Naturally Increasing Your Metabolism

Most of us would like to be in better shape. When we’re “in shape” we not only look better but feel better as well. There are a lot of factors that play into how a person looks or how fit they are. Factors such as exercise, diet, and lifestyle all play important roles in our health.

The key to a fitter, healthier you lies in your metabolism. Metabolism is a biochemical process that manages how quickly you turn calories into energy.

You use energy and burn fat when you are doing physical activity and digesting food, but you also continue to burn fat even while you are at rest. The rate at which you burn fat when you are resting is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). There are actually ways to speed it up so that you can burn fat faster even when you’re not doing much.

You might be doing things that slow down your metabolism without even realizing it. Some of the things that slow your metabolism down are:

  • Eating Poorly – Quit the sodas and snack cakes! Treats are fine; just make them healthy, natural foods. Avoid high processed fatty foods.
  • Not Sleeping Enough – If your body is exhausted then the efficiency with which it burns calories is decreased significantly. A reinvigorated body is more efficient.
  • Abundant Stress – Stress causes high levels of a hormone called cortisol in your body, which leads to belly fat. Relax and let go…of the extra pounds!
  • Improper Dieting – Some diets may work in the short term, but the true path to a healthier you is to improve your overall eating habits over the long term.

Metabolism naturally slows down as you age. The best way to speed up your metabolism is through exercise. A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise, but exercise is very important. Regular exercise plays a significant role in increasing energy levels and reducing fatigue. Regular exercise routines are best, but remember to make slight changes to your workout regimen frequently so your body doesn’t reach a plateau and stop improving.

Remember to stay hydrated and drink water all day long; your body needs it. Additionally, energy foods give your body and brain a constant dose of calories throughout the day, helping you stay lively and focused on your work. This automatically improves your work output, in turn boosting your productivity at work and at home.

High-energy snacks that will help you increase your energy levels throughout the day are listed below:

  • Whole grain crackers
  • Fresh Fruits
  • Ready-to-eat fresh vegetables
  • Light or non-fat yogurt
  • String Cheese
  • Low-sugar snack bars under 150 calories

When you wake up in the morning your body is in starvation mode because you’ve been fasting, but when you eat breakfast, you boost your metabolism so that you start burning calories earlier, thereby burning more total calories through the day. What you eat and how often has a large impact on your metabolic rate.

Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism working, so you burn more calories over the course of the day. The impact of different foods and drinks on metabolism is small compared to what you need for sustained weight loss.

Beverages that may help increase your metabolism:

  • Black coffee may cause a short-term increase
  • Green and oolong tea offers the benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for several hours

Rhonda Bird Schlorff, RD, LDN

Crash Diets (less than 1,000 calories) are disastrous for people to quicken their metabolism.  A high percentage of weight loss is from muscle mass, and the lower your muscle mass the slower your metabolism.  The result is a body that burns fewer calories (and gains weight faster) than the one you had before the diet.

Combine eating the right amounts of the right food, with a light to moderate exercise routine (such as walking, or jogging) and you can drastically and quickly increase your energy levels in a safe and natural way.

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