Speed up your slow metabolism

What a faster metabolism can do for your body.

There’s a lot of talk about metabolism, and it seems that all the skinny folks have a large amount of it. But what exactly is metabolism? Why is it important to your body? And what can you do to increase your metabolism? You’re about to find out.

Inside your body, a complex process is going on that involves hormones, enzymes and food. Known as metabolism, this process is responsible for your body’s ability to take food and turn it into energy. Additionally, your metabolism determines if you take that energy and burn it off with ease or if it sits around on your body and goes nowhere fast.

Though you probably wish your metabolism was sky high there are a number of factors you can’t change that determines the level of your metabolism. These include age, sex and your genes. That’s right – being over 40 decreases your metabolism, as does being a woman or having a family history of slow metabolism.

Ever wondered why the first few pounds of weight loss come so easily for some people? It’s because your body has to work harder when you’re overweight. So when you make a small lifestyle change, your high metabolism does the rest, helping shed pounds with ease. Unfortunately, keeping a high metabolism isn’t after you’ve lost the initial few pounds. But if you want to lose weight and keep it off, you’ll need to have your metabolism working for you.

While there are a handful of factors that limit your ability to increase or decrease your metabolism, you can take your low metabolism by the horns and give it a boost with the right steps. Since you know that muscle burns more calories than fat, you probably already guessed the first step to speeding up your slow metabolism.

Get more muscles. A little flab here and there won’t make a huge difference, but muscle burns energy faster than flab. So if you want the highest possible metabolism, you’ll need to increase your muscle mass. Do this by exercising on a regular basis (three days a week at the least), and be sure to mix in weight lifting with your running, bicycling, and swimming. If you’re over 40 years of age, you may need some extra time in the gym, as you also have to fight your metabolism’s desire to slow down regardless of your routine.

Get five-six meals. Eating three times a day may be how you did things growing up, but unless you want to grow out, you’ve got to eat up more often. By substituting three large meals for five or six or more small meals throughout the day, you give your body confidence that there will be plenty of food coming later. This confidence allows your body to burn off more calories all day long.

Get good foods. Eating five or six times a day will have the greatest impact on your metabolism if you’re filling up on the right stuff. That means tossing the extra slice of cake in the trash and going for a handful of carrots instead. Or grab some oatmeal for a fill up that will provide a slow-burning boost to your metabolic low.

Think you can have a high metabolism without ever chowing down on breakfast foods? You’re wrong. Without eating breakfast, you put yourself at risk for slowed metabolism.

Here are a few ways skipping breakfast will do the body bad — it makes you hungrier at lunch and other times than you should be. When this happens, you don’t make good choices – and you know it.

It gives you nothing to start with. When your stomach is empty, your body is doing everything possible to hang onto the calories at its disposal. Hence why you have no energy without breakfast.

And it starts you off all wrong. Start your day with a poor dietary decision, and you’re sure to make more of them throughout the day.

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.

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