Tag Archives: increase metabolism

9 Ways to Burn More Calories

burn-300-caloriesLike most Americans, I am always searching for quick and easy ways to boost my metabolism. Is there really anything we can do to increase the number of calories our bodies burn each day?

The simple answer: yes and no. There is no magic trick to burning calories. Your age, gender and genetics play a role in your metabolism. You may inherit a speedy metabolism. Men tend to burn calories more easily than women. And, for most of us, metabolism slows steadily after the age of 40.

So, what can you do? The best way to burn calories is the old fashioned way: by moving more.

However, research suggests that there may be other ways to amp up your metabolism. Here are 9 ways to burn more calories:

Get Active
Energy is burned when you move. From making your bed in the morning to lifting your arm to push the remote control at night, you are burning calories. Simple daily activity can account for 30% of the calories you burn each day. So, get moving! The more active you are each day, the better.

Build Muscle
While you can burn calories when you’re doing nothing, the resting metabolic rate is higher in people with more muscle. For every pound of muscle you put on, your body uses about 50 extra calories a day. Training with weights 3 times a week for just 20 minutes is enough to build muscle.

Add Protein
Your body can burn more calories when digesting protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. To create a balanced diet, replace some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods. Good sources of protein include lean meats, such as beef, turkey, fish and white meat chicken. You can also add protein to your diet with nuts, beans, eggs, tofu and low-fat dairy products.

Snack smart
Eating more frequently can help you lose weight. When you eat 3 large meals a day with several hours between them, your metabolism slows down in between. Having smaller meals or snacks every 3 or 4 hours can help keep your metabolism going at a steady pace throughout the day. In addition, small snacks help you eat less at mealtimes.

Hydrate
We know that water is good for our health. Your body also needs water to process calories. If you become even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. In studies, adults who drink 8 or more glasses of water burned more calories than those who drank four glasses.

Spice it up
Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can rev up your metabolism. Eat foods spiced up with chopped red or green chili pepper, order Thai food or spice up pasta dishes, chili and stews with red pepper flakes. Spicy foods can spike up your metabolism by 23 percent.

Drink coffee
Caffeine is a stimulant and can help you burn more calories. In moderation, one of coffee’s benefits may be a short-term rise in your metabolic rate. Caffeine can also help you feel less tired and increase your endurance while exercising or give you the motivation to get moving!

Sip tea
Green and black tea may have calorie-burning effects beyond the caffeine they contain. Green tea contains catechins – substances that rev up your metabolism for a couple of hours. Drinking tea at meals may have another fat-fighting benefit. Tea extract may interfere with the body’s absorption of carbohydrates when eaten in the same meal.

Get fidgety
Fidgeting qualifies as movement and can help you burn more calories. What counts as fidgeting? Anything that keeps you moving! You can tap your feet, swing your legs, drum your fingers, pace, wriggle, stand up and stretch, move your head from side to side, or clench and release your muscles.

It’s easy to work these tips for burning calories into your daily routine. And, if you do nothing else, get moving! Make it a point every day to find more ways to be physically active.

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How to rev up your metabolism

Rev up your metabolismYou probably know someone who eats constantly, yet never seems to gain any weight. Metabolism – and good genes – may be part of the reason. In fact, one of the key factors in losing weight is your rate of metabolism.

The good news is you may not be stuck with your metabolism. More research is showing that you can get your body to burn calories more efficiently.

We recently wrote a blog about how to lose weight safely and effectively. You may be able to take more control of your weight loss and rev up your metabolism by adding some of these boosters to your routine:

Eat breakfast
You’ve gone all night without eating, so having breakfast first thing in the morning will kick start your metabolism for the day. Studies have found that regularly skipping breakfast puts you at a much higher risk of obesity. And, the heartier your first meal, the better. So, eat a good breakfast.

Kick it up a notch
The next time you exercise, ramp up your workout and mix up your frequency or intensity. For instance, if you’re running or swimming, change up the pace and push yourself harder for 30 to 60 seconds and then go back to the original speed. If you’re on a treadmill, mix in inclines while you’re running or walking. By doing this, you will use more oxygen which makes your body work harder to burn energy.

Build muscle
When your body has more muscle, you will have a more efficient metabolism. Each pound of muscle burns about 6 calories a day while a pound of fat burns only 2 calories a day. If you strength train on a regular basis, you can increase your resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. You can keep your metabolism revved up even on the days you aren’t able to fit in exercise.

Drink green tea
Green tea is often touted for having many health benefits. You can add increasing your metabolism to the list. Brewed green tea contains a plant compound called ECGC, which promotes fat burning. According to studies, two to four cups of green tea per day may burn an extra 50 calories.

Eat those calories
In other words, don’t diet. If you drastically cut your calorie intake, you will send your body into starvation mode. You actually slow down your metabolism, and your body starts storing more fat because it thinks it’s starving. You also start burning muscle, which – as we mentioned earlier – is a vital part of your metabolic levels.

