As even small amounts of excess body fat (especially if deposited in the belly) can boost your risk of a laundry list of deadly diseases – awareness of simple strategies to power up your metabolism can be very healthful. Simply stated – your metabolism is how many calories you burn for the production of energy necessary to keep your body functioning properly. Whether you are trying to lose a few pounds or keep the scale steady – here are some super-easy steps for priming your fat burning machinery and revving up metabolism.
- Have a cup of green tea. This is the only indulgence I know of that can boost your immunity, reduce your cardiovascular risk, and bump up your metabolism all for zero calories! For best results, drink regularly and often.
- Eat. Commit to 3 meals a day with healthy snacks between as necessary to keep ravenous hunger at bay. Believe it or not, every time you eat your metabolism jumps up a bit. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, is a known drain for your metabolism and will sabotage your weight loss efforts.
- Eat your omega 3s. Omega 3 fats play a crucial role in a maintaining optimal fat-burning potential. Include oily fish (salmon, tuna, sardines), omega 3 fortified eggs, walnuts, dark leafy greens, and whole soy foods in your diet regularly. Give your metabolic machinery an oil change.
- Avoid saturated fats (fatty red meat, butter, whole dairy products) and trans fats (hydrogenated oils, shortening, stick margarine). Both tend to slow down your fat-burning engine. Choose the make-me-healthier and leaner monounsaturated fats instead (olive oil, avocados, nuts and canola oil). These fats keep your metabolic machinery optimally lubed and humming.
- Steer clear of the Great White Hazards. (white flour products, white rice, white potatoes, and sugar) These foods lead to rapid surges in blood glucose that completely stresses out and overwhelms your metabolic engine. Over time these foods basically wear things out. They also increase your appetite, providing a real double-whammy.
- Get hot! Super-hot foods like chili peppers, hot mustards, and Tabasco have been shown to provide a temporary burst in metabolism, along with a subtle mental lift.
- Move. Moving, especially via exercise, helps maintain and can even build (if you put in the effort) lean body mass. The more lean body mass (muscle) you have, the faster your metabolism. In fact, about 70% of the calories you burn are largely determined by the amount of muscle mass you have. Get your beauty rest! Sleep deprivation revs up your appetite-stimulating hormones and leads to a sluggish metabolism. It also zaps your energy which means you are less likely to move.