Boost Your Metabolism

Boost Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is how your body burns the calories from the food you eat. The speed at which your body burns these calories is called your “metabolic rate.” Your gender, height, weight, genetics, age, lifestyle and body composition all affect the speed of your metabolic rate. Some people inherit a speedy metabolism. Men tend to burn more calories than women, even a rest. And for most people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. Although you can’t control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to get a boost.

Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism:

Build Muscle

Our bodies are constantly burning calories, even at rest, but the metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Each pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns on 2 calories a day.

Step Up Your Workout

Aerobic exercise may not build big muscles, but it can rev up your metabolism in the hours after your workout. Higher intensity exercise delivers a longer increase in resting metabolic rate than low or moderate intensity workouts.

Fuel Up with Water

The body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated your metabolism may slow down. Try to drink water or unsweetened beverages before each meal and snack. Also eat fresh fruits and vegetables, which contain more water than chips and pretzels.

Sinless Snacking

Eating more often can help you lose weight. Having small meals and snacks every 3-4 hours keeps your metabolism burning so your expend more calories over the course of the day. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals.

Spice Up Your Meals

Spicy foods contain chemical compounds that can kick the metabolism into a higher gear. A tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate. This effect is temporary but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits can add up. You can spice up pasta dishes, chili, and stews with red pepper flakes.

Power Up with Protein

The body burns many more calories digesting protein than it uses for fat or carbohydrates. Although you want to eat a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein rich foods can boost the metabolism. Healthy sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs and lowfat dairy products.

Booster Shot: Black Coffee

If you drink coffee, you probably enjoy the increased energy and concentration the follows your morning ritual. Taken in moderation, one of the benefits may be a short term increase in metabolic rate.

Recharge with Green Tea

Drinking green tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups may push the body to burn 17% more calories than normal during moderately intense exercise for a short period of time.

Avoid Crash Diets

Crash diets, which involve eating fewer than 1,000 calories per day, are disastrous for anyone hoping to speed up their metabolism. Although you may drop pounds, a high percentage of the weight loss comes from muscle. The less muscle mass, the slower your metabolism. The end result is a body that burns fewer calories (and gains weight faster) than the one you had before.

* The impact of different food and drinks on the metabolism is small compared to what you need for sustained weight loss. Your best bet for creating a mean calorie burning machine is to build muscle and stay active. The more you move during the day, the more calories you burn. Also remember that working out in the morning has the benefit of revving up your metabolism for hours.