Thursday, May 31, 2012

Boost your metabolism

* Muscle burns more than fat. Each pound of muscle uses about 6 calories per day, compared to 2 calories per pound of fat. Build more muscle!

* Push yourself. A higher intensity workout results in a longer increased resting metabolic rate. Meaning you can keep burning more calories after your workout with a boosted metabolism.

* Drink more water! Dehydration can slow your metabolism. Drink a glass of water before every meal and snack.

*Snack more. Not on chips and junk, but eating a small meal or snack every 3 or 4 hours keeps your metabolism going. Small is the key word here. Figure out the calories you should be allowed a day and break it up throughout the day to keep you fueled and let your body know it won't be starving throughout the day.

*Spice it up! Spicy foods can kick your metabolism into gear. Try adding red pepper flakes to pasta dishes or green chili peppers to your diet. You can also buy cayenne pills to take daily. Just don't take more than one at once or take it on an empty stomach. Trust me.

*Up your protein. The body burns more calories digesting protein than it does with fats or carbs. Keep a balanced diet, but make sure you aren't eating too many carbs and not enough protein.

*Green tea. Research has shown green tea can boost your metabolism for a couple hours after drinking it.

*Fish! Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have reported that Omega-3 fatty acids can significantly boost metabolism by about 400 calories per day. Not a fish lover? Find capsules with 300 mg of EPA and DHA.

*Cinnamon- I was excited to see on the Dr. Oz show the other day that cinnamon can boost your metabolism. Toast with reduced fat peanut butter with cinnamon sprinkled on it has been a favorite of mine for awhile. Add it to your cottage cheese, or morning coffee or cocoa. You can also buy cinnamon capsules.

*Hit the sack! The rate of calories your body burns at rest represents about 60% to 75% of your total daily calorie burning. Lack of sleep can alter your metabolism.

*Don't crash diet. Eating less than 1,000 (most would say 1,200 calories) can send your body into starvation mode, causing it to burn off more muscle than fat. Remember tip #1? Muscle burns more than fat, so if your burning off muscle and not fat, you can find yourself burning less calories and gaining more in the end.

I heard somewhere that fat is not fate. Metabolism in partly genetic, but just because Mom and Dad and the rest of the family are overweight, doesn't mean you have to be too. Genes only account for 5% of your daily calorie consumption. You might not be able to scarf down half a pizza without gaining an ounce, but that doesn't mean you have to live with a turtle's metabolism and not lose weight. The best way to up your metabolism is to up your body's need for energy, so get moving and start burning!