Sunday, June 13, 2010

Healthy Tip - 6/13/10 Speeding Up Metabolism

Metabolism is an important function of our bodies. It is basically the rate at which your body is able to burn calories and use energy. People with high metabolism can often eat a lot of food and never gain weight. The reason for this is because their body is burning their calories at such a high rate that there are no extra calories to be stored. However when someones metabolism is slow, they may find it hard to lose weight even when taking in fewer calories. Their body simply is not burning its food calories fast enough causing that extra storage.

So given that, here are a few tips to help speed up or keep your metabolism at a good healthy rate. These tips have been some that I have found and learned through the years through various magazine articles or websites.

#1 Eat Breakfast. It is always said that this is the most important meal of the day. One reason is because your body has been on a break from food intake for several hours. If you skip breakfast, your body is going to freak out and feel like you are depriving it of nutrients, therefore slowing your metabolism so that it can make the most of what calories you had the day before. Plus you are more likely to eat a heavier lunch because it's been a while since you have eaten. Always eat a healthy, filling breakfast. High Fiber cereal is a great choice. It will keep you feeling full until lunch and help your body keep a steady metabolic rate.

#2 Eat Often. Now your probably thinking that all these tips are making you eat, but the bottom line is that if you keep a steady stream of good healthy foods going in your body your metabolism is not going to be sluggish. It's going to be busy digesting these foods, and you are going to be less likely to be snacking on things you shouldn't out of hunger. Most people find that the best way to eat more often is to set up a  plan of eating 6 times a day. About every 2 1/2 hours. Keep the meals small. Something like 300 Calorie Breakfast, Three - 100 Calorie Snacks, 300 Calorie Lunch and a 400 Calorie dinner should work out nicely. Fruit and veggies are great fillers if you still feel you need some more to your meals.

#3 Exercise. To maintain a steady metabolism, your body should be getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise or healthy activity three times a week. This can be as simple as taking a 30 minute walk or jog, swimming or playing a favorite sport. Turn up the radio or put in a CD and get crazy dancing to your favorite songs. What ever it takes, just stay active!

#4 Build Muscle. No, I don't mean for you to look like a body builder. But you should start some light strength training to build some lean muscle. You can use resistance bands, or general weights. Try to aim at 2 15 minute workouts a week. Muscle does burn slightly more calories than fat. Maintaining Lean Muscle helps keep your metabolism on track.

#5 Drink lots of water. When you are losing weight and burning fat, you are releasing toxins into your body. Keeping your body hydrated will keep this flushed from your body. Drinking cold water will help you burn up to 25 extra calories/ per pint because of the work your body must do to warm it. Keeping your body hydrated is important during weightloss, some diets can be hard on the kidneys and the water intake can keep them functioning properly.

#6 Get Your 8 hours.  Sleep is important for overall health as well as weightloss. Strive for 8 hours of sleep each day. It will rejuvenate your body, helping you to stay more active during the day, and keeps stress levels down when you are more rested.. which goes with tip #7

#7 Don't get stressed. Stress is a big no-no when trying to lose weight. When you are stressed, your body releases Cortisol, which slows down your metabolism and has been shown to lead to weight build up in the tummy area. Think of things that stress you out in your life each day and then try and think of a way to avoid them if possible. If nothing else maybe a way to make it easier to deal with. You may need to set aside a few minutes of your time each day to help keep your mind and body at ease. A bubble bath. Soothing music during your walk or enjoy a good book.

#8 Get Spicy. In the past few years, I have read many articles that have suggested eating spicy foods speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that when people eat spicy foods during a meal, they also tend to eat less calories and feel full longer. The effects of spicy foods have been shown to increase your body's calorie burning by about 8 percent for a limited time after eating it.

All these tips can increase metabolism. Even if it is in slight changes, it still gets you closer to your overall goal of pounds lost.

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I am a stay at home Wife and Mommy. I am also a huge couponer and love to save money every chance I get! This past birthday I turned 30, which got me thinking I really need to start making some healthy changes in my life. I hope you follow me on this journey as well as share some of your tips and deals as well!

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