Friday, February 21, 2014

Health Tip Of The Week - 10 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism!

1.  Eat Breakfast:  When we sleep, our bodies slow down and restore.  Eating breakfast within an hour of waking helps to restart your metabolism.  If you don't eat breakfast, your body will go into a starvation mode, slowing your metabolism and storing as much fat as possible.  This is actually the bodies' survival technique to keep us alive during times of famine, because at one time, that was actually a serious problem for humans.  There was a time when there wasn't a fast food joint or two, at every corner.

2.  Protein At Each Meal:  Eating protein gives your body more of a metabolic boost than fat or carbs.     It also helps to build and maintain muscle mass, and the more muscle you have the higher your metabolic rate.  Protein also keeps your blood sugar levels from spiking from too many carbs and sugars.

3.  Drink Water:  We would die of thirst long before we would hunger.  Our body desperately depends on and needs water.  Water keeps everything functioning at it's maximum, including metabolism.  Most people are mildly to moderately dehydrated, at all times.  So, how much water does your body need?  Take your weight in pounds, and divide it in half.  Thats how many ounces you need each day!

4.  Green Tea:  Is known for it's antioxidants, but it also has an active ingredient, catechin, which can crank up your metabolism.  Research shows that 5 cups a day, can burn 90 extra calories a day.  That may seem like a lot, but if you are drinking hot and cold tea, it is definitely doable.

5.  Exercise:  Now we all know that exercising burns more calories, but did you know that your body continues to burn at a higher rate, even after the exercise has stopped?  That is known as after burn.  How long your after burn lasts, depends on how intense you exercise session was.  You will have a better after burn with weight training than with cardio.

6.  Build Muscle:  The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate will be.  That means, even at rest, you will burn more calories!  So every day, all day, your body will be burning at a higher rate.  Great, sign me up!!

7.  Sleep:  Yes, sleep can boost your metabolism!  Here is how -  when we are sleep deprived, our body releases stress hormones, like cortisol and ghrelin.  Cortisol stores extra fat, and ghrelin, makes you hungrier and craving higher calorie foods.

8.  Don't Keep Those Calories Too Low:  The same principle applies here, as with not eating breakfast.  If your daily calories are too low, your body will go into a starvation mode, keeping as much fat as possible, and wreaking havoc on your metabolism.  Women should never go below 1200 calories per day, and men should never go below 1600 calories a day.

9.  Snack Throughout The Day:  Okay, think of your metabolism as a wood burning fire.  When that fire starts, it takes off, high flames and high heat.  But, if you go for a long period of time without adding wood (food), the fire slowly starts to burn out, and will eventually die down completely.  Our bodies are no different.  When I was losing my weight, I at every 2 - 3 hours.  This way, I was never too hungry, because I can tell you that if I get too hungry, I'll eat anything I can get my hands on!  Now, I'm not saying eat a meal every 3 hours, but you do need a small 100 - 150 calorie snack, between meals.  I have recently came back to doing this.  It does take some time to get used to, and you definitely have to plan for it.  Keep snacks with you, in your car or purse, to never be without a snack.  This will keep you from vending machines, and overeating.

10.  Buy Organic When Possible:  We all know that there are so many chemicals and pesticides in our food, but did you know that it completely messes with our endocrine system, which regulates our hormones and metabolism?  It is not possible to eat organic at every meal, but eat it as much as you can.

So, there is my top 10 list of metabolism boosters that I have learned through the years.  I think all of these are very doable.  It just takes some planning and mindfulness.  Pick one or two that you want to focus on for the next week, and add from there.  Remember - Anything is possible, your are worth the time and effort, and you deserve to live a happy, healthy life.  Life is too short for the miserable alternative!  I know, because I have been there.

-  XOXO Monique

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