These are just a few suggestions on how to increase your bodies ability to burn calories more efficiently, and help you maintain your healthy body weight.
Lift Heavy Weights Frequently
The best way to increase your metabolism permanently is to do regular resistance training workouts. Weight training will build lean and sexy muscle and muscle is a metabolically active tissue – it requires a lot more energy to be built, maintained and used than fatty tissue. However, it’s important to realize that even though the increase in metabolism is permanent (as long as you keep the muscle), it’s only about 4 calories more per pound, per day than fatty tissue. Of course, resistance training has a myriad of other benefits from better body composition to better health, and is one of the best routes to fat loss.
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Use the Afterburn Effect
You burn calories when you work out, but did you also know that there’s a way to burn calories – potentially a ton of them – up to 24 hours after you’ve completed your workout? It’s known as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or afterburn effect, and we think it’s awesome. So how do you get this metabolic afterburn effect to kick in? The key is workout intensity. High-intensity interval training is a great way to get the kind of workout intensity you need for the afterburn effect to kick in post-workout. Remember, it’s about intensity, traditional cardio will give you very little afterburn effect.
Eat More Protein & Fiber
Remember how we explained how you can’t really boost your metabolism by eating specific foods? Well there’s a little more to the story. By eating protein-rich and high-fiber foods you’re able to crank up your metabolism a bit. Why? Protein-rich and high-fiber foods require about twice as much energy to metabolize than high-carb or high-fat foods. The metabolic-raising effect is going to be short-lived and minimal, but there are also other benefits to eating protein-rich and high-fiber foods which makes it worthwhile.
Get Enough Sleep
Not only does getting enough sleep prevent you from turning into a crazy-person but it also makes sure your metabolism is in balance. Research has found that just a few nights of bad sleep will completely unbalance your metabolism. So don’t skimp on sleep!
Learn to Relax
The younger sibling of sleep, mastering relaxation is your ticket to Zen-like cool when the world around you is going crazy. Even if the idea of shaving your head and joining a monastery high up in the mountains isn’t your idea of fun, there’s a good reason to learn to relax: it’s great for your mood and it can keep you looking lean.
Stress, especially chronic stress, is bad for your metabolism. When you get stressed, your body — your adrenal glands — pumps out a chemical cocktail, with one of the ingredients being cortisol. Back in the day, you’d either kill a bear or run for the hills. It’s not a bad thing. These days though — in the office, for example — you don’t have the same options, which makes things a little tricky. Long-story short: excess cortisol, from chronic stress, will disturb the balance of your metabolism (the net effect is that it raises the insulin) – comfort eating anyone?
The solution is to get your chill-vibe on, slow down and turn the mental chatter down for at least 30 minutes a day – and relax, it’s good for you!
Ice Water, Green Tea, Hot Peppers…
So what about the all-too-common metabolism-boosting foods / drinks you’ve heard about? You’ll often find cited scientific studies which do indeed show a metabolism-boosting effect, but at the same time they omit the fact that the effect is almost always small and short-lived. For example, drinking water (which has enough other benefits) has been found to boost metabolism but not by very much and certainly not for any length of time to do you much metabolic-boosting good. Still, if you wanted to put it to the test, you’ll need to drink an extra 1.5 liters a day for a very hypothetical weight loss of five pounds by the end of the year.
Sometimes, as in the case of this research on the metabolism altering effect of green tea, no evidence of efficacy is found at all. The fitness world, especially when it comes to nutrition, is mired with myths and incomplete research; if it sounds too good to be true, get out the magnifying glass, because you’re going to want to take a closer look.
Having an incredible metabolism isn’t a silver bullet, in the end you’ll get a lot more mileage out of a few of our favorite things — intense workouts, eating clean and sleep — and as a bonus they’ll naturally increase your metabolism too.
Source: Body FitHQ