Looking for another reason to love your body? How about the fact that it burns calories all by itself- as long as you don’t get in the way. Even while sitting around doing nothing, our bodies are continuously burning calories.
Boosting metabolism is the holy grail of many weight loss programs being promoted today. Many of us may long for a speedy metabolism, but how fast our body burn calories depends on several factors such as:
- Genetics: some people inherit a speedy metabolism, whereas may feel their metabolism is nonexistent.
- Gender: research indicates that men tend to burn more calories than women, even when doing no physical activity whatsoever.
- Age: For most, metabolism slows down dramatically after age 40.
We can’t control factors such as genetics, gender, or age, but there are ways we can help speed up our metabolism to help avoid unwanted weight gain.
- Increase water intake- our body needs a certain amount of water to process calories. The more hydrated you are, the more calories your body will naturally burn. Snacking on foods that naturally contain water such as fresh fruits and vegetables can help boost metabolism as well.
- Snack smarter and more frequently- eating more often can help you lose weight. Many make the mistake of thinking eating less times during the day will help to lose weight, but in reality your metabolism slows down in between meals. Making healthy snack choices every few hours helps speed up your metabolism, and you will typically eat less at meal times because you aren’t “starving.”
- Cook with some spice- spicy foods contain natural chemicals that can help rev up your metabolism. Cooking foods with chopped red or green chili pepper, or red pepper flakes can help kick your metabolism into higher gear.
- Pack in the proteins- our bodies burn more calories digesting foods rich in protein than it does when eating foods high in fats, sugars, and carbohydrates. Replacing some of your favorite daily carbs with lean proteins such as turkey, fish, white meat chicken, nuts, and tofu can help boost metabolism.
- Avoid crash diets- while it may seem like eating less throughout the day and cutting calories in half will help to lose weight, this can actually backfire. Crash diets can slow your metabolism since you can lose muscle. After a certain point, your body may start burning fewer calories and in turn gain the weight back even faster.
- Build more muscle- your body burns calories even when at rest. This resting metabolic rate is much higher when you have more muscle mass. After a session of mild to intense strength training, your muscles are highly stimulated, raising your average daily metabolic rate.
- Eat more metabolism-boosting foods- the following 5 foods can help increase your body’s fat-burning power:
- Egg whites- are rich in amino acids, which help to keep your metabolism fueled. Eggs are also loaded with protein and vitamin D.
- Coffee- research suggests that the average metabolic rate of those who drink caffeinated coffee on a daily basis is 16 percent higher than that of those who drank decaf.
- Green tea- contains a plant base compound called EGCG, which promotes fat-burning.
- Whole grains- help your body burn more fat because they take extra effort to break down than processed grains, like white bread and pastas. Choose whole foods that are rich in fiber like brown rice and oatmeal.
- Milk- consuming the daily recommended servings of calcium may help your body metabolize fat more efficiently.