The majority of health conscious people out there would give just about anything to increase their metabolism. Having a high level of metabolism enables one to burn fat and lose weight fast, with the least amount of activity. Metabolism is the rate by which the body produces and consumes energy and calories to support life.
There are several factors that affect the metabolism of a person, such as the amount of muscle tissue, the frequency of the meals one consumes, genetics, stress levels, personal diet and activity levels. Metabolism slows done due to the following: loss of muscle because of not enough physical activity, the tendency of the body to cannibalize its own tissue because there is not enough food energy to sustain it, and the decrease of physical activity that comes naturally with old age.
Here are several ways to fire up one's metabolism:
1. Increase your lean body mass. It’s only natural that metabolism decreases along with age, but it is possible to counter the effects. The amount of muscle a person has is a very strong determinant in the ability to burn calories and shed fat. So it goes without saying that exercise is essential. Build strength and resistance by working out at least twice a week, preferably with weights. Do easy exercises in between workouts. Simple tasks such as walking the dog and using the stairs in place of the elevator can take off calories, as well. The key is to match the amount of eating to the amount of activity one has. Here are some guidelines in getting the right exercise:
For strength training
- Increase the amount of repetitions of a particular exercise.
- Increase the level of resistance
- Utilize advanced exercise techniques if possible
For cardiovascular training
- Insert intervals between exercises
- Perform cross-training and combine the exercises
- Increase resistance and speed
2. Eat breakfast. A lot of people are ignoring the fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not surprisingly, the ones who eat breakfast are thinner than the ones who do not. Metabolism can slow down considerably if breakfast is taken during mid-morning or if one waits until the afternoon to eat.
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3. Avoid sugar. Sugar enables the body to store fat. It is recommended that a person consume food that helps sustain an even level of blood-sugar. Additionally, progressive exercise 2-3 times a week will help to stabilize blood sugar, as well.
4. Eat spicy foods. Hot cuisine with peppers can increase metabolism.
5. Sleep more. According to research, people who do not get enough sleep are more likely to gain weight. Also, during sleep is when our muscles repair themselves from working out.
6. Increase water intake. Water flushes out toxins that are produced whenever the body burns fat. Majority of bodily functions involve water, and lack of water can cause a host of problems.
7. Eat smaller meals. It is advisable to consume 4 to 6 small meals per day, that are timed 2 to 3 hours apart.
8. Never skip meals. People tend to skip meals in order to lose weight, which is a big mistake since it slows down metabolism.
9. Plan meals in detail. Always prepare the right amount of food for each meal, and attempt to eat each meal at the same time every day.
10. Ditch the stress! Stress, be it physical or emotional, triggers the release of a steroid called cortisol, which decreases metabolism. Also, people tend to eat excessively when stressed.
11. Guzzle up on green tea. It can be used as a substitute for coffee. Tea has the ability to stimulate metabolism, and unlike coffee, it has no undesirable side effects when too much is consumed.
12. Include more energy foods. Such as fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Achieving your desired body weight is never impossible if you have the determination and patience needed to increase and stabilize your metabolism level, which plays an important role in weight loss. Just remember that eating right and working out is not just something you can do “whenever,” it’s a way of life.