Master Your Metabolism |

Master Your Metabolism

Your metabolism is not completely under your control, but there are plenty of ways that you can rev it up each day by creating some healthy habits. Watch this video for the six ways that you can boost your metabolism.

A lagging metabolism can be problem for many women.

It’s the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. It’s such a big concept that it’s understandable to feel as if it’s beyond your control.

Metabolism slow down with age, and it’s likely due to two reasons: First of all, it’s just part of the natural aging process. and secondly, we have less muscle as we get older. Given that muscle is more metabolically active then fat. This becomes a significant factor.

Not true! There are a bunch of quick and easy diet and lifestyle changes you can make to boost your metabolism, make your body run more efficiently, and reach your weight-loss and fitness goals faster. Just follow this checklist.

 EAT ENOUGH
You need to cut calories to lose weight. But going too low delivers a double whammy to your metabolism. When you eat less than you need for basic biological function (about 1,200 calories for most women), your body throws the brakes on your metabolism. It also begins to break down precious, calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy, says Dan Benardot, PhD, RD, an associate professor of nutrition and kinesiology at GeorgiaState University. “Eat just enough so you’re not hungry—a 150-calorie snack midmorning and midafternoon between three meals (about 430 calories each) will keep your metabolism humming.”

 REV UP IN THE MORNING
Eating breakfast  jump-starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day. It’s no accident that women who skip this meal are 4 1/2 times as likely to be obese. If nothing else, grab a yogurt. Or try oatmeal made with fat-free milk and topped with nuts for an essential protein boost.

 DRINK COFFEE OR TEA
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily java jolts can rev your metabolism 5 to 8%—about 98 to 174 calories a day. A cup of brewed tea can raise your metabolism by 12%, according to one Japanese study. Researchers believe the antioxidant catechins in tea provide the boost.

FIGHT FAT WITH FIBER
Research shows that some fiber can rev your fat burn by as much as 30%. Studies find that women who eat the most fiber in foods gain the least weight over time. Aim for about 25 g a day—the amount in about three servings each of fruits and vegetables.

 BUY THE BIG BOTTLE
German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that’s 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—enough to shed 5 pounds in a year. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature.

ALWAYS INCLUDE PROTEIN
Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. Add a serving, like 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts, or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, to every meal and snack. Research shows protein can up postmeal calorie burn by as much as 35%.

EAT IRON-RICH FOODS
It’s essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat, says Tammy Lakatos, RD, coauthor of Fire Up Your Metabolism. Untilmenopause, women lose iron each month through menstruation. Unless you restock your stores, you run the risk of low energy and a sagging metabolism. Shellfish, lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and spinach are excellent sources.

GET MORE VITAMIN D
This vitamin is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Unfortunately, researchers estimate that a measly 4% of Americans over age 50 take in enough vitamin D through their diet. Get 90% of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Other good sources: tuna, shrimp, tofu, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs.

The easiest 350 calories you’ll ever burn: Exercise is obviously important, but regular daily activity known as “NEAT” (nonexercise activity thermogenesis) is equally essential for a healthy metabolism. Small movements such as stretching your legs, taking the stairs, even just standing to talk on the phone can add up to an extra 350 calories burned a day.

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