For individuals hoping to shed a few pounds, figuring out successful strategies for boosting their metabolism is considered the holy grail of weight loss. However, just because you want a metabolism that move at rate that would make most cheetahs appear slow doesn’t your body is going to cooperate. How fast your body successfully burns calories depends on a variety of factors.
While men tend to burn more calories than women, even when just lying around the couch, both men and women start to notice a steady decrease in metabolism function once they turn 40. Fortunately, even though you can’t control factors like genetics, gender, or age when trying boost your metabolism, there are a number of ways you give successfully kick the system into a higher gear.
Building muscle mass ranks as a great way to improve your metabolism, while also helping to shed a few extra pounds. The body continues to burn off calories even while you’re watching T.V. or taking a nap, but the metabolic rate for this do nothing calorie burning program is much higher in individuals with more muscle mass.
Every pound of muscle in your body requires six calories a day just to sustain itself, while fat cells only burn two calories a day. Even if that doesn’t seem like much of a difference, replacing just five pounds of fat with muscle and you’ll burn an additional 140 calories a week! The more muscle you add, the more you burn and the thinner you’ll become.
While engaging in aerobic exercise might not help build bulging muscles, working up a sweat can also help to ratchet up your metabolism for several hours following your workout. The key when selecting the right aerobic exercise is to find routine that pushes you farther. The higher the intensity of your workout, the longer the duration your metabolism will stay at an elevated rate.
Your body needs to stay hydrated with water to process the calories you consume daily. Suffering even from mild dehydration can cause your metabolism to slow considerably, resulting in more calories being stored as fat. One recent study found that adults who consumed eight or more glasses of water daily burned significantly more calories daily than individuals who only drank four glasses a day.
In addition to drinking more water between and during meals, also try munching on more fruits and vegetables when snacking. These types of foods carry a high water content and can help keep you feeling hydrated throughout the day.
Even though energy drinks may not be the first thing that pops to mind when trying to lose weight, many of the ingredients these beverages contain can help give your metabolism a boost. In addition to being loaded with caffeine, which raises the amount of energy your body expends, many of these types of beverages also contain the amino acid taurine, which studies have shown could help burn fat and increase the metabolism.
However, consuming energy drinks is not for everyone, especially if you suffer from trouble sleeping, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against young children and teens using these products.
Eat More Often
While it might seem counterintuitive to consider eating as a means of losing weight, eating more often can actually help get your metabolism running at a consistent rate. Think of your metabolism like a fire. By feeding that fire more wood every few hours you keep it consistently burning. But if you starve that fire and only feed it when it has nearly extinguished, it takes longer to burn off what you add.
By only eating two or three times a day at large meals, you allow metabolic fire to nearly go out, and it takes the body much longer to burn off the calories from each of those meals than if you consistently stoke the fire throughout the day. However, don’t confuse eating more frequently with just eating more. It’s important that you keep your daily calorie count the same in order not to gain weight, just spread those calories out more evenly.
Timothy Lemke is a freelance health and science writer. To read more of his work, visit the website of Dr. Mick Brooks, a dentist in Tumwater, WA.