Get your metabolism up and running

By on March 25, 2009

Spring break may be over, but that only means summer is rapidly approaching. In the constant quest to maintain a healthy weight, students are always looking for new diet and exercise tips. A fast metabolism is the key to prolonged weight loss and health. More energy, more calories burned and immunity to some sicknesses are bonuses that come along with a healthy metabolism. Here are some tips to rev yours up and shed off those last lingering pounds:

1. A concept that is tried and true: exercise. As the body ages, its ability to burn calories at a fast rate decreases. The body’s ability to burn calories is also known as your metabolism. To stave off the decrease with age, build lean muscle by incorporating some form of cardio into your everyday life. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes a day. For best results, experts also say to add strength training to your workout routine at least three times a week. The combination of cardio and strength training promotes increased weight loss.

2. Always eat breakfast. Though you may not be hungry in the morning, eating something will jump start your metabolism and have it working throughout the day. This is also the best time of day to ingest some carbohydrates and whole grains. Foods like these will curb your hunger and give you energy.

3. Cut out the sugar in your diet. Foods with processed and refined sugar slow down your metabolism because they take longer for the body to process. Complex carbohydrates have even amounts of sugar that make the body able to digest it more efficiently and quickly. Experts say that spicy foods have been shown to increase metabolism.

4. Keep eating small amounts throughout the day. When the body has been deprived of food for 8-12 hours, the metabolism starts to slow down in order to protect itself. Snacking throughout the day decreases the chance for binge eating later. You will always feel energetic and satisfied.

5. Swap alcohol for water. Alcohol is a depressant and consequently depresses your metabolism. Drinking excessive amounts also causes an increase in appetite. Drinking water will help flush the body of toxins while keeping the metabolism in check. Ice cold water has been proven to actually jump start the metabolism while staving off feelings of hunger.

6. Instead of your daily cup of coffee, implement green tea. Green tea does not contain caffeine that in the long run stresses the body. It has been shown to contain antioxidants for health and boost the metabolism.

7. Get your fill of B Vitamins. When the body is deprived of these vitamins, the body is left feeling fatigued and depressed which can cause weight gain, offset some diseases and slow down the metabolism. Foods high in B vitamins include beans, asparagus, spinach, fish, melon, broccoli, eggs and chicken.
Making these small changes in your diet and lifestyle can result not only in a big difference on the scale, but more importantly, will give you the energy to get through the rest of the semester and have you looking your best by summer.

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About Mary-Catherine Dolan