Friday, August 12, 2011

Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Ever wonder why some people can eat anything they desire and never gain an ounce but if you even think about pizza, you gain two pounds? The answer lies in your metabolism, that little engine in your body that burns calories all day, every day. Because of genetics, some people burn fat faster than others do. However, age, weight, diet, and exercise habits also play a role. "As we age, our metabolisms slow down, mainly because we are losing five or six pounds of muscle each decade starting in the mid-20s," explains fitness expert Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director of the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts. There are steps that we can take to help boost our fat burning engines and maintain the same metabolism that we had in our 20’s and 30’s.

Eat Breakfast. Literally “breaking the fast”, your body has not had nourishment if more than six-10 hours. A 250-calorie meal is all it takes to start your metabolism in the morning. Even if you don’t feel like eating, an 8-ounce glass of milk will do the trick.

Add spices to your food. According to the U.S. Agricultural Research Service, Cinnamon is one spice that increases your metabolism twentyfold — and all it takes is a mere 1/4 to 1 tsp per day!

Be a Nibbler. Eating smaller meals, more frequently through the day, keeps your metabolism humming. It will also prevent you from going without food so long that you become so hungry you overeat.

Eat Protein. Research shows that getting plenty of protein can boost your metabolism, causing you to burn an extra 150 to 200 calories a day, says Jeff Hampl, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "Protein is made up mainly of amino acids, which are harder for your body to break down [than fat and carbs], so you burn more calories getting rid of them," he explains.

Drink Milk. Calcium, along with other substances in dairy, actually revs up your metabolism, telling your body to burn excess fat faster, according to study author Michael Zemel, Ph.D., director of the Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville

Pump Iron. Resistance training helps to build lean muscle and a pound of muscle burns up to 9 times the calories as a pound of fat. Weight training also gives your metabolism a short-term boost by kicking the metabolism into overdrive for up to two hours after the last bench press, burning as many as 100 extra calories, according to a study published in June 2001 in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Perform Interval Training. Interval training is a burst of high intensity moves followed by a short, slower recovery. Studies have shown that people who do interval training twice a week [in addition to regular cardio] lose twice as much weight as those who do just a regular cardio workout. Example: Sprint for 45 sec. followed by a walk or walk/jog for 45-90 sec. Repeat for 15-20 minutes.


Courtney said...

good tips!

Jennifer said...

great tips! I need to bring some cinnamon into my diet :)