If you want to create a leaner physique, it is best to be armed with knowledge on how to speed up your metabolism. Metabolism, simply put, is the process of converting calories from food into fuel. Speeding up the metabolic process, which entail the energy releasing actions of breaking down - catabolic - and building up - anabolic, is the key to attaining that lean, muscular, and athletic physique. Here are the top 10 ways to get your metabolism cranking:
10) Healthy Snacks: People in Los Angeles are on the run and rarely have time to sit down and eat. In a way, that is good. Instead, try snacking. Snacking, if done right, can give your metabolism a boost; for example, when you cut too many calories from your diet, your body sends a signal to your system to protect its reserves of carbs and fat; consequently, your body goes into a "preservation" mode by slowing down your metabolism. Instead, eat small portions of metabolism boosters such as carrots, nuts, grapes, wheat crackers, apples, berries, melons. These snacks are energy boosters that are all rich in nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
9) Selective In Your Calories: Bulkier foods such as broccoli, asparagus, melons, apples, potatoes, which have a high water content, will promote a feeling of fullness; moreover, the nutrients your body receives from them will keep your metabolism burning. In addition, include more lean protein in your diet. Experts agree that eating protein actually increases the effect of leptin, a hormone that helps the body feel full. On the other hand, empty calorie foods that are heavily concentrated such as salad dressings, sugar loaded candy, gravy, and greasy hamburgers, will overload your system with empty calories and slow down your metabolism. Eat smart.
8) Caffeine - In Moderation: Present in such foods as chocolate, some soft drinks, energy drinks, and, of course, coffee and tea. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, digestive tract, and your metabolism. It shortens reaction time, can increase endurance, and enhances awareness. Many health organizations, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Surgeon General, have given a green light on caffeine; however, like any other drug, moderation must be used. Moderate intake by the above mentioned organizations is defined as less than 300 mg or just less than six cups of coffee a day limit.
7) Eat More Meals but Smaller Portions: As a dieter, eating is good. Remember, every time you eat, your metabolism kicks in. The key is to eat healthy food several times a day. For example, if you eat several small meals spaced every two to three hours throughout the day, your metabolism will ignite and your body will absorb more of the nutrients in your food. The process is similar to feeding wood to a furnace to keep the fire at a high level. On the other hand, by starving yourself, you go into that "preservation" mode, as mentioned in "14", when your starved body senses a famine and clings to its fat reserves. Therefore, open up that furnace every few hours and feed it.
6) Manage Fat Intake: Unsaturated fats - consumed in moderation - can aid in a metabolism boost. Unsaturated fats, which are the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and omega-6 fatty acids found in cereal grains will help lower your bad cholesterol levels - LDL- and decrease your risk of heart disease. On the other hand, you may want to limit or stay away from "saturated" fats, which are found in red meat and whole milk or ice cream. These fats are culprits of high cholesterol and slow down your metabolism. Know your body type and how much fat intake is appropriate for you.
5) Add Some Spice to Your Life: Capsaicin - a molecule found in spicy foods such as peppers, certain spices, Tabasco sauce, and salsa - has been shown to decrease cholesterol absorption and increase enzymes that help metabolize fat. Some studies suggest that capsaicin can help boost your metabolism by as much as 50 percent for three hours after ingestion (Laferriere, 2010).
4) Drink Water: Water is the largest component of the body, representing from 45% to 70% of a person's body weight (Baechle, Earle, 2000). The average person loses about 10 cups of water each day through perspiration and other natural bodily functions. Therefore, it makes good sense to keep the fluid intake with regularity. The average adult needs 8 to 12 cups of water each day to maintain good health and proper body function. However, if you are an athlete and your body weight is in the 200 plus pound range, you will have to consume nearly a gallon of water of day to replenish your fluid loss. A good way of monitoring if your water intake is satisfactory is by observation of your urine. If it is the color of lemon juice, your water intake is acceptable and your metabolism should be firing on all cylinders.
3) Strength Train: We already understand that exercise will boost your metabolism; however, going out for a morning jog is not enough to build a lean, healthy and muscular physique. That is because when you exercise at a moderate pace for more than 20 minutes, your body craves energy for fuel and can tap into muscle proteins to satiate it. Therefore, to prevent muscle atrophy, you need to strength train - either against your own body weight or with weights - at least twice a week. Remember, every extra pound of muscle you gain burns 35 calories each day; on the other hand, each pound of fat only burns two calories. Strength training will not only boost your metabolism but give you a toned and healthy body.
2) Lead Active Lifestyle: If your body is not in motion, your metabolism is not firing on all its cylinders. If you have a sedentary job, you need to take frequent walks and a recess break with some physical activity. By doing so, you will keep your metabolism firing.
1) Interval Training: Perhaps the best way to fire up your metabolism is by some kind of speed play such as interval sprints, boxing, basketball or another form of exercise where you are alternating intense and moderate exercise. Clinical studies have shown when a high intensity burst of exercise, such as a sprint, is performed, the body burns more relative amounts of sugar, but continues to burn fat and calories after the workout. This effect can last from 15 to 48 hours. How good is that!
Think of your body as if it is a high performance engine. A high performance engine requires high octane gas and to be revved up routinely to reach optimum performance. Similarly, your body needs high performance fuel - or food - and to stay in motion at a high level routinely to maintain good performance.