Health

10 easy ways to boost your metabolism

Friday, 1 October 2010

Get your metabolism fired up with these simple changes to your eating and exercise habits. By taking care of yourself and helping your body to function efficiently, you can burn more fat, more quickly. Here are some easy tips to remember to get your metabolism moving…  


Learn to love strength training


Many women shy away from strength training for fear of bulking up- but working on your muscles can help your body to burn more fat, more quickly (and by using lighter weights, you can tone your muscles without actually making them bigger- see this article for more information). Muscles are fat-burning machines and help your body to run more effectively, so you’ll continue to burn more calories even at rest. Add a few resistance exercises into your fitness plan and follow your workouts with a protein-rich snack. And make sure you stretch- it will help your muscles work more effectively!

Blast fat with cardio


Cardio workouts blast the fat that covers your muscles and improves definition, at the same time as getting your body fired up and helping you to burn lots of calories. Regular aerobic exercise keeps your metabolism moving and encourages your body to burn fat long after your workout. If you’re not used to doing much cardio, just start with some low to medium intensity activity like walking or swimming, and add in some faster intervals to get your heart racing.

Don’t starve yourself


Skipping meals and eating too few calories can actually cause your metabolism to slow down and encourage your body to hold on to fat. It’s also more likely to make you overeat later on. Eat small, healthy meals spread evenly throughout the day, so that you’re never going more than a few hours without eating. This will help to keep your metabolism moving and avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes, which wreak havoc on your energy levels and encourage cravings. 


Drink green tea


Replace your morning coffee with green tea- studies have shown that it can give your metabolism a boost, as well as keeping you alert and refreshed without loads of caffeine.

 

Eat breakfast


Start the day out right with a filling, nutritious breakfast. It’s important to wake up your metabolism after you’ve been fasting throughout the night. Studies are always showing that people who eat breakfast lose more weight than those who skip their morning meal. So fill up on healthy protein and fibre early on, and you’ll have more energy and eat less throughout the day.


Drink more water


Staying well hydrated helps your body to function properly and to flush out the toxic byproducts that are released when fat is burned. When all your organs are working efficiently, you can burn fat faster and keep your metabolism moving. Drinking ice-cold water can also give your metabolism an extra boost, because the body needs to use more energy to heat it up once inside the body.


Eat more protein


Try to make sure every meal or snack contains protein. This will help to slow the rise and fall of blood sugar, reducing cravings and the urge to binge. Soy protein is a good choice, because it is a high quality protein that is low in fat and calories, and has a low GI, which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels. This keeps your metabolism moving and your body functioning most efficiently.

 

Cut down on sugar


Consuming sugar can actually encourage your body to store fat, slowing down your metabolism and sending your blood sugar levels into a frenzy. Focusing on whole foods and avoiding highly processed, refined and sugary products can help your body to use energy better, making it easier for you to lose weight.


Reduce stress


Amongst other things, stress can actually sabotage your weight loss efforts, because it activates the release of cortisol, which slows down the metabolism. Make it a priority to focus on your mental health as well as physical- just taking a brief time-out when things get stressful can make a huge difference. 


Drink less alcohol


Try to limit your alcohol intake- as well as being full of ‘empty’ calories, it depresses your metabolism and stimulates your appetite.



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