7 Ways To Speed Up Your Metabolism
Your body may not be burning calories quickly because of poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Fortunately, you can take control of speeding up your metabolism. From getting more sleep to eating all day, use these 7 secrets to rev up your inner engine.
If your body’s engine is running at full-speed, there’s little you can do to boost your fat-burning potential you’re already performing at peak.
But if your tank is teetering on half-empty, there's room for improvement. Use these 7 secrets to shift your metabolism into high gear.
Ladies, start your engines!
Secret #1: Get more sleep
The number of zzz’s you catch can have a big effect on your waistline. Research shows that sleep deprivation can send your hunger and appetite hormones out of whack.
A four-year joint study by the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University found that adults who regularly slept for only five hours a night increased their levels of hunger-inducing ghrelin by 14.9% and lowered their levels of appetite-suppressing leptin by 15.5%. This means double trouble for your fat cells: You end up eating more than you need, leaving you with extra pounds to show for it.
How much sleep do you need to avoid this?
Some people swear by a few hours, but experts recommend 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Read 7 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep.
Secret #2: Wake up earlier
Does your morning ritual consist only of showering, brushing your teeth and getting dressed?
Then you’re neglecting two important activities that could boost your metabolism.
The first: Eat breakfast and coffee doesn’t count.
Skipping that bowl of oatmeal might sound harmless, but you’re missing the first opportunity of the day to jumpstart your metabolism. Think of it in literal terms: Breakfast is “breaking” the overnight “fast” your body was in to conserve calories. Eating especially a balanced breakfast every day stimulates your metabolism.
Check out these 10 healthy breakfast ideas.
Secondly, you should exercise. Sure, you might struggle to throw off those cozy sheets who doesn’t? but it’s a battle worth winning.
Why? It boosts your metabolism. You’ll burn more calories throughout the day simply doing the same stuff you always do.
Even a 20-minute walk or jog will make a difference. So skip that second cup o’ joe and strap on your walking shoes instead.Here are 5 morning exercises to start your day.
Secret #3: Get active
Sounds impossible, but you can and should work out every day.
Cardiovascular exercise (running, swimming, aerobics, walking) stimulates your metabolism, helps you burn calories and can even temporarily suppress your appetite post-workout. But don’t let cardio get all the metabolic-boosting glory.
Weight training is important too, because it tones your muscles and boosts lean tissue mass, which burns more calories per pound than fat. The more lean muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn daily. Also, don’t be afraid to exercise more than once a day.
Breaking up a 60-minute workout into two 30-minute (or three 20-minute) sessions is not only convenient, but also it may help you burn more fat, according to recent research.Hate exercise? Here are 12 workout tips.
Secret #4: Eat all day
Forget about three large square meals a day. Graze on healthy snacks or nosh on smaller meals instead.
Eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day keeps a steady stream of energy available to your body. This boosts your metabolism and your brain power. Keep healthy snacks (fruits, veggies, nuts, yogurt) with you throughout the day. Just be sure your main meals are smaller to accommodate all this snacking, or you’ll load up on extra calories you don’t need.
And don't skip meals. Dieters often try to get that extra weight-loss edge by cutting entire meals instead of just cutting calories throughout the day.
But this is counterproductive: Skipping meals forces your metabolism to slow down and conserve calories to compensate for the lack of food. So when you finally do eat, your body remembers that it went for a long time without food and will store more calories to prepare for the next time you'll starve it.
Stay off this roller-coaster by eating at regular intervals throughout the entire day.
Secret #5: Raise a glass
The number on the scale may look good when you haven’t had enough water, but you’re risking major weight gain by not drinking enough.
Dehydration can trick your brain into thinking you’re hungry, so instead of reaching for a cold one water, that is you reach for whatever snack is nearby.
A simple exercise in math may illustrate the importance of hydration:
8 ounces of water = 0 calories
1 candy bar from the office vending machine = 270 calories.Swapping that candy bar for a glass of water, then waiting 20 minutes to see if you were really hungry in the first place = priceless.
Some experts say that your body burns extra calories as it works to raise the temperature of icy water to your internal body temperature, although others disagree.
Still, water is refreshing and hydrating and you’ll burn calories on your walk over to the fridge or fountain.
Secret #6: Eat spicy foods
Turning up the heat on your meals may do more than just add fun flavor. “Hot” foods, such as jalapeños, chili peppers and spices (like curry and cayenne), may increase body temperature.
Body temperature and metabolism are related: As you burn energy, heat is released. By increasing your internal body temperature, spicy foods may temporarily raise your metabolism and stimulate the use of stored fat as energy.
Experts agree that eating spicy foods can increase feelings of satiety.And the sooner you’re satisfied at a meal, the faster you’ll stop eating.
You can easily save yourself 100 calories at a meal by taking fewer bites, so pile on the hot sauce.
Secret #7: Count on calcium
Research shows that calcium, an essential mineral, can boost your basal metabolic rate, which boosts weight loss.
In a National Dairy Council-funded study, researchers found that a high-calcium, low-calorie diet boosted fat loss by 42%, compared to only 8% for just a low-calorie diet.
Studies also show that dairy lovers are less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, whose symptoms include high blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, poor blood sugar control and increased abdominal obesity all factors that increase risk of diabetes and heart disease.If you don’t eat enough calcium-rich dairy foods such as yogurt, skim milk and low-fat cheeses start adding them to your diet or take a daily calcium supplement.
By Jennifer Gruenemay,