5 simple ways to boost your metabolism

4 09 2010

Our metabolic rate determines how quickly our body breaks down nutrients from the foods we eat.  Keeping a constant metabolic rate is vital to losing weight and developing healthy eating habits.  Letting our metabolism slow down will cause our bodies to enter a starvation mode and store fat for fuel, resulting in weight gain and various other health issues.  With a healthy metabolic rate we burn calories all throughout the day, even when we are not doing anything.  Even when we are sleeping!  So how can we boost our metabolism to burn more calories? Here are some very simple suggestions that anyone can find time for:

  1. Eat throughout the day. Think of a campfire. The longer you wait before adding wood to the fire, the smaller the flame gets.  Our metabolism works in the same way.  Eat about 5-6 meals a day, spaced out by about 2-3 hours.  This will keep your body constantly digesting food, and your metabolism constantly working.
  2. Incorporate lean protein into every meal. Our bodies have to work harder to burn protein than it does to burn fat or carbs, so eating protein rich meals results in more calories burned.  It is important that the protein is lean, though!  Some examples of lean protein are chicken breast, turkey breast, lean red meat, nonfat yogurt, nonfat cottage cheese, and egg whites.  Protein supplements, such as whey protein powder, is a quick and easy way of adding more protein to an everyday diet.
  3. Drink more water. Drinking six to eight 8oz glasses of water a day will keep our metabolism at a healthy rate.  Over 70% of our body functions take place in water, and not intaking enough water can cause a slow down of all of our body’s systems, including our metabolism.
  4. Exercise daily. When we exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, our metabolic rate is increased for the following 24 hours.  On top of this, adding resistance training two to three days a week will build muscle and burn more fat.  Start taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Take the dog for a walk (this will also result in a better behaved pet!).  Throw the football with the kids or a buddy.  Every little bit helps.  Make it fun!
  5. Add some spice.  Capsaicin, the active component in chili peppers, can boost your metabolism, enhance the feeling of fullness, and fight hunger as well. Some studies have shown that one spoon full of chopped red/green chili pepper (or 30mg of Capsaicin) can temporarily spike your metabolism as much as 23%!  Buy a shaker of red pepper flakes and sprinkle away!

Now go forth and increase thy metabolic rate!

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