Want the latest tips on how to BOOST your metabolism?
How about experiencing greater energy and feeling more alive?
What does metabolism mean anyway?
Metabolism is the process by which food is broken down and converted into energy.
Very few people genetically have a “slow metabolism” and, in fact, excessive dieting can sabotage your calorie-burning machine. Despite this, you can prime your metabolic pump by putting the following healthy habits into practice today.
Below are eight surefire ways you can boost your calorie-burning machine:
1. Increase your muscle mass. People with higher levels of muscle tend to have a higher resting metabolic rate. That means you burn more calories just chilling out than less muscular folks do. Why? Muscles burn more calories than fat. According to the American Council on Exercise (with whom I am a Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach), each pound of fat burns only 2 calories a day, while muscle burns between 35 and 50 calories per day. That is a significant difference. Building calorie-consuming muscle will increase your metabolism.
2. Vary the intensity of your cardio program. Doing sustained-level intensity is great, but mixing it up by performing a higher level of cardio (or HIIT training) will certainly aid in giving a boost to your metabolic rate. Examples of HIIT are a Spin class, a varied program on a treadmill or elliptical machine, or a jog workout of varying intensity for a minimum of 20 minutes to get your heart pumping and metabolism burning.
3. Embrace grazing. I know when many of us were growing up, we were told to get out of the kitchen, stop snacking, to wait for dinner to eat; however, studies show that eating more frequently each day keeps the metabolism elevated. As a result, you will burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest. Stick to healthy lean proteins and vegetables as primary meal sources while focusing on 1/4 c berries or small apples and 1 tablespoon of nut butter or a small palm-size handful of nuts in snacks to keep you going in between.
4. Eat more protein. This tip has made the most significant difference to my personal physique. First, protein makes you feel full longer due to its density, reducing your need to binge on carbs to reach the same level of satiation. In addition, your body burns more calories to break down proteins (8 calories per gram for proteins vs. 4 for carbs). My clients hear this from me the most, “How is your protein level?” If you want a lean physique, your lean protein consumption must increase. Chicken, turkey, fish, and the occasional beef and pork are your best sources for increasing your metabolism and providing longer-lasting satiation.
Vegans take note: You will have a greater challenge in balancing your protein to carb ratio, but it is possible with careful planning and proper education.
5. Eat your fiber. Higher-fiber foods (oatmeal, flaxseed, brown rice, sweet potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, green beans) provide steady, long-lasting energy and make you feel full and satisfied longer. Plus, who doesn’t love a big, ole’ salad?
6. Drink black coffee and green tea. A moderate amount of caffeine (1 to 2 cups a day) raises your metabolism slightly, increases concentration, and improves heart health. Green tea also contains antioxidants that boost the immune system. Sip away, but be sure to keep your caffeine consumption early in the day, no later than 2:00 pm. Late afternoon or evening coffee will likely have detrimental effects on your sleep.
7. Eat your healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats like olive oil help reduce cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure. Polyunsaturated fats such as walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds, and salmon, are filled with omega-3s and reduce triglycerides and inflammation in the body. Coconut oil is all over yummo. Plus eating a small dose of healthy fat has also shown to kill off sugar cravings.
8. Stay hydrated. When the body does not have enough water, several functions slow down, including the ability to burn calories. Muscles are roughly 65% to 70% water, so if they are not fully hydrated, they cannot perform as effectively, thus decreasing your calorie burn. Also, the body is not as efficient at burning fat when it is not hydrated for downshifting your metabolism. Glug away!
How much water is still open to debate, but one study found that adults who drink 8 or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank 4 or fewer glasses a day. Shoot for 50% of your body weight in ounces as your base target amount.
Your metabolism is not a life sentence. By applying the principles above, you can boost your energy-burning system to not only burn more calories but enjoy the overall benefits including increased vitality, energy, and more restorative sleep.
Want more tips on how you can live with greater vitality and energy?
Check out my book Living Sexy Fit, available on Amazon: click here.
Until next time, keep moving!
To your vitality and health,