Boost Your Metabolism to Aid in Weight LossPosted: Nov 10 in Getting Active, Obesity Medicine, Obesity Risks by Staff
The key to achieving or maintaining a healthy body weight lies in balancing calorie input with energy output. The process of managing these two functions is your metabolism. In a young, growing child, metabolism is at its highest. After all, it takes a lot of energy to fuel a growing human being from birth to adulthood.
As you age, your metabolism naturally slows down. This can be a combination of increasing body fat and decreasing muscle. It’s also the result of generally less activity in life as adult responsibilities take over much of the time once spent devoted to youthful activities and sports. If you’re not paying attention, that slower metabolism can show up in the form of extra pounds.
There are various ways you can boost your metabolism in an effort to regain or maintain the body weight where you feel most comfortable. There’s more to a strong metabolism than just cutting calories.
1. Muscle burns calories at a significantly greater rate than fat. Anything you can do to increase your muscle mass will pay off long after you finish exercising. This is where weight training can benefit you in your efforts to control your metabolism. Don’t worry about weight training causing you to bulk up and look heavier than you really are. Muscle adds contour and shape throughout your body. A well-toned body always looks healthier than a soft body, even at the same size and weight.
2. Don’t stop with weight training in your exercise program. Aerobic training is a great way to torch those calories and raise that metabolism. For the best results, add in bursts of intense activity intermittently throughout your workout. A good aerobic workout will be burning more calories than you would burn at rest, long after you’ve completed your workout.
3. There’s a reason nutritionists recommend eight or more glasses of water each day. Insufficient water in your body can slow your metabolism to a crawl. Don’t forget about the value of adding fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Many of them are great sources of extra hydration in your body.
4. There’s no question that the amount of calories you take in each day will have an impact on your metabolism. But, use caution here. Too few calories can lower your metabolism and lead to weight gain. So can stretching out the time between meals too far. Aim for three solid meals each day, as well as one or two small snacks. Make sure those snacks are healthy choices, like a piece of fruit with an ounce of cheese or a small handful of nuts, to keep your metabolism at full capacity. Skip the chips and candy. They will sabotage your metabolism.
5. Add some red pepper flakes or other spicy pepper to your sauces or pastas. Studies have shown that the chemicals in spicy foods can kick up your metabolism. It’s a small effort, but a positive one.
6. Protein makes your body work harder in the digestion process than carbohydrates or fats. Make sure you get your daily requirement of protein by spreading it out across all three main meals. Lean meats, fish, chicken, nuts and beans are all healthy, protein-rich sources that stimulate your metabolism while providing a satisfying meal.
7. Caffeine, sourced from coffee or tea, is a metabolism booster in two ways. First of all, caffeine provides a short-term boost in metabolic rate. Perhaps more importantly, that morning cup of coffee can spark your energy level just enough to motivate you to push a little harder at the gym or to run an extra mile on the track.
There are great ways to add elements to your life to increase your metabolism. But, there is also one important thing you should subtract from your diet to help your metabolism operate at peak efficiency. Crash diets or any other form of calorie restriction will not give you the desired outcome. Your body needs fuel to operate. Denied that fuel, your metabolism will slow down in an effort to conserve energy and, ultimately, attempt to keep your body alive. Give your body what it needs and it will give you the healthy, attractive body weight you desire.