean protein as part of every meal.
5. Eat fiber
High-fiber foods also stimulate your heat metabolism. High-fiber foods like beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains simply take longer to digest and therefore help burn more calories.
6. Spice up your food
Spicy foods (especially chili peppers) increase metabolism by up to 25 percent for a few hours after eating. So eat hot and spicy foods a little more regularly and see if this helps. Just watch out for the refried beans and guacamole if you decide to go Mexican!
7. Drink coffee
Caffeine speeds up your heart rate, and the faster your heart rate, the more calories you burn. However, it’s not great if you have heart problems or trouble falling asleep.
8. Drink green tea
The phytochemicals in green tea are supposed to slightly increase metabolism by making the brain and nervous system work faster. Although not many sizeable and conclusive studies have been done on this to date, drinking green tea instead of latte or other calorie-laden beverages will definitely help you lose weight!
9. Stay active
Aerobic exercise for more than thirty minutes not only burns calories, it also keeps your metabolism high for several hours afterward. The best time to exercise is in the morning as it will help get your metabolism going during the day. If you can get 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise almost every day, your metabolism will skyrocket. Interval training would help even more.
If you prefer light exercise, try taking a walk after lunch or dinner. This increases the metabolism that you get after eating. However, there is no strenuous exercise on a full stomach.
11. Build those muscles
Muscles burn calories even when you are resting. For every pound of muscle you add, you burn about 50 extra calories a day without extra exercise. So it’s a great idea to include some resistance or weight training in your exercise regimen. Twenty minutes three times a week is enough to make a huge difference in your metabolic rate, as well as your body shape.
12. Go hot or cold
Any extreme temperature you experience will help increase your metabolism by as much as 20 percent as the body tries to cool it down or raise its temperature. However, make sure it is safe for you to go sauna or arctic expedition before trying this one. You could try keeping your home a few degrees cooler than is comfortable to sit in in winter and restricting the air conditioning to the hottest days of summer. In winter it will help you get up and move and in summer it will encourage you to go 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 to body temperature. Anyway, drinking water is required, of course, to keep your bodily functions running smoothly (including your metabolism).
14. Beware of alcohol
In addition to the empty calories that alcohol contains, it also has a dehydrating effect, slowing down your heat metabolism. Alcohol also tends to inhibit the fat metabolism process, which can lower your basal metabolism. And there is not much chance that you want to exercise after all that alcohol, so it will also have an effect on the metabolism of your activity. Bad news for everyone!
15. Start practicing yoga
The chemical processes that included its metabolism are regulated by the endocrine system, especially the thyroid. Yoga has many poses that have a powerful twisting and compressing effect on the endocrine organs, strengthening and stimulating them and this can help regulate and stimulate your metabolism.
Boosting your metabolism with these tips will improve your overall health and your ability to burn calories. Not only will you find that you lose weight faster, but you will also have more energy, more strength, and will be able to get through everything you have to do in a day with greater ease.
Copyright 2005, Janice Elizabeth Small