One of the best ways to aid weight loss is to increase your metabolic rate, or metabolism. By doing so, the food and drink you ingest gets broken down and used as energy before it enters your fat stores. But how can you increase your metabolism on a day-to-day basis?
1. Stay active
Staying active throughout the day keeps your body cells requiring energy and as a result, your metabolism rises. Things like using the stairs instead of the lift at work, getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking to the local shop rather than going in the car are all forms of activity. Hobbies such as gardening, hiking and cycling have the same effect.
2. Perform aerobic exercise
Just 30 minutes per day of a type of exercise that increases your heart rate will quickly boost your metabolism. Jogging, power walking, cycling and even dancing all count as aerobic exercise providing your heart rate rises whilst performing them.
3. Build muscle
Muscle cells use more calories in the resting state than fat cells, so using weights to build muscle will naturally increase your metabolic rate. Lifting weights three to four times per week after aerobic exercise will quickly increase your resting metabolism, meaning you burn more calories even when you aren’t doing anything.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Eating foods that are easy to digest will also speed up your metabolism. Foods with high levels of fibre are known to be metabolism boosters and should consequently feature in your diet. Try to eat fish, whole grains, berries, nuts and vegetables on a regular basis.
5. Make time to eat breakfast
Your metabolism naturally slows down whilst you are asleep because your body cells use little energy. This means you need to kick start your metabolism each morning and the best way to do this is with a good breakfast. Skipping breakfast sends your body into deprivation mode and this is the main reason why the food you eat later in the day is converted into fat rather than used as energy.
6. Eat regular meals
In order to keep your metabolic rate at a stable level you need to provide your body with a regular energy source. This means eating three or four small meals each day rather than one large meal in the evening. Regular meals combined with regular exercise are the easiest ways to speed up your metabolism.
7. Cut out the sugar
When you cut out the sugar from your diet, your body naturally uses fat as its primary energy source. This requires a higher metabolic rate than when sugar is used and as a result, your resting metabolism speeds up.
8. Eat chilli peppers
Some chilli peppers may also help to speed up your metabolism. The active ingredient in chilli peppers, capsaicin, causes muscle cells to use energy at a higher rate, thus increasing the body’s metabolic rate.
9. Drink plenty of cold fluids
A healthy diet requires you to drink around eight pints of fluid per day. It is now suggested, though, that you drink cold fluids because you automatically use energy to warm the fluids to body temperature.
10. Regulate your sleep
Try to stick to the recommended amount of sleep each night i.e. between six and eight hours. By doing so, you won’t be tempted to overeat through tiredness or slow your metabolism down through sleeping too much. You will also give your body a routine so your metabolism remains at a healthy, high level.
This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance health blogger, on behalf of Reebok Fitness. An excellent place to find home workout equipment.