Go ahead and snack
To help keep your metabolism chugging along, eat more often. That doesn’t mean eat more. Have small meals or snacks every 3 or 4 hours. Your body will burn energy at a steady rate. If you eat large meals or skip meals, your metabolism will jump up and down and won’t burn calories as efficiently.

Drink more water
You need water to burn calories. Drinking 8 or more glasses of water a day can help you use more energy. If you add ice and make it cold water instead of room temperature, it may boost your metabolism even more.

Spice it up
Spicy foods that contain the chemical compound capsaicin can help kick your metabolism up a notch. Eating about a tablespoon of red or green chili peppers can boost your metabolic rate. You can spice up chili, soups or pasta dishes with red pepper flakes.

Add in protein
Your body burns up to twice as many calories digesting protein as it does when you digest carbohydrates or fat. Don’t eliminate carbs and fats entirely, but be sure to add in lean, protein-rich foods.

Go to bed
Studies have shown that getting a good night’s rest can help you keep from putting on extra visceral fat. Getting less sleep than you should throws off the hormones that regulate your appetite and metabolism. There are many reasons to get plenty of sleep, including helping you keep off the weight.

Boosting your metabolism can help you lose weight or maintain your current weight. Do you have tips for revving up your metabolism?

How to lose weight safely and effectively

How to lose weight safely and effectivelyEveryone wants to know the secret to weight loss. Well, I’ll tell you. The secret is changing your habits. It’s that simple. There are no fad diets or magic pills that will allow you to safely and effectively lose weight and keep it off.

The key to successful and healthy weight loss is balance. It’s about balancing the energy – or food – you take in with the amount of energy you burn. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.

You can also help balance the scales by exercising to burn off extra calories. I like to eat. I especially enjoy snacks that may not be the best choices. I know that they come at a price. I will need to put in extra time exercising to burn off those added calories.

Here are some tips to help you find balance and lose weight the safe way:

Forget about short cuts
For many of us, it really is a matter of changing our mindset. There is no easy solution to losing weight and keeping it off. There are no shortcuts. It takes consistency. It means eating a healthy diet and exercising for the rest of our lives. Once you change your outlook, you’ll realize that finding a healthy balance is the only way to achieve long-term success.

Reduce your calories
To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you are taking in. However, don’t cut your daily calorie intake below 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men. While you may lose weight more rapidly at first, it will eventually backfire on you. Your body will go into starvation mode and slow down your metabolism. You may also become deficient in important vitamins and minerals.

Eat more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than most meats, snack foods and pre-packaged foods. By eating fresh fruits and veggies, you will be less inclined to eat those unhealthy foods, and you will be able to reduce your calorie intake.

Chose whole grains
Whole-grain cereals, breads and pastas are much more healthy for you than processed foods. They contain fewer empty calories. Whole grains also add fiber to your diet which is good for your cholesterol, blood pressure and digestion.

Consume fats
You can eat fats, but it should be the right type. Saturated and trans fats can contribute to weight gain and should be left out of your diet. These fats are found in fried foods, potato chips and snack foods. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are healthy fats that can help you lose weight. These good fats are found in olive oil, salmon, nuts and avocados.

Add snacks
It’s okay to snack. You can eat three smaller meals a day and add in regular healthy snacks to keep you from getting hungry and making poor food choices. Eating at more regular intervals actually helps keep your metabolism working steadily so that you burn calories more efficiently.

Go with water
Drinking empty calories just adds to your daily caloric intake. If you avoid sodas, juices, sports drinks, and any sweetened beverages, you have more calories you can use for healthy, filling foods. Drink water, skim-milk or flavored waters with natural sweeteners to avoid adding unnecessary calories.

Get more exercise
Like we mentioned earlier, you can burn off more calories with exercise. It’s recommended to get 30 to 60 minutes a day to promote weight loss. Try to find activities you enjoy doing. I don’t like to run, so I don’t have much success when I try to start an exercise routine that focuses on running. I do like to play sports, such as volleyball and softball. I also like to bike, walk and do aerobics in the swimming pool. By finding ways to exercise that you find fun, you are more likely to keep at it.

Build muscle
Building muscles can help you burn more calories because muscle burns more than fat. Start lifting weights or doing other strength training exercises. You’ll not only become more toned and fit, you’ll also increase your metabolism and lose more weight.

Work in cardio
Make sure you are getting your heart rate up when you exercise. The simplest way to get the heart pumping is to run. However, you can also do a cycling class, swim, take a Zumba or kickboxing class, or play tennis. Giving your heart a workout helps you burn calories and lose weight.

Mix it up
One of the keys to maintaining a successful exercise routine is to continue to mix things up. Doing the same thing over and over can get monotonous. Add in new types of exercise. You may also be able to modify your routine based on the season. For example, go ice skating in the winter and rollerblading in the summer. Play tennis when it’s nice outdoors and racquetball on cold or rainy days. Try new things and mix it up!

I know we all wish there were an easy way to lose weight and keep it off. It comes down to balancing a healthy diet with plenty of exercise. Do you have any tips to help others lose weight safely and effectively?