Speed up your metabolism
Remember how, during your teens and early 20s, you could eat practically anything and not gain any weight? Now that you’re hovering around middle age, you’ve probably found that’s just not the case anymore. Part of the problem is that your metabolism decreases as a result of other age-related factors, like a decrease in muscle mass. However, there’s no need to give in to a bigger pant size or dress size just yet! Read on for ways to rev up your metabolism and turn your body into a fat burning machine.
Eat a Big Breakfast
Breakfast is essential. Your body has been deprived of food throughout the night; therefore your metabolism has slowed. If the cells do not receive sufficient nutrients they will begin to function less efficiently on smaller amounts, and they will actually store more fat to use during these times of nutritional deprivation. Also, eating a healthy breakfast can reduce hunger throughout the day and help you make better food choices at other meals. Skipping breakfast will lead to a sluggish metabolism as the body shifts into a starvation-response mode. And coupled with a hunger-induced binge, it would lead to weight gain. Kick start your metabolism by feeding yourself first thing in the morning.
Adding fast-paced intervals to your exercise routine raises your metabolic rate higher than doing your workout at a steady pace, and will continue to do so up to an hour after you are done. A study done at an Australian university found that people who did interval training as part of their cardio routine lost three times as much fat as those who worked out at a steady pace. If you are a walker, simply walk at your normal pace for 1 to 2 minutes, then speed-walk for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat the sequence 10 to 15 times.
Build More Muscle
Gaining lean muscle mass boosts your metabolism and makes losing weight much easier. If you add just 2 kilos of muscle to your body, you will burn up to 150 more calories per day without even working out those muscles. And, you will burn a lot more calories per hour during your cardio workout thanks to that extra muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest, so any strength-training activities to build lean muscle are excellent. The key is to challenge all your muscles and do a full-body strength-training workout, hitting your core, arms, legs, shoulders, back and chest.
Little Things Add Up:
Don’t Skimp on Dairy
Calcium and protein derived from eating low-fat dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese, increase the rate at which fat burns and promote weight loss, says a study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen published in The Journal of Nutrition. A glass of low-fat milk or a cup of yogurt at breakfast is a perfect choice.
Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep affects the hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Even taking an occasional nap is helpful.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
While the occasional alcoholic beverage won’t do much harm, any more than that can significantly slow down your metabolism. Aside from its metabolism-slowing effect, alcohol may also stimulate the appetite. The mix of a big appetite and lowered inhibitions is a recipe for diet disaster. Limit your alcohol intake and stay away from fatty food.
So, what are you waiting for? You can jump-start a sluggish metabolism through exercise and a healthy diet, which will have lasting health benefits for you. Not only will you burn fat and lose weight, you will also feel more energetic and achieve a lean, fit body.