Safe Ways to Increase Your Metabolism

By: Bel Marra Health | Exercise | Friday, May 11, 2012 - 01:24 AM

lose weightWe all know someone who can seemingly eat whatever they want, and never gain a pound. Unfortunately most of us are not so blessed, and the reason for this lies largely in the metabolism. The metabolism involves hormones and enzymes which both convert food into fuel and also determine how efficiently your body burns that fuel. A fast metabolism will help you to burn calories quicker and to lose weight more easily. Sounds fantastic right? The following steps will help you to turbo-charge your metabolism and lose weight, safely and naturally.

Stay Healthy to Lose Weight

Many people skip this very important meal either because they are not hungry, they are too busy, or they are under the mistaken belief that it will help them to lose weight. By the time breakfast comes around, your body has been fasting for at least eight hours, and your body’s natural reaction to a fast is to preserve calories. By eating breakfast, you signal to your body that there is plenty of food available and that it is safe for it to go ahead and start burning calories and consequently, your metabolism increases. This is not a free pass to indulge in bacon, sausages or a chocolate chip muffin however, as these foods will most definitely sabotage your weight loss efforts. An ideal breakfast menu will consist of whole, healthy food and some great choices may include: homemade oatmeal, eggs, egg white omelet, fruit and/or unsweetened yoghurt.

Build Muscle Mass

The common misconception that exercise alone is enough to lose weight has recently been debunked. Although exercise does burn calories, scientists have now found that there is little to no metabolic boosting effect obtained from cardio based, high intensity exercise. High intensity exercise will help you to burn calories as you perform it; however the key to increasing your overall metabolic rate, lies in boosting your muscle mass. A pound of muscle will burn about 7 to 10 more calories per day than a pound of fat. This means that if you follow a strength training regime long enough to gain 10 pounds of muscle mass, your will burn 100 calories more a day, and by the end of one year, that can amount to approximately 10 pounds of natural weight loss.

Increase Your Intake of Protein

All food will slightly increase your metabolism, however protein based foods have been found to increase the metabolism more than fat or carbohydrate dense foods. When you consume protein, your body releases the hormone glucagon, which signals fat cells to be released and excess fat, too be burned off. Protein is also essential for the building and maintenance of muscle mass, which as was previously established, is essential for a fast metabolism and healthy weight loss. As such, you should try to include a source of protein in every meal. Great choices may include: cottage cheese, yoghurt, fish, chicken, turkey, soy, eggs, lean red meat, beans and lentils.

The Foods That Can Help With Weight Loss

Certain foods will contribute to good health and weight loss, whilst others will merely sabotage your health and weight loss efforts. Refined grains such as breads, pastas, cakes and cookies, should be severely restricted or eliminated because their consumption results in an over secretion of the blood-sugar regulating hormone — insulin. This is problematic because too much insulin encourages your body to store fat. Refined grains are also devoid of fiber, and consequently they will not satiate you for very long, resulting in a tendency to eat more. Your primary source of carbohydrates should be from whole, healthy foods such as: brown rice, oatmeal, couscous, lentils, beans, and vegetables.

Spicy foods such as jalapenos, habaneros, cayenne, and chili peppers will also contribute to good health and boost your metabolism. These foods not only help to keep your heart healthy, they can also provide an 8% increase in your metabolic rate. Green tea will also contribute to good health and an increased metabolism. The antioxidants in green tea help to prevent free radical induced damage to your cells and DNA and studies have found that drinking 3 to 4 cups daily will increase your body’s fat burning capabilities.


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