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How Food Can Increase Your Metabolism

Mar 25, 2008
Metabolism can simply be described as the amount of energy the body uses to burn off food you have eaten -in short, it converts food into energy to burn. Your metabolism is constant, it never stops, only slowing down or speeding up according to signals you give through your food intake. While the actual metabolic process consists of thousands of chemical reactions, the process is actually quite simple and can be altered through adjustments in your diet.

One of the biggest problems with all the fad diets today is they do not promote change to your metabolic rate. People who struggle to increase muscle while losing body fat are most likely slowing down their metabolic rate through not feeding it properly. Protein and carbohydrates are vital ingredients to increased metabolic activity.

One significant challenge with low carb and low protein diet plans is how to get your metabolic rate to increase to burn off the calories needed for weight loss. Since your metabolism thrives on these ingredients to operate, starving your metabolism of them will actually cause a reduction in overall metabolic rate. A real challenge then arises as your body will fight harder to keep fat stored in order to survive.

Your metabolic rate will increase through the consumption of proteins and carbohydrates, giving more fuel to burn calories. To run most efficiently, though, it is important to stay away from carbohydrate loaded foods with processed and refined ingredients (for example, white bread is loaded with processed and refined ingredients). These components actually break down into sugars that will slow down your weight loss.

Not all protein is created equal - protein rich fish, nuts, and lean meat are great sources. Avoid fatty cuts of steak or hamburger to give your body the best possible protein available. Unprocessed or refined grains are a great carbohydrate source, such as whole grain breads and bars. These can also contain good amounts of fiber, which further enhances the metabolic process.

Additionally, there is another way to give yourself a great chance at a successful diet. Lean muscle development through light weight lifting will allow for another rise in your metabolic rate. It is well known that lean muscle works harder to burn more calories, meaning your metabolism will be running faster. Having lean muscle development work together with your simple diet changes will put you on the right track to sustained weight loss.

The approach of simply cutting back on calories during your three meals a day is also not effective in long term weight loss. As you are only introducing calories a few times per day, at reduced levels, the body starts to read this as a possible crisis and will start storing fat more rigorously.

Conversely, try eating smaller portions as many as six to eight times per day. While the overall number of calories is slightly reduced, you are tricking your body into thinking calories are plentiful and your metabolism will start to speed up. Lean muscle will work harder, your metabolism increases, and your weight will start to drop off at a sustainable rate.

A common misconception is that if you are overweight, your metabolism is slow to begin with - however, your metabolism is actually very fast as the body works to burn as many excess calories as possible. A change in diet alone will yield quick results early on, as your metabolism keeps processing calories as quickly as possible, but your intake is now lower than normal. Eventually, though, and adjustment will be made and your rate will slow down. This explains why it seems easy to lose weight early and not later in a diet program. Healthy proteins, carbohydrates, sensible exercise, and some lean muscle is the key to sustained weight loss.
About the Author
For more practical ideas on diet, weight loss, lean muscle gain and even food that increases metabolism, check out e-dietnews.com.
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