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How to Speed Up Your Metabolism

Woman burning some caloriesSpeeding up our body’s metabolism is something every dieter dreams about. “If only my body would ‘work’ faster and burn more calories, I could lose weight without depriving myself of all the foods I love.” Unfortunately we do not have complete control over our body’s metabolism, but we can help it speed it up by doing the right things.

How fast our bodies burn calories depends on a number of factors. Some of the known facts are:

  • Men tend to burn calories more than women. Researchers do not understand exactly why this happens, but it is a known fact,
  • To some extant this is hereditary. Skinny people tend to have skinny kids; overweight people tend to raise overweight kids. It is not only the atmosphere in the home that influences a child’s weight,
  • For most people, metabolism starts slowing down when they reach 40s.
  • Since we can’t control our age, genetics or gender, there are some things we can do to speed up our metabolism.

    In a study done at the Mayo clinic, a group of 20 volunteers, some overweight, some thin, were given special underwear (long johns really), which tracked every movement they have made. Later, each of those numbers was converted to see how many calories each and every one of them spent during those 10 trial days. It was assumed that the skinny and fidgety people would spend more calories, but the big surprise came when they found by how many. Those volunteers who were fidgeting burned as many as 350 extra calories a day.
    Even more interesting was the fact that when the skinny volunteers were over-fed, they did not gain weight. Something compelled them to move more. It seemed as if they couldn’t sit still. They had superfast metabolism and burnt calories faster than everybody else.

    Human metabolism involves many biochemical processes. It is the process in which we convert food to energy. Every cell in the body is involved, absorbing nutrients and expelling waste.
    All the major systems are involved in an intricate dance of give and take. The more work they have to do, the faster the metabolism. If the heart, the lungs or the brain have to work more, the more nutrients they need the faster the metabolism. Whether the muscles are active or idle, whether the stomach is full after a big meal all those things matter.

    To Boost Your Metabolism, You Can Do Those Things:

    Build muscle: We are always burning calories, even when we are resting, but we are burning more if we are active. Every pound of muscle has been calculated to use 6 calories a day. A pound of fat burns only 2 calories. Even the resting metabolic rate with people with more muscle is higher. After a period of exercise, muscles are activated all over the body and demand food and the metabolic rate increases. Aerobic exercises rev up the metabolism for about an hour after the workout.

    Drink water: being hydrated enough is the most important factor about increased metabolism. The blood has to be diluted enough so it can perform its duty. Carrying the nutrients to every cell in the body requires certain amount of fluidity. Experts recommend 6 to 8 glasses of liquids. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices and go for water. Help your body get more water by eating fruit and vegetables which have a high consistency of water than pretzels or chips which have none.

    Eat more frequently: It sounds counter-intuitive but eating more often will not make you gain weight because you will not let your metabolism slow down. By eating every 3-4 hours, smaller meals or snacks, you will keep your metabolism working. You will also eat less when you get to the big meal of the day, because you will not be that hungry.

    Eat breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as far as metabolism goes. Your metabolism slows down during sleep and it doesn’t wake fully up until you ate. Breakfast should include high fiber carbs which take longer to digest and don’t cause rapid change in the blood sugar that trigger the feeling of hunger.

    Use spice and ice: Some spices contain chemical compounds that speeds up metabolism. They say that eating a tablespoon of green or red chili pepper boosts the metabolism, temporarily, by 20%. They also say that drinking 6 ice cold beverages a day burns about 10 calories. Although not much, it still accumulates to a few pounds a year.

    Eat lean meat: protein is very important to our bodies and the body burns more calories digesting proteins rather than carbs or fat. Healthy sources of good protein are chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, nuts, beans, eggs and tofu. Make sure 10% to 35% of your daily caloric intake comes from protein.

    Coffee: the newest coffee usage research published says that drinking 3-6 cups of coffee a day has beneficial effects. It was also known as a substance that gives short boost of energy and increased metabolism.

    Green tea: Green or oolong teas contain substances that were shown to rev up metabolism for a few hours.

    No crash diets: Do not engage in diets that tell you to eat less than 1,000 calories a day. That will cause the metabolism to slow down as the body adjusts to the lower energy level. You will drop weight but once you stop dieting you will gain it all back because your metabolism will be slower and will take time to speed up.

    Avoid Alcohol: drinking a cocktail or two before dinner can make you eat as much as 200 calories more, research has shown. The body burns the alcohol first and the rest of the food is stored as fat. A glass of wine with dinner is fine.

    Sleep enough: nothing like lack of sleep to mess up your metabolism. When you are exhausted, your body lacks the energy to do its day to day functions and the metabolism is automatically lowered.

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