Burning Up Calories: How to Boost Your Metabolism

by Wellness Editor – MH

If you’ve ever been around someone on a diet, you might have heard them talk about their metabolism. For those seeking to lose weight, this focus on metabolism is well-founded, as your metabolic rate determines how quickly your body burns off calories while at rest. Since your metabolism is largely determined by your genetics, many people feel that their metabolic rate is a predetermined force that is completely out of their control. Fortunately, there are ways to naturally boost your metabolism and give yourself a healthier body.

Get lots of B Vitamins – Vitamins B6, B12, folate, thiamin and niacin all fall under the umbrella of vitamin B. These vitamins play an enormous role in your body’s overall health and wellbeing. B Vitamins help DNA strands merge and form, boost the capabilities of the immune system, and allow your body to better utilize fats, proteins and carbohydrates. They also serve as fuel for your body’s energy production. If you often feel sluggish, downbeat and tired, chances are you are running low on B vitamins. A lack of B vitamins is also commonly associated with a slowing metabolism, and can leave you vulnerable to chronic diseases. To avoid these problems, stock up on spinach, asparagus, soy beans, black beans, navy beans, melon, broccoli, eggs, poultry and fish.

Get Plenty of Magnesium – How important is magnesium to your metabolism and health? Put it this way – every cell in your body needs it, and magnesium is used for over 300 natural biochemical reactions inside the body. Research has shown that if you boost your magnesium intake, your metabolic rate will likewise follow. This task can be accomplished by going green – green vegetables, that is. Green veggies are rife with magnesium, and are an excellent option for naturally increasing your metabolic rate. If you’re not a fan of green vegetables, take heart – significant quantities of magnesium can also be found in halibut, almonds, cashews, peanuts, soybeans, whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, and black-eyed peas.

Eat (Healthy) Snacks – Snacking is a fine way to increase your metabolism – as long as you do it right. First, avoid overeating by keeping your snack portions at a reasonable size. Next, try and include a healthy mix of carbohydrates and proteins in your snack. Healthy snack options include trail mix, peanut butter and banana, hummus and baby carrots, or an apple with low-fat cheddar cheese. Eating a balanced amount of carbs and proteins while snacking will keep your blood sugar and energy levels in good standing.

Remember the Most Important Meal of the Day – Here’s another reason not to skip breakfast; studies have suggested that chowing down on a morning meal can increase your metabolism by 10 percent, with the added bonus of reducing your risk of diabetes and obesity.

Avoid Calorie-Slashing Shortcuts – While dramatically cutting down your calorie intake may seem like the easy road to a thinner waistline, it actually has the opposite effect. By slashing your consumption of calories to an exceedingly low level, you inadvertently sabotage your metabolism by stripping it of the fuel it needs to digest food at a steady pace. Consequentially, your metabolism will run slower, and you will burn fewer calories while at rest. Instead of trying to keep your intake of calories at ridiculously low levels, try eating well-balanced meals and snacks throughout the day.

Alternate Between Low and High Intensity Activities – If you already work out, or are interested in becoming more physically fit, try mixing in low intensity exercises with more taxing activities. This type of exercise routine, known as interval training, prompts the heart and muscles to use oxygen in a more efficient manner. Examples of interval training include peppering sprints along a slow jog, or strolling down a gentle slope after chugging up a steep incline. Interval training will boost your metabolism while simultaneously helping you shed calories and get into better shape.

Start Strength Training – As we age, our muscles begin to deteriorate and turn into fat. With the loss of muscle and addition of fat, our metabolism slows down. Therefore, you can keep your metabolism running at a steady clip by engaging in strength training, which keeps your body fat low and muscles toned. Strength training can include using weight machines and free weights. If you don’t have any strength training accessories lying around, try doing some exercises that don’t require equipment, such as push ups, pull ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.

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