Thursday, July 26, 2012

10 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism


When it comes to weight loss, your metabolic rate is of paramount importance. Having a higher metabolism allows you to burn more calories throughout the day, even while you’re resting. Here are 10 ways you can speed up your metabolism (viaWebMD):
  1. Build muscle. Your body burns calories even when you’re sleeping or lounging on the couch. And the more muscle you have, the higher this resting metabolic rate will be. For every pound of muscle you have, your body burns 6 calories per day just to sustain that muscle. Alternately, it burns just 2 calories per day for each pound of fat. Resistance training also revs up your resting metabolic rate for many hours following your workout.
  2. Step up your workout. When doing aerobic exercise, push yourself to keep your workouts different and challenging. High-intensity workouts will give you a bigger, longer increase in resting metabolic rate than low- or moderate-intensity workouts. Try a new class at the gym, or insert 30-second periods of jogging into your normal walk.
  3. Drink more water. Your body needs water to process calories, and even mild dehydration can cause your metabolism to slow down. To keep hydrated, make a habit of drinking a glass of water or other unsweetened beverage (no diet sodas–they are dehydrating) before every meal and snack. For a hydrating snack, choose fruits or vegetables, which are filled with water.
  4. Consider energy drinks. Some ingredients in energy drinks can boost your metabolism. Caffeine increases the amount of energy your body uses. And taurine, an amino acid, can speed up your metabolism and may help burn fat. But sip with caution: these ingredients can cause some people to develop  high blood pressure, anxiety and sleep issues. The American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t recommend them for kids and teens.
  5. Snack often; snack nutritiously. Eating more frequently can help you to lose weight. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals. Eating a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism steady, so you burn more calories over the course of a day. Research also shows that regular snackers eat less at meal time.
  6. Add spice. The chemical compounds in red peppers and other spicy foods that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Try it by eating one tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper. While the effect is likely temporary, eating spicy foods often can help over time. For a quick and easy boost, spice up pasta dishes, chili and stews with red-pepper flakes.
  7. Add more protein. The body burns many more calories digesting protein as it does for fat or carbohydrates. Although you want to maintain a balanced diet, consider replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods like lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs or low-fat dairy products.
  8. Enjoy a cup of black coffee. Coffee offers increased energy and concentration, as well as a short-term increase in your metabolic rate.
  9. Recharge with green tea or oolong tea. Green tea and oolong tea both contain caffeine and catechins, which increase your metabolism for a couple hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea during moderately intense exercise may push the body to burn 17 percent more calories than normal.
  10. Avoid crash diets. Crash diets, which require eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day, are terrible for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Althoughyou may drop pounds (at the expense of good nutrition), a high percentage of the weight loss comes from lost muscle. And the lower your muscle mass, the slower your metabolism, which means you’ll burn fewer calories and gain weight faster than you did before the diet.


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