Rev up your metabolism and burn calories faster so you can splurge on the holiday
foods you love without gaining weight.
Your Metabolic Machine
Your metabolism is a measure of how fast your body burns calories. Everyone's metabolism is different according to their gender, age and genetic make-up. A person's metabolism slows with age, often with an accompanying weight gain. Men have a higher metabolism than women because they tend to have more calorie-burning muscle and less fat. Studies show that the speed of our metabolism and our tendency to store excess calories as either fat or lean tissue is determined by genetics.
Although you can't change your sex, birthday or DNA, that doesn't mean you can't affect the rate you burn calories. Boosting your metabolism by making a few changes in your exercise and eating habits can help you lose weight.
Muscles require more calories to metabolically maintain than fat, which means fit bodies burn more calories than overweight ones, even at rest. So, the first step is to build more muscle and reduce your overall body fat. This can be accomplished with a combination of muscle-building weight workouts and heart-pumping aerobic activities.
Working out smarter, not necessarily harder, is one of the keys to increasing your metabolism. Since muscles adapt and become more metabolically efficient with the same workout, vary your aerobic and weight training routines periodically to challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. This will enable you to burn more energy as calories.
Research shows that after a strength-training session, your metabolism can hike 5 to 10 percent. To make muscles work harder and burn more calories, substitute a new exercise for each muscle group every week, or try a different machine for the same muscle group.
Do some type of aerobic exercise, such as intense yoga flow, running, walking, or cycling, 30 to 60 minutes daily. To increase intensity, incorporate 1-minute intervals of more intense exercise every 10 minutes into your workouts. Within 24 hours after a workout, your metabolism will rev faster, burning a few hundred more calories than usual.
You can transform a sedentary lifestyle and burn more calories all day long while doing your daily chores. Try walking the stairs instead of using the elevator, walking or cycling instead of driving, taking up yoga, dance, gardening or dog walking.
The amount and type of food you eat can affect your metabolism. If you eat too few calories throughout the day, or skip meals, this will cause your body's metabolic engine to slow down to compensate for the absence of food, thereby decreasing your metabolism. Make certain you eat three nutritionally balanced meals a day, including a hearty breakfast.
Digestion of food stimulates the metabolism, which is known as dietary-induced thermogenesis. This effect can boost your metabolism by 10 percent within one hour after consuming a meal. Exercising 30 minutes before or after a meal nearly doubles the thermogenic effect of that meal. Taking a brisk walk around mealtime and planning your meals close to workouts will allow your metabolic rate to jump even higher
By putting this plan into action you'll lose weight, have less body fat and more muscle. If you make the most of your metabolism, you'll wind up looking and feeling better.