It’s time to take a new look at losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s not just about jumping from one diet to the next (and gaining back most of the weight). If you want to improve your health for the long run, focus on giving your metabolism a boost instead.
Metabolism is the process your body uses to turn food into energy. It’s all about burning calories – and how effectively your body does that. Speeding up your metabolism burns calories faster, both during exercise and while you’re at rest. Whether your body’s metabolism happens to be fast or slow, you can take steps to help make it work for you. Try these tips.
Start the day with a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. Skipping meals slows down metabolism because without food your body will conserve energy and burn fewer calories.
Charge up with foods that can help your metabolism.
- Legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils) can help speed up metabolism and slow down fat storage. When your body works hard to digest fiber, metabolism increases as a result.
- Spicy peppers (green or red chili peppers) can produce a temporary boost in metabolism after you eat. The heat you feel when eating spicy foods kicks your metabolism up a notch, too.
- Shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster, oysters, scallops) are a good source of iron. A diet rich in iron is important when you’re trying to build muscle.
Muscles burn more calories than fat. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even while at rest. That’s why lifting weights is a great way to maximize your metabolism. Get started with the basics.
- Push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups
- Resistance bands
- Hand weights
- Yoga or tai chi
Staying hydrated is good for your health and can also help with weight loss. Drinking enough water replenishes the body and helps your metabolism. How much is enough? Pay attention to your urine color. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated.1
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Source: 1. American Heart Association. “Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy.” http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp#.Vx–AfkrKUm (last reviewed/updated June 25, 2015) Rev up your metabolism