Ever notice that some women can eat all they want and never gain weight? And that they usually chalk it up to a high metabolism? Ever wonder if you can increase your metabolism? And what the heck does that mean, anyway?
In its simplest terms, metabolism is the amount of calories your body needs to maintain your weight. If you take in less calories than your body needs, you lose weight. If you take in more, you’ll gain weight. Genetics play a small role in this, too, but you can control some of the factors. By increasing your metabolism, you can either increase the amount of calories you can take in without gaining weight, or lose weight without restricting your calories. Either way sounds good, doesn’t it? Try these simple ways to increase your metabolism.
Try not to go more than three hours without eating. Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a light snack in between meals. This will increase your metabolism because your body has a constant source of energy (food.) If you starve yourself, skip breakfast, etc., etc., your body believes it is going into starvation mode and your metabolism drops. The exact reverse is also true “ when your body is happy and well fed, your metabolism will increase.
Exercise with intervals
Try alternating three minutes of regular exercise with one minute of extra exertion. (For example, walk for three minutes, sprint for one, repeat five times.) Studies have shown that performing your cardio workouts in these three minute “ one minute intervals can boost your metabolism by a need for 100-200 calories per day! That can add up to 1,400 calories a week, or a weight loss of an extra pound every three weeks!
Get some sleep
A startling fact is that the rate of calories you burn while you are sleeping can represent up to 80% of your total metabolism. That is a big chunk of calorie burning. Skimping on sleep decreases the number of calories you burn while at rest “ sitting on the couch, checking e-mails, watching TV. So if you have been running on too little sleep, it is probably having a big effect on your metabolism. Use this as a perfect excuse to tuck yourself in a little early and sleep in a little late.
In addition to the above mentioned interval workouts, strength training is a great way to increase your metabolism. Research has shown that a pound of muscle requires 50 more calories than a pound of fat to maintain itself “ you do the math! Also, your metabolism can stay increased for up to 24 hours after a strength work out “ an effect known as the afterburn. If you’re worried about getting too bulky, opt for low weights (3-5 lbs.) and higher repetitions. This will give you smooth, sleek muscles as well as a higher metabolism. How can you lose?