Fire Up Your Metabolism
Burn More Fat!
Metabolism is the way our bodies burn calories from the food we consume each day. It's a fact we naturally gain body fat while losing lean body mass as we get older. This loss of lean body mass affects our ability metabolize calories.
If you have considerable weight to lose, not only do you have to deal with losing the weight itself, but also fight a slowing metabolism that slows down with the aging process. Here are some natural and easy ways to keep the fat burning cells fired up at any age.
Build More Muscle
Lean body mass is the most important factor of metabolism. Muscle burns up to ninety percent more calories than fat. The more muscle mass, the more calories you will burn in a day. By adding three to five pounds of muscle you could actually burn 100 - 250 additional calories a day. Try adding a weight bearing activity 2-3 times a week such as lifting free weights, walking, or resistance training. Keep a pair of 5 pound hand weight close by to lift while watching TV or talking on the phone. Carrying your baby around or hauling your groceries home are weight bearing activity that will help!
Don't Skip Meals
The myth that skipping meals decreases your total calorie level and helps you to lose weight is not true. When people skip meals or decrease their calories significantly by going for hours without eating anything, they actually decrease their metabolism. You go into starvation mode and the body tries to compensate for the sudden loss of calories. Your metabolic rate can actually decrease as much as 10-15% and your body will hold on to the fat and burn lean muscle instead. Always eat at least 3 meals and avoid dipping below 1000 calories a day. Many who are working on weight loss find that five or six mini-meals per day works the best.
Regular exercise routines such as biking, walking, or hiking will help raise fat burning during the activity and for several hours after. Even simple movements such as taking the stairs, house cleaning, or simple yard work can help increase your burn rate. Find an active hobby you enjoy, such as bowling or swimming, and you will reap the added benefit stoking your metabolism while having fun.
Eat Enough Protein
Protein provides the building blocks for muscle. Without adequate protein you may actually lose muscle. Including eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts and seeds into your diet give your fat burning cells the fuel it needs to build muscle. USDA guidelines say women should eat about 5 oz. of protein per day; men about 6 oz. Keep in mind one 3 oz. serving is about the size of a deck of cards.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep loss affects the way we metabolize carbohydrates and can trigger glucose intolerance and lead to increased hunger and slowed metabolism. Lack of sleep also can interfere with our energy levels during the day and cause skipped exercise because of fatigue and feelings of exhaustion. The body demands at least 7 hours per night on a regular basis in order to rejuvenate and give plenty of energy.
Easy on the Alcohol
Alcohol may suppress your body’s ability to burn fat. Studies show that when you drink alcohol, your body burns fat more slowly than usual during that particular meal. Studies show that a glass of red wine may be beneficial, but having several drinks has a sluggish effect on the fat burning process.
Drink Lots of Water
You hear it constantly. Drinking water is good for you! Not only does it keep us hydrated and fill us up, it also helps boost the fat burning mechanism. The energy burning process needs water to function efficiently.
Try Green Tea
Green tea can raise metabolic rates and speed up fat oxidation. With its powerful flavonoids and antioxidants considered capable of battling chronic diseases, researchers claim green tea could also boost metabolism -- and help with weight loss. Green tea helps raise the metabolic rate and has thermogenic elements that help to boost fat burning.
No Quick Fix
There's a myriad of ads out there for products that vow to boost metabolism and promise a weight loss miracle. These ads include photos of thin, toned body beautifuls with six pack abs and chiseled thighs and arms. Metabolism boosters and Fat Burners – not only do the people they show us in the testimonials lose weight they also end up with a firm body and a six pack stomach. Can we really expect such results?
Unfortunately, no. These weight loss pills are often ineffective, and they can also harm us. Many of them contain either human growth hormone, which can lead to joint or heart problems, or epinephrine type ingredients that are correlated with increased blood pressure.
The answer is the good old tried and true: eat a balanced diet loaded with natural, healthy foods, exercise regularly, and sleep well. Even though you may never resemble the barbie doll in the ads, you certainly can be fit and healthy and have a new shape that looks good and feels even better.
Metabolism back to Home Page