Slowing Down? Eight Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight

They say as we get older it gets harder and harder to lose weight.  Is this because we’re eating more and exercising less?  Not necessarily.  But there’s a pretty good chance that something else is happening – our metabolism is slowing down and making it harder to burn off the calories in the food we eat.  Fortunately, there is something that can be done about it; actually several things.  If you’re concerned about a sluggish metabolism, here are some simple changes you can make to speed it up.

1. Eat more in the beginning of the day

Everyone always talks about the importance of eating breakfast, but still many people skip it and run out the door for work.  Either they don’t like traditional breakfast foods or they’re just not hungry in the morning, but there’s a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  The longer you wait to eat, the more your metabolism slows down.  This response is based on the body’s survival instincts because your body thinks you’re fasting.  However eating in the morning keeps your metabolism humming, and you have a greater chance of burning off the calories when you consume them earlier in the day.

2. Spice up your meals

This may sound a little far-fetched, but it’s true; adding hot peppers and other spices to your meals will speed up your metabolism.  It has been proven that foods with a little kick have a way of revving up your body’s engine, so don’t be afraid to add a little heat to your favorite dishes.

3. Drink the green stuff

I’m not talking about green smoothies, but rather green tea.  Loaded with antioxidants, green tea is the closest thing to a “metabolic potion.”  The brew contains ECGC, a plant compound that promotes fat burning.  In fact, people who participated in a study where they consumed 3 to 5 cups of green tea every day for 12 weeks were able to decrease their body weight by nearly 5 percent.  For maximum impact from your tea leaves, let it steep for three minutes and drink it hot.

4. Build up your muscle mass

You may not think you have time to work out.  Most people don’t; but it doesn’t take much to build up lean muscle mass.  Start out with some light resistance training or weight training a few times a week and you may be surprised at how much faster you lose weight.  That’s because muscle burns calories faster than fat and it speeds up your metabolism.

5. Mix things up with interval training

Most people are looking for ways to do shorter workouts while burning the same number of calories.  One way to do this is with interval training.  This can be done on a stationary bike by alternating sprints with easy pedaling.  According to one study, participants who used interval training burned three times as much fast as those who exercised at a steady pace for a longer period of time.  Bursts of speed seem to stimulate a fat-burning process within the muscles and it works whether you’re running, rowing, riding or using the elliptical.

6. Don’t miss a meal

Just like eating breakfast is important, it’s also a good idea to eat frequently throughout the day.  Whenever you skip a meal, your metabolism slows down to prevent you from starving.  Instead, why not trick your metabolism into action by eating five or six smaller meals or eating healthy snacks between meals.  Not only will it jumpstart your metabolic rate; you will maintain higher energy levels throughout the day.

7. Skip that second mojito

We all know that moderation is the key to good health, but here’s another reason not to overdo the alcohol.  Just two drinks will put the brakes on fat burning by 73 percent because of the way the liver metabolizes alcohol.  The liver converts alcoholic beverages into acetate and uses that as fuel before tapping into fat stores.

8. Hit the sack earlier

Whenever you sleep less than you should, you throw your hunger-regulating hormones out of balance.   People who slept less than 7.5 hours per night are known to have a higher body mass index so try to get your eight hours of rest every night.

No matter how fast your metabolism used to be, it never stays that way with age.  Fortunately, you don’t need to starve yourself to stay fit.  Simply follow these tips and your metabolism will never let you down.

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