Metabolic Magic

Your metabolism is the sum of all the various reactions in your body that burn calories for energy. Your caloric needs are based on your resting metabolic rate and your level of daily physical activity. The resting or “basal” metabolic rate is simply the calories your body needs to exist everyday. Unfortunately, metabolism slows down by 2% to 5% each decade after you hit 40 years of age. Thankfully, there are ways to ensure that your body maintains its status as an efficient calorie burning machine.

 

5. EAT AT LEAST EVERY FOUR HOURS.

 

Eating on a set schedule of smaller meals/snacks every three to four hours keeps your metabolism active. It takes a lot of effort for your body to digest and process food, so you burn a small amount of calories every time you eat. About 10% of your total calorie intake is spent on digestion.

 

When calories are burned as you digest food, your body produces heat. This is called the thermic effect of food. Instead of eating two to three large meals, split up your eating schedule to approximately six smaller portions of food each day to capitalize on the thermic effect.

 

4. EAT BREAKFAST EVERYDAY, IDEALLY WITHIN AN HOUR OF WAKING UP.

 

Your metabolism slows down while you’re sleeping. Taking the time to eat a healthy breakfast starts your body’s calorie burning power. If you’re pressed for time in the mornings, try keeping peanut butter and fruit sandwiches in your fridge to grab on your way out. Eating breakfast also reduces the chance of binging at lunch.

 

3. EAT AT LEAST 1,000 CALORIES EACH DAY.

 

If you’re trying to lose weight, you need to cut back on calories. Keep in mind that reducing your intake too much will cause your metabolism to slow. When you don’t eat enough, your body goes into conservation mode as a protective mechanism. So, if you’re cutting calories, don’t go overboard.

 

2. EAT PROTEIN WITH EVERY MEAL.

 

While carbs, fat, and protein all contribute to the thermic effect, protein is known to give the best metabolic boost. Skinless poultry, fish, tofu, beans, nuts, and low-fat dairy are all good choices to add to meals and snacks.

 

1. BALANCE STRENGTH TRAINING WITH CARDIOVASCULAR TRAINING.

 

A solid amount of calorie burning is devoted to the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue, so strength training has long been established as a means of maintaining an active metabolism. However, don’t forget that cardiovascular aerobic training also produces an after-burn just like resistance work. While the boost in metabolism doesn’t last quite as long as a session in the weight room, it’s definitely worth the effort. Give your system every advantage by making the time to fit in aerobic training at least four to five times per week.

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