Many people complain of a slow metabolism or a messed up metabolism from years of yo-yo dieting. "Your metabolism isn't fixed," says exercise physiologist Gary Ditsch. "You can impact it significantly with your daily activity and diet."
Adopt a few of these strategies to get the metabolism you crave -- in the time you have.
- Lift weights: The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. Three days a week, do 1 to 3 sets each of five resistance exercises (think push-ups and squats).
- Lift then cardio in that order: Keep things moving by alternating lifting weights and doing cardio for a sure fire fat burner.
- Spice up your life: Using spice can rev up that slow metabolism by as much as 20 to 25%. Experiment with spices like cayenne pepper and hot mustard.
- Use interval training: "Changing the intensity forces your muscles to work harder," says Lee-Ann Watanabe, a personal trainer in Honolulu, Hawaii. Try working at max effort for 15 to 30 seconds with rest periods of 15 to 30 seconds between each interval. Repeat this work and recovery load 10 to 15 times to melt off that fat.
- Water, water, water: In a University of Utah study, participants who downed eight to 12 glasses of water a day burned more calories at rest than those who drank four. Freeze bits of peeled citrus fruit and use them in place of ice cubes to mix things up!
- Post workout snack: Many experts link the protein-carb hit with muscle building and fat loss. After your tough workout, down a mixture of part protein within 30 minutes of working out.
- Asana your fat off: In one study, participants in a 50-minute yoga class saw a drop in their levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can inhibit fat burning. Start with a 10-minute circuit and work up to a longer session.