We have all experienced it, our metabolism starts to slow down as we age. When we were teens, we could eat all we wanted and not gain a pound. Now, it seems that if we eat one chocolate chip cookie, we gain 10 pounds. We wish we had the same metabolism we had as a child or in our teen years so we could stay at our ideal body weight. Well, don’t lose hope. There are easy ways you can master your metabolism and keep you feeling good.
What is your body’s metabolism? Metabolism is the total of all the chemical and physical reactions that occur in your body. Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) is the rate at which the body burns calories while at rest but not sleeping-over 24 hour period. Your actual metabolic rate is estimated by adding the caloric cost of all the activities in which you engage throughout the day to your BMR. A great website to determine your BMR is www.linear-software.com/bmr_bmi.html. This will give you an accurate calorie amount for whatever your goals are based on your age, weight, height and activity level.
Once you know your BMR we have a starting point so we can determine how many calories your body needs every day. One of the easiest ways to jump start your metabolism is through a designed nutrition plan. The key to a healthy nutrition plan is to make sure you eat every 2 to 3 hours. This simply tells your body that food is always available. When you fuel your body every 2 to 3 hours, your body senses this and raises your metabolism in response to a non-starvation environment. In essence, the reason crash dieting or diets too low in calories never last is because it slows your metabolism down. Your metabolism slows down to accommodate a reduced food environment. The slower our metabolism is, the less calories we burn at rest, so the longer it take to lose weight.
Another easy tip to boosting your metabolism is to make sure you eat breakfast every day. People who eat breakfast every day lose more weight than those who skip the most important meal of the day. The reason for this is because your metabolism slows down while you sleep, and it doesn’t rev back up until you eat again. It is always a great idea to start your first meal with some protein and complex carbohydrates like oatmeal. Oatmeal is great because it is high in fiber and doesn’t cause rapid changes in your blood sugar and also keeps you fuller longer.
Pack in the protein. Eating plenty of protein throughout the day causes you to burn an extra 150 to 200 calories a day. The reason for this is that protein is made up of amino acids, which are harder for your body to break down, so you burn more calories getting rid of them. You should aim to have a serving of protein at every meal. Make sure these proteins come from lean sources like fish, chicken, egg whites, yogurt and legumes.
Aim for complex carbohydrates as opposed to simple carbohydrates. This simply means eat lots of vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Stay away from simple carbohydrates like white bread, sugars, and potatoes. These simple carbs create a surge in insulin that in turn promotes storage of fats and slows your metabolism down.
Drink your milk. Studies have shown that drinking low fat dairy products actually speed up your metabolism. The best results come from dairy products instead of calcium rich foods. Women tend to benefit the most when they consume 3 servings of dairy a day.
Spice up your food. Adding hot peppers to your food will help boost your metabolism. Capsaicin, which is found in jalapenos and cayenne peppers, temporarily stimulates your body to release adrenalin, which speeds up your metabolism and increases your body’s ability to burn calories.
Hit the weights. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. A pound of muscle burns up to nine times the calories a pound of fat does. When you lift weights, your metabolism remains in overdrive for up to 2 hours following weight training. It is also a great idea to incorporate interval training. By adding burst of high intensity moves, your body is working harder and therefore burning more calories.
Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night. Getting adequate sleep every night is an easy way to jump start your metabolism. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body lacks the energy to do normal daily functions, which includes calorie burning, so your metabolism will be lowered as a result.
Try these simple tricks and notice how great you feel and how you can jump start your metabolism!
Jodi Tiahrt is a fitness model and competitor who as competed in over 40 fitness,figure, bikini, and sports model competitions with 36 first placetitles. She is also a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, pilatesinsturctor and fitness pole dance instructor with Bachelors of Science Degree in biology (Pre Med) with minors in chemistry and health science.