Struggling to lose weight? Continue reading for 10 simple things you can do to immediately increase your metabolism…
“I am slightly overweight. I jog 3 miles a day, and do resistance training 3 times a day. But the weight still won’t come off.” How many times have you heard people make these kinds of statements? Why can’t they lose the extra weight? Is this a common problem for the majority of people who want to take off the extra pounds? What factors determine the ability to lose weight? There is no one simple answer. But you can be sure that metabolism plays a key role when it comes to losing weight, and keeping it off.
Metabolism is the process of burning the calories from the food we eat and converting it into the energy needed to perform bodily functions and for staying alive. The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories are burned for energy. The speed in which your body burn calories and produce weight loss depends on a variety of factors.
Some people are born with a high metabolic rate. Since most men have bigger muscles than women, they tend to have a higher metabolic rate compared to women. Also, metabolism slows down as you get older. This is why it is more difficult for older people to lose weight than younger people. Since we can’t control our age, heredity, and sex, you are probably wondering what, if anything, can be done to increase your metabolism in order to make weight loss possible.
The answer is ‘yes’. You can increase your metabolism. Listed below are 10 things that can be done to jumpstart your metabolism.
Lift weights at least 3 times a week. Muscle helps burn fat. You need muscle mass to increase your muscle tone. Toned muscles help you increase your metabolism and your fat burning. With good muscle tone, your body will burn calories even when you are sleeping. So strength training is always a good option if you want to increase your metabolism.
Do regular cardio exercises, like biking or jogging, along with circuit training, or cross training workouts. Jogging is great for the heart, but continuous, long distance cardio, such as jogging, can lead to a decreased metabolism. This is especially true if you are on a low calorie diet. Adding high intensity circuit training exercises to your cardio workouts can stimulate the metabolic rate, thereby, it will increase your metabolism.
Eat more high protein foods. Your body expends about 10% of its calorie intake for the digestion of nutrients. It takes longer for the body to digest protein than fats or carbohydrates. Therefore, your body uses more energy digesting and absorbing the nutrients in a diet high in proteins. Also, muscle is primarily composed of protein fibers. So, diets higher in protein helps to produce lean muscle mass, which is a ‘fat-burning factory’ in the body. Great sources of protein for your diet are poultry, seafood, and veggies such as beans, legumes, and tofu.
If you are on a diet low in carbohydrates, eat one ‘cheat meal’ every 5-7 days that contains as many carbohydrates and calories as you desire. Low carbohydrate diets may help you lose weight for a while. However, over a period of time, the body will detect that you’re taking in low energy nutrients and thereby decrease the amount of calories burned in order to ensure that the body will have sufficient energy to maintain life. The result is a lower metabolic rate. When you return to normal eating, your metabolism will still be low for a while, leading to weight gain.
You can counteract this metabolic slowdown by eating a ‘cheat meal’ once a week. A cheat meal can contain as many carbohydrates and calories as you want. In most cases, this can increase your metabolism, resulting in more weight loss.
Drink more water. Water is very important in speeding up your metabolism. Dehydration can contribute to a low metabolic rate. You should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. According to a recent research, drinking more water significantly increases the metabolic rate of a person by as much as 30%. This is a very big deal and can lead to more weight loss over a long period of time.
Eat foods that boost metabolism. Certain nutrients have the ability to increase your metabolism or body’s fat-burning power. Some of these foods include egg white, lean meat, chili peppers, coffee, green tea, low fat milk and cheese, Whole grains, lentils, avocado, asparagus, legumes, and true nuts,… just to name a few.
Reduce your intake of trans fats. Trans fats decreases the body’s ability to burn fat. They attach to fat and liver cells and impede metabolism. Ingesting trans fat can also result in insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which suppresses metabolism and can result in weight gain. Examples of foods with large amounts of trans fat are: french fries, any food fried or battered, pie and pie crust, margarine, cake mixers and frosting, pancakes and waffles, and ice cream.
Move around as much as possible. In addition to doing resistance training and aerobic exercises, you should also be active for the remaining part of the day. Working out for 30 minutes, and then sitting on the couch, or behind a desk for 5 hours, will not do that much for your metabolism. Walk the dog, or play with your children. If you work behind a desk, stand and walk around every 10-15 minutes. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, and park at the farthest end of the parking lot. Do a few stretches every now and then. All of these activities can help burn more calories and increase your metabolism. They will also make you feel more energetic and alert.
Eat a good breakfast every day. Eating a hearty and healthful breakfast will keep you full and give you the energy to perform your morning tasks. This will also increase your metabolism. When you don’t eat, your metabolism slows down significantly to conserve energy, and you will feel hungrier and probably overeat at lunchtime.
Eat frequently throughout the day. As explained above, it is very important to keep some food in your system in order to keep your metabolism up, and prevent you from feeling hungry, and overeating later in the day. You should eat 3 regular meals and at least 2 high-energy healthy snacks in between those meals.
If you put the above practices into action, you should see results very quickly. You will be able to increase your metabolism, and the weight will begin to come off.
Go to http://www.fitnessandhealthmatters.com for more health and fitness tips.
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