Increase Your Metabolism the best Healthy Way

Increase Your Metabolism

Every day at least one person asks me how to lose weight. As a dietitian, I expect this question on a daily basis, but a simple answer isn’t always easy. Everyone is different when it comes to calorie needs, activity level and food preferences so there is not one answer for everyone. The best one minute answer I can give is to reduce your portion sizes and increase your metabolism. Everyone understands how to reduce portions (it’s really just a matter of doing it!) but most people aren’t sure how to increase their metabolism.

The number one way to increase metabolism is regular exercise. Every time we exercise, we increase our metabolism a tiny bit. Over time, regular exercisers can take in more calories and still maintain a healthy weight. When we exercise for just 20 minutes, our metabolism remains high, and burns more calories, for a few hours afterwards. For an extra boost, you can workout with weights a few times per week. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. That means that for every pound of muscle you have you can take in about 40 more calories per day. That is why someone like Michael Phelps, who is all muscle, can take in so many calories. Women will most likely not bulk up from lifting weights a few times per week, and it is important to have some muscle. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat so the scale may only show small weight losses, but your appearance will show the rest.

Increase Your Metabolism

Food choices are also very important when it comes to raising metabolism. The body needs a balance of protein and carbohydrates, along with a little fat, to function at its optimal level. Don’t eliminate one food group for long periods of time. Eliminating a whole food group will eventually lead to regaining any weight lost and possibly more. I always recommend eating frequently throughout the day. Doing this will ensure that your body is continually processing and digesting food. The thermic effect of food (calories needed for digestion) increases your body temperature and metabolism.

Don’t let yourself get too hungry and definitely don’t skip meals. If you increase the amount of times you eat each day, make sure your portions are smaller so that you don’t go over your calorie needs. Lastly, drink lots of water. Lack of water may slow metabolism just as lack of food can. Water is the body’s most important nutrient and without it the body has to work harder to do basic every day activities. Aim for eight glasses of water per day but be happy with even four or six glasses at first.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t incorporate all of these strategies. Make the change that is easiest for you first and then try to maintain it on a daily basis.

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