The best way to lose weight is to increase your metabolism. Your metabolism manages how fast and effectively you expend energy and process food. The higher your metabolism, the more efficiently your body burns calories and the faster your lose weight. Although many factors that affect your metabolic rate, such as age and genetics, are out of your control, there are simple steps you can take to give your metabolism a much needed boost.
1. Eat Well
Eating a well balanced diet of protein, grains, fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to jump-start your metabolism. Consuming healthy foods gives your body the fuel it needs to function properly. You expend a lot of calories digesting and breaking down proteins and complex carbohydrates, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. These foods also aid the formation and development of lean muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the faster you burn calories.
2. Eat Small Meals
Instead of eating the traditional three meals a day, try eating five or six smaller meals. Make sure your mini-meals include a portion of some protein and a side of fruit or vegetables. By eating every 3 or 4 hours, you're giving your body a constant supply of food to digest. This helps keep your metabolism going throughout the day.
3. Stay Hydrated
Your body is like an intricate machine and your metabolism is one of its many functions. It needs plenty of water to run at its optimal level. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day will keep your metabolic rate up and will help you shed the pounds. Also, studies indicate that drinking cold water, in particular, can temporarily increase your metabolism. Your body needs to exert energy in order to warm the liquid, and this causes a spike in your metabolism.
4. Start a Weight Training Program
Muscle burns more calories than fat. A great way to build muscle and increase your metabolism is to incorporate weight training into your exercise regime. Weight training helps you build muscle by breaking the fiber of existing muscles. In order to rebuild and strengthen those muscles, you have to use up a lot of calories. This in turn boosts your metabolism. Supplement your weight training program with some cardio and the pounds will melt away.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
A good night's sleep is an essential part to any weight loss program. As you sleep, your body releases melatonin and other growth hormones that help to repair damaged muscle fiber and strengthen your metabolism. If you don't get enough rest, your body's metabolic functions don't work as well as they should. As a result, you can not process carbohydrates as well and your unused energy is stored as fat. Sleep deprivation also leads to the release of a hormone called cortisol which increases your appetite and makes it more difficult for you to lose weight. Therefore, it's important to catch your Z's. Doctors recommend between 7 and 9 hours for the average adult.
By making these small adjustments, you will not only experience a boost in your metabolism, you'll also experience an improvement in your overall health and physical fitness.