4 Ways To Boos Your Metabolism
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will pack on one to six pounds over the holidays. Other experts believe the bigger challenge for most people is the weight gain between New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving. But everyone can agree that the holiday season brings many more opportunities to over indulge.
If you take in more calories than you burn your body will eventually convert those extra calories to fat. However, there are steps you can take to burn more calories all day long. Burning more calories throughout the day will allow you to indulge in your favorite holiday treats—within reason of course. The goal? No added pounds.
The following tips will help you boost your metabolic rate and compensate for the extra calories that come along with the holidays.
Don't be a hero. By trying to go over and beyond you increase the risk of burning out. Instead of trying to tackling the pile of work and complaining about how much you have to do, politely but firmly communicate with your superiors that you've reached your limit and can't handle additional assignments at the moment. Say no to being a perfectionist. Breathe in and out, you don't have to tackle on every assignment by yourself because you think you are the only one to do the job correctly. Now say it with me, "delegate." Trying to channel your inner perfectionist can lead to an overwhelming feeling. Find small task or projects that you can hand off to others to help, and don't freak out when its not done exactly your way. Think about tomorrow. Remember that this day will pass as the rest. Whenever there are good days prepare for the bad ones, and when you have bad ones prepare for the good days up ahead because they are sure to come.
1. Fiber up. Foods rich in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes will take more energy for your body to break down, digest and utilize, compared to foods with little or no fiber. These fiber-rich foods can also help stave off hunger and satisfy until your next meal or snack. A easy way to increase your fiber intake throughout the day is to aim for a fruit or vegetable serving with every meal and snack.
2. Eat plenty of protein. Eat lean protein with every meal and snack. “Protein builds, repairs, and regenerates muscle,” says Apovian. Remember, your metabolic speed is determined by the amount of muscle you have. Also, your body burns more calories digesting protein-rich foods than carbohydrates or fats. To maximize fat burning potential, eat lean protein with complex carbohydrates every 3 – 4 hours. Examples of lean protein include chicken breast, fish, egg whites, nonfat yogurt, turkey, bison, pork and lean ground beef. As with every other nutrition principle, no need to go overboard.
3. Lift some iron. The greater the amount of lean muscle mass you have, the more calories your body requires. Therefore, spending time pumping iron or participating in other resistance training will increase your metabolic rate all day. Apovian suggest strength training twice weekly. “Working out with weights is the best way to build muscle. Studies have shown that doing so just two times per week can significantly increase muscle mass and burn fat,” she says.
4. Get your zzz’s. Not getting enough sleep can lead to muscle breakdown and a slower metabolism. Dr. Megan Williams, Owner of the Elemental Weight Loss Clinic in San Antonio, Texas, says sometimes the best workout for your metabolism is just go to sleep! “Sleep is crucial for helping metabolism. When one does not get adequate sleep—7 to 9 hours per night, hormones like ghrelin, the hormone that drives hunger can rise. Cortisol levels can also increase, and this will result in higher levels of abdominal fat.”
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