Ah metabolism, our fickle fat burning furnace that at some point of our lives decides to go on strike and stop working for good. Or at least that's what we're told. A super-charged metabolism is the holy grail of weight loss. It pretty much guarantees that your efforts to hit your target weight will pay off. Yet, it has a way of constantly challenging us to keep it working for us and not against us.
Aging inevitably causes a slow-down of our metabolism. It usually begins once a person hits thirty and continues as the years roll on. Other reasons include hormonal changes, such as menopause, and metabolic illnesses, such as hypothyroidism.
But hope is not lost! You can combat those factors and kick your metabolism into high-gear by incorporating a handful of lifestyle changes. Read on and prepare for a metabolism primed to melt pounds away.
Strength training to build muscle tone is the most effective method of ramping up a sluggish metabolism. The more muscle you've got on your frame, the higher your metabolism goes.
If you lack the time to tone and work every muscle in your body, concentrate on the largest muscles: your bottom, thighs, chest, and back. Try compound exercises that incorporate at least two of those and engage your core. Remember: you don't need bigger muscles, just stronger ones.
HIIT It with Your Best Shot.
You should immediately add High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, to your workouts. The idea is to alternate short bouts of all out, go-for-broke exercise at your maximum intensity with recovery periods where you're either resting or working at a lighter intensity. HIIT cardio sessions - be they running, biking, elliptical training, or even jumping rope - seriously boost your resting metabolic rate above its norm for a full 24-48 hours after your workout.
Never Go Hungry.
Starvation is the ultimate catalyst for slowing your metabolism until it's like wet cement running uphill. To keep that from happening, abandon the idea of three huge meals a day, and spread out your caloric intake with several smaller meals and healthy snacks. The goal is to eat every 3-4 hours so that your metabolism never gets the chance to idle.
Make Protein Your Pal.
Avoiding starvation mode is also a matter of selecting the right foods. Protein takes more time to be metabolized in your body than carbohydrates or fats. That slow breakdown keeps your blood sugar and energy at a more constant level. It assures your system that food is plentiful, so there's no need to slow down or cache stores of energy as fat.
Count Those Sheep.
Sleep is vital to your general health and to your metabolic function. The quantity and quality of your REM cycles have a deep impact on your body's production of the hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite. If you don't sleep enough, your metabolism slows and the hormones that signal when you've had enough to eat go completely haywire. The result is that you'll pack on pounds and won't have the metabolism to shed them.
Water, Water, Water.
Like every other system in your body, your metabolism requires the proper energy to run at full capacity and efficiency. When you're sufficiently hydrated, your blood is better able to carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells, making them capable of their highest metabolic function.
Just as your body weight determines your daily calories; it should be used to figure out exactly how much water you need. Take what you weigh in pounds, divide that number in half and you will have the ounces of water you should be drinking daily. For example, a man weighing 160 lbs should drink 80 ounces of water every day to reach his full metabolic potential.
Keep your slowing metabolism at bay, and try these 6 strategies to rev it up into a higher gear!