Monday, 21 April 2008

Ten Tips To Rev Up Your Metabolism

By Kim Archer

If you've been trying to lose weight and are having trouble, a sluggish metabolism might be to blame.

Metabolism is a complicated process that converts calories in what you eat to energy. If your metabolism is high you'll lose weight more easily than someone with low metabolism will, even if you both take in the same amount of energy in the form of calories.

As a rule, if you have a low metabolism, you simply can't consume as much food as your thin friends who have a high metabolism without packing on some pounds. However, there are some tricks you can use to speed up your metabolism and get your weight loss back on track.

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Here are 10 ways to increase your metabolism:

1. Exercise. Working out is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism. When you increase your muscle mass, you'll burn more calories even when you're just sitting around. Lift weights a couple times a week, and aim for 30 minutes of cardio each day. Take a walk, step on the treadmill or head to the fitness club. You can even get fit with small spurts of action, like foregoing the elevator for the stairs, parking on the outer limits of the parking lot, or taking on some vigorous housecleaning.

2. Have mini meals. Eating four to six small meals throughout the day rather than three big ones will keep your metabolism revved up constantly.

3. Don't miss a meal. If you assume that skipping meals leads to weight loss, you're wrong. If you don't give your body nourishment when it needs it, your metabolism thinks that you're starving and slows down to conserve energy. Following tip number 2 and don't go too long without eating.

4. Eat whole, unprocessed foods instead of processed ones, and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. These foods have much more fiber, which causes you to absorb fewer calories and helps you feel full. In addition, the foods themselves are much more nutritional, which can help you feel satisfied on much less food than empty calories can.

5. Spice it up. Spicy foods such as hot peppers have been shown to boost your metabolism.

6. Cut back on or even eliminate sugar. Sugar is a high calorie food that raises blood sugar levels significantly and then causes them to crash; this can make you store fat.

7. Drink plenty of water. When your body burns fat, it produces toxins. If you don't take in enough fluids to flush them out, your metabolism slows down.

8. Drink green tea. Studies have shown that green tea can speed up your metabolism. It also has numerous other health benefits that make it a worthwhile addition to your diet.

9. Get enough sleep. People who don't sleep enough are much more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers who do get enough sleep.

10. Lose your stress. Emotional and physical stress can prompt the release of cortisol, a steroid hormone that lowers your metabolism. Plus, you're likely to eat more when you're stressed out.

Remember that on any weight loss program, the occasional plateau is normal. So if the scale doesn't budge on occasion, don't give up. Follow the tips above to give your metabolism a boost so that you keep burning calories and continue on to your weight loss goals. Remember that eating well and exercising are permanent changes you're making, not just something quick you do to lose some weight. It's a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

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