More Efficient Metabolism

Don’t resign yourself to acceptance of the middle-age spread. Burn it off.

FITNESS Would you like to regain that youthful metabolism? Simple fact: Muscle mass increases metabolism, which in turn reduces fat storage. As we grow older, we lose muscle mass, combined with a less active lifestyle, this slows metabolism. Don't accept defeat. You can take control and reverse the process.

How Exercise Helps

Aerobic exercise increases lean muscle, speeding up the metabolism. Furthermore, such exercise like biking, walking or swimming maintains a higher metabolic rate for 4 to 8 hours following exercise. Weight training or lifting may not speed metabolism, but it does burn stored fat, increasing the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Morning exercise simulates a faster metabolism throughout the day. [1]

The Role of Diet

During long periods of food cessation, our metabolism slows. This can happen throughout the day if skip meals and especially overnight. Two obvious tips are not to skip breakfast and not to consume food late in the evening before our metabolism retires. Throughout the day, eat small healthy snacks to keep metabolism from going into starvation mode — storing fat.

Stop smoking, minimize or eliminate alcohol intake are great first steps before even setting foot outside the door. Healthy, unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables should be part of a balanced diet. Muscle needs protein for maintenance and growth. Generally, this is obtained through lean meat, fish, cheese, nuts, beans and lentils. To lose weight, minimize carbohydrates like bread, potato chips, pasta and desserts. What are some foods that specifically improve metabolism?

15 Foods That Increase Your Metabolism [2]
Food Benefit
Almonds Essential fatty acids help raise body's metabolsm
Apples Low-calorie, high-fiber snack
Beans Low-fat, high-protein, fiber-rich food
Broccoli Metabolism-boosting nutrients: calcium, vitamin C
Cayenne Pepper Heats body; as body cools down it burns calories
Cinnamon Helps body metabolize sugars more effectively
Curry Increases calories body burns, speeding metabolism
Grapefruit Lowers insulin levels
Jalapenos Capcaisin burn calories hours after injestion
Oatmeal Insulin level reduced while breaking down fiber
Olive Oil Omega 3 helps with blood circulation, increased metabolism
Spinach Speeds metabolism; provides antioxidants
Turkey Protein-rich meat causes body to burn extra calories
Water In sufficient quantity, boosts metabolism
Yogurt High protein levels require energy to process; probiotic

Right away, you may see food combinations that can make a tasty salad. Top salads and season fish with natural herbs and citrus juice instead of calorie-rich processed salad dressings and marinades. Make healthy foods tasty and your appetite for them increases. Curtail salt intake to appreciate the taste of raw vegetables like celery sticks, sugar snap peas and carrots. Low-fat string cheese is a protein-rich healthy alternative to junk food.

Exercise and eat healthy to speed metabolism and feel good. You can do that, right?

Tags: diabetes, dietitians, endocrinology, fitness, nutritionists, overweight, weight loss

References
  1. Speed Up Your Metabolism. ConsumerAffairs.com
  2. Best Foods to Improve and Boost Your Metabolism. EcoSalon.com