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10 Tips to Rev Up Your Metabolism

Apr 20, 2008
It's a situation many of us have found ourselves in at one time or another. We've gone on a diet and are successfully dropping pounds, when suddenly the weight loss stops and the numbers on the scale won't move. The reason might be a slow metabolism.

Metabolism is a complicated process that converts calories in what you eat to energy. If your metabolism is high you'll lose weight more easily than someone with low metabolism will, even if you both take in the same amount of energy in the form of calories.

As a rule, if you have a low metabolism, you simply can't consume as much food as your thin friends who have a high metabolism without packing on some pounds. However, there are some tricks you can use to speed up your metabolism and get your weight loss back on track.

Here are 10 ways to increase your metabolism:

1. Exercise. Working out is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism. When you increase your muscle mass, you'll burn more calories even when you're just sitting around. Lift weights a couple times a week, and aim for 30 minutes of cardio each day. Take a walk, step on the treadmill or head to the fitness club. You can even get fit with small spurts of action, like foregoing the elevator for the stairs, parking on the outer limits of the parking lot, or taking on some vigorous housecleaning.

2. Have mini meals. Eating four to six small meals throughout the day rather than three big ones will keep your metabolism revved up constantly.

3. Don't skip meals. If you think skipping meals means you'll lose weight, you're wrong. If you don't feed your body when it expects to be fed, your metabolism grinds to a halt, thinking that you're in starvation mode. See tip number 2.

4. Eat unrefined foods such as fruit, veggies, and whole grains. The high fiber content of these foods helps to keep your metabolism running efficiently because you feel full sooner and for a longer time.

5. Spice it up. Spicy foods such as hot peppers have been shown to boost your metabolism.

6. Cut back on or even eliminate sugar. Sugar is a high calorie food that raises blood sugar levels significantly and then causes them to crash; this can make you store fat.

7. Drink more water. When your body burns fat, it produces toxins. If you don't take in enough fluids to flush them out, your metabolism slows down.

8. Drink green tea. Studies have shown that green tea can speed up your metabolism. It also has numerous other health benefits that make it a worthwhile addition to your diet.

9. Get more sleep. Studies have shown an association between a lack of sleep and increased weight.

10. Control your stress. Emotional and physical stress can cause the release of cortisol, a steroid hormone that slows down the metabolism. Also, you're likely to eat more when you're stressed out.

Remember that on any weight loss program, the occasional plateau is normal. So if the scale doesn't budge on occasion, don't give up. Follow the tips above to give your metabolism a boost so that you keep burning calories and continue on to your weight loss goals. Remember that eating well and exercising are permanent changes you're making, not just something quick you do to lose some weight. It's a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.
About the Author
Kim Archer writes about women's wellness. She is publisher of The Internet Spa, where you'll find up-to-date information to rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit.
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