How to Fire Up Your Body's Metabolism
Approximately 70 percent of Americans are trying to lose weight at any given time. And a big number of those going on diets fail.
Lets face it, every one wants a quick fix when it comes to losing weight. It’s easy to see how fad diet proponents achieve apparent success. The fact is that there is no shortcut to losing weight.
You will succeed if you start by learning how your body works in relation to the food you eat.
As far as shedding fat is concerned, metabolism is one of the most important determinants of successful weight loss. But what is metabolism? Our bodies burn calories to produce energy, which your organs use to perform different functions.
Energy from food is also used to fuel other biochemical processes that help sustain a healthy body. The process by which that energy is synthesized is called metabolism. Your muscles and the liver continuously burn calories. The rate at which this occurs is the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
Metabolism and weight loss
Excess calories in the body are stored as fat. If your body can not burn all the calories you consume (if you‘re less active etc), you will gain weight by accumulating fat. However, if you are more active, you will burn more calories, hence, store less fat and less likely to gain weight. You will not lose weight if you are less active, no matter what you eat.
How to get your metabolism boiling
Fortunately, there are several ways you can tweak your lifestyle and eating habits that can set your metabolism on fire.
You might want to start by being more active. While aerobic exercise is good, it has a small effect on metabolism, if the intensity is low and duration is long. Exercise leads to a rise in body temperature, hence the increase in metabolism, but this subsides as temperature falls again. However, aerobics are very important for the good health of your heart and lungs.
Light aerobics for extended hours will cause stored fat to be burnt for energy, while you exercise. This may sound good but it leads to more fat being stored as energy reserve. What works for your metabolism is challenging your body with more strenuous feats. Short, intense bursts of aerobics, coupled with resistance training will help you burn fat, boost your metabolism and build strength.
Then comes the food. All foods have some effect on metabolism. However, some foods work better at raising your metabolism than others. Proteins for example, increase your metabolism, while carbohydrates have a milder effect. Other foods include fiber-rich vegetables, fruits (especially citrus fruits), spicy foods and cold water.
Foods to avoid are fats, refined carbs and sweets (chocolate, candy), high-fat diary, and foods with too much salt. Breakfast is an important meal yet often ignored. Skipping breakfast, or any other meal for that matter, slows down your metabolism. Having said that, sticking to balanced meals is always a winner.
Jump-start your metabolism with the above tips. You can’t go wrong with exercise and healthy eating. It’s absolutely important to focus on long-term health benefits of increasing your metabolism, rather than immediate results.