52 minutes ago
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
(Jillian Michaels did not write or endorse this article - I just love her.)
Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Boosting Your Metabolism
Metabolism; simply put, is the process by which the body makes and uses energy (calories) for everything from the cellular absorption of nutrients to running a marathon. Whether you're trying to lose extra pounds or preparing for the inevitable metabolic slowing that comes with age, here are some surefire ways to boost your metabolism to keep your energy pulsating and your body in shape.
1. Build lean body mass. Muscle is the single most important predictor of how well you burn calories. Muscle burns more calories than fat so the more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be. Every muscle cell that you gain is like a little factory that constantly burns calories for you, even while you sleep, and revs up when you exercise.
2. Get moving. You know the drill, but here's a reminder; at least three times a week include 30 to 60 minutes of some form of aerobic exercise. Remember, anything is better than nothing.
3. Eat. It may sound crazy to those trying to lose weight, but severely restricting your calorie intake will slow down your metabolism. Recent studies show that eating smaller meals every three to four hours aids metabolism and weight loss.
4. Ditch the sugar. When you eat sugar you throw your metabolic switch into fat storage mode. Instead add more fiber to your diet; it is harder for your body to process, and you will get a small increase in metabolism.
5. Don't skip breakfast. It's a fact that people who eat a healthy breakfast are slimmer than people who don't. And try to think outside the box. A breakfast bowl of vegetables and brown rice is a great way to kick-start your metabolism for the day.
6. Include hot foods. If Mexican and Thai flavors are your favorites, you're in luck. Spicy food that has hot peppers in it appears to boost metabolism.
7. Drink green tea. Go for green tea which is known to stimulate metabolism longer and more effectively than coffee.
8. Don't forget H2O. Staying well hydrated is essential to flushing the body of toxic by-products that are released when fat is burned. Cold water may also give your metabolism at least a small boost because energy is required to heat the body.
9. Avoid stress. Stress can actually cause weight gain because physical and emotional stress activates the release of cortisol, a steroid that slows metabolism.
10. Sleep. Research shows that people who don't get seven to eight hours a night of sleep are more prone to weight gain.
Of course, factors such as your age, gender and genetic makeup will affect your metabolism. However, if you put some effort into it, it will not be difficult to increase the rate of fat burning.