The Elusive Metabolism Boost
Boosting the metabolism is the holy grail of weight watchers everywhere, but how fast your body burns calories depends on several factors. Some people inherit a speedy metabolism. Men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting. And for most people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. Although you can’t control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to get a boost. Read on for 10 ways to rev up.
Our bodies constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time.
Step Up Your Workout
Aerobic exercise can rev up your metabolism in the hours after a workout. The key is to push yourself. High-intensity exercise delivers a bigger, longer increase in resting metabolic rate than low- or moderate-intensity workouts.
Fuel Up with Water
The body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. To stay hydrated, get in at least 64 ounces of water each day and drink a glass of before every meal and snack.
Eating more really can help you lose weight — eating more often, that is. When you eat large meals with many hours in between, you train your metabolism to slow down. Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day.
Power Up with Protein
The body burns many more calories digesting protein as it uses for fat or carbohydrates. Protein may require almost 25% more energy to digest compared to fat. Although you want to eat a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can jump-start the metabolism at mealtime. Healthy sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
The impact of different foods and drinks on the metabolism is small compared to what you need for sustained weight loss. Your best bet for creating a mean calorie-burning machine is to build muscle and stay active. The more you move during the day, the more calories you burn. And remember: working out in the morning has the benefit of revving up your metabolism for hours.