Revving up your Metabolism

Boosting your metabolism is the secret to losing more weight. What exactly is metabolism? It’s the amount of energy in the form of calories that we burn during the day. Here are some tips to trick your body into burning calories more efficiently and give you a stronger, healthier, leaner new body.

Tip #1: Build muscle mass. As we get older we tend to lose muscle and gain body fat, and our metabolism slows down as a result. One way to combat this metabolic slowdown is with regular strength or resistance training. When you increase your muscle mass, you boost your resting metabolism and that makes your body burn more calories. That’s why I recommend adding strength training to your exercise program. Some examples are using free weights, using weight machines at the gym, and even doing specific calisthenics like push-ups and abdominal exercises. If you’re building strength, you are losing weight.

Tip #2: Get plenty of cardiovascular exercise. There is no getting around it; the biggest burn comes from cardiovascular exercise. That means jogging, hiking, walking, cycling, aerobic classes, jump roping, kickboxing, dancing or using cardio equipment at the gym. Anything to get your heart rate up. Choose whichever you prefer. One is not better than the other.

Tip #3: Snack right. Snacking can help ignite your energy by giving your body a fuel boost. Eating healthy snacks, in palm-sized portions, can help you avoid the overeating syndrome that often leads to weight gain and can leave you feeling lethargic. Be sure to include healthy carbs and proteins in each snack, such as organic peanut butter and banana, hummus and carrots, or an apple with low-fat cheese. The protein/carbohydrate combination will help regulate blood sugar and energy levels and you will feel content.

Tip #4: Always eat breakfast. Want to increase your metabolism? Eat breakfast. Eating breakfast increases your resting metabolism by at least 10 percent and reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes. Make sure it’s a healthy morning with foods such as whole-grain cereal, fruit, egg whites, stone-ground toast, organic peanut butter, fat-free yogurt or granola.

Tip #5: Stop slashing calories. Depriving your body of fuel is a surefire way to slow down your metabolism. When you slash calories, the calories burned by eating are greatly diminished and so is the metabolic rate. Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available. The best way to keep your metabolism revved is to eat three small meals with healthy snacks in between to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.

If you have a GOAL in life that takes a lot of energy, that requires a lot of work, that incurs a great deal of interest and that is a challenge to you, you will always look forward to waking up to see what the NEW day brings.

Carol A. White, Personal Fitness Specialist