Metabolism … it’s a word that’s bandied about a lot these days, particularly in light of America’s growing obesity problem. But what is metabolism anyway? Scientifically speaking, it’s the number of calories your body burns to maintain stasis. Slow it down, and you’ll gain weight. Speed it up, and you’ll lose weight.
Since most people over the age of 30 are confronting the issue of a slowing metabolism, how to pick up the pace has become a matter of increasing concern. Want to fight off weight gain and its accompanying health concerns. Check out these 10 tricks for cranking up your caloric burn.
1) Move it to lose it.
A high-intensity workout has the biggest impact on one’s resting metabolic rate. But take heart. Even less strenuous activities, such as walking, house cleaning, car washing, and gardening will increase the rate at which you burn food for energy.
2) Make H20 your best friend.
You’ve heard it before. Down at least eight glasses a day, one before every meal and snack, and a few more for good measure. Water is critical to the digestive process, so drink up.
3) Start out the day with a good breakfast.
If you don’t, your body will go into starvation mode, at which time your metabolism will grind to a halt in order to conserve the energy you need to survive.
4) Eat less more often.
Nothing keeps your metabolism geared up quite like food. So it’s important to eat every three or four hours, enjoying small portions of nutrient-rich foods, with a heavy dose of fiber and protein.
5) Don’t starve yourself.
Your metabolism slows down when there’s nothing to digest. That’s why you should never miss a meal. In fact, eat healthy snacks throughout the day.
6) Spice things up.
Are you one of those people who sprinkle Tabasco sauce on just about everything? Do so without guilt. The compounds in hot sauce, chili pepper, Cheyenne, ginger, cinnamon and cumin jumpstart metabolism, so indulge.
7) Put plenty of protein in your meal plan.
It takes more calories to turn protein into energy than it does to burn fat or carbohydrates. Therefore, you want to go for protein-rich foods that include lean meats, fish, eggs, low-fat dairy, nuts and beans.
8) Reach for that cup of coffee.
It’s true. The caffeine in a cup of Joe provides a stiff shot of adrenalin that cranks up one’s metabolic rate. But don’t go overboard. Just a cup or two daily.
9) Stand more. Sit Less.
The body burns more calories in a standing position, so seize every opportunity to get out of your chair, both at work and at home.
10) There’s something to those supplements.
You know the energy shots and protein bars that everybody’s into? They really do have metabolism-boosting ingredients, but check the contents first. If they’re loaded with sugar, preservatives and chemicals, take a pass.