Monthly Archives: February 2016
It’s a common complaint: ‘I can’t lose weight because I have a slow metabolism.’ A slow metabolism might be genetic, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to change your metabolic fate. By making key adjustments to your regular diet and exercise routines- and sticking to them- you can improve your metabolic functioning, making it easier for your body to burn fat and keep it off. Which means you look slimmer, feel healthier, and have more energy. Here’s how to re-program your body for a faster metabolism…
Lifestyle changes for a better metabolism:
Often people turn to medication to speed up their metabolism, but there is really no readily available treatment that is proven to be effective- and safe. The key to improving your metabolism is making healthy lifestyle changes. Paying attention to what and how you eat and increasing your level of exercise is the best way to achieve the results you want.
Think of your metabolism as the ‘engine’ of your body- it will react differently to different types of fuel and different levels of exertion. Making smart changes to your diet and exercise can help you to figure out what works for you and help you to lose weight quickly and healthily.
Here are some lifestyle changes that could improve your metabolism…
Cut down on carbs. Reducing the amount of carbs in your diet plan is often an effective way to boost your metabolism. Studies have shown that eating a low-carb, high-protein diet can help you to lose body fat and retain muscle, giving you more energy and making you look and feel healthier. Replacing some carbs such as breads and starches with protein-rich foods like lean meats, poultry and dairy is a good place to start. Don’t go overboard- cutting out all carbs, while a favourite diet trick of Hollywood celebrities, is just setting you up for other health problems, so make sensible choices.
Reduce animal protein. Some research has shown that cutting back on the amount of animal protein you consume can help improve your metabolic function. You don’t have to go completely vegetarian or vegan, but reducing the amount of meat in your diet can have numerous health and weight loss benefits. A recent study showed that eating a diet full of fruits and vegetables, and low in meat and dairy, could result in a metabolic improvement of up to 24 percent.
Eat more fibre. Nutritionists suggest that replacing 10 percent or more of your meal with high-fibre foods can help you to burn more calories for several hours. Choose high-fibre foods rich in complex carbs, rather than simple carbs like sugar. Fibre and complex carbs have a higher ‘thermic effect’, which basically refers to how the body converts calories into body heat.
Reduce portions. A lot of us eat portions much larger than the recommended serving sizes- particularly when it comes to carbs. So it might not be the carbs so much that your metabolism is responding badly to, but rather the amount that you are eating. Try to reduce your portion sizes by eating five or six small meals throughout the day, rather than three big ones. Serve our smaller helpings and only go back for more if you’re still hungry after twenty minutes. Eating smaller amounts more regularly is a key way to get your metabolism functioning well.
Don’t crash diet. When you reduce your calories too much, your body goes into ‘starvation mode’, which results in water retention and a significantly slower metabolism. It’s also more likely to make you binge, causing rapid regain of whatever you lost during the starvation stage. Doing this repeatedly over time can slow down your metabolism considerably and make it much harder to speed it up again. Instead of starving yourself or following fad diets, it’s much better for your body to reduce your portions sensibly and make smarter food choices, at the same time as increasing your exercise. This is not only healthier, it’s actually a more effective way to lose weight in the long term.
Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise for 30 to 45 minutes, 3 to 5 times a week improves your metabolism. And physical activity triggers your muscles to use up calories rather than to story them as fat. So maintaining muscle mass actually consumes more energy for the body. Developing a regular, balanced exercise plan of cardio and strength training is the best way to speed up your metabolism and look and feel better.
Remember that age and time also has an effect on your metabolism. Our metabolic rate tends to speed up, then slow down as we age. Nursing mothers are likely to experience a surge in their metabolism, and women going through menopause will probably see a metabolic drop. Just try to maintain healthy eating and exercise habits as appropriate for your body. Making the above lifestyle changes are a good start to slimming down and getting the healthy, toned body you want.