Puzzled at why you’re putting on the pounds faster than you used to? Chances are that your metabolic rate is slowing down. A genetic predisposition means some burn fat faster than others. But age, weight, diet and exercise habits also play a role.
Here are five simple ways to increase your inner fire:
Eat well Although you need to cut calories to lose weight, a very low calorie diet is a surefire way not to drop the kilos. Your body is programmed to defend your usual weight. So if you suddenly drop a large amount of calories from your diet, your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body burns to maintain basic bodily functions, such as breathing and heartbeat) will automatically slow down because your body now assumes that you’re starving. It also begins to break down precious, calorie-burning muscle tissue for energy.
Eat just enough so you’re not hungry — try not to let more than four hours elapse between meals to keep your metabolism humming.
Get a morning jump-start A good breakfast can give an all-day energy high. Your metabolism slows while you sleep, and it doesn’t rev back up until you eat again. If you bypass breakfast, your body won’t burn as many calories until lunchtime as it could.
Try oatmeal made with fat-free milk and topped with nuts or egg-white omelette with whole-grain toast for an essential protein boost.
Choose the right foods The Active Calorie diet plan says there are four types of foods that stimulate your body to burn more calories while curbing your appetite. Chewy foods (lean meats, nuts, whole fruits and vegetables), hearty foods (fruits, vegetables, brown rice, whole grains and cereals all packed with fiber), energizing foods (coffee, black and green tea, dark chocolate) and warming foods (peppers, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, cloves, mustard, vinegar).
Rev up your workouts Experts say weight training is the best way to crank up your resting metabolic rate, claiming a pound of muscle burns up to nine times the calories a pound of fat does. Regular strength training can also increase your resting metabolic rate. Adding interval training — bursts of high-intensity moves – to your workout is another great metabolism booster. Add a 30-second sprint into your jog every five minutes or one-minute incline walk to your treadmill workout. Studies have shown that people who do interval training twice a week (along with cardio) lose twice as much weight as those who do just a regular cardio workout.
Breaking up your exercise routine — into two smaller sessions – is another trick to get your metabolism revved.
Avoid alcohol Cancel that cocktail before dinner – research shows having a drink before a meal causes people to eat around 200 calories more. Drinking with dinner isn’t such a good idea either: studies show that the body burns alcohol first, implying the calories in the rest of the meal are more likely to be stored as fat.
Wondering how to pull this off? Healthifyme’s experts can help you work out a customized metabolism-boosting diet and fitness plan.