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10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

| By Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell
10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
A few alterations in diet and lifestyle may help boost your metabolism. Photo Credit Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Overview

Your metabolism is responsible for converting food and drink into energy, according to the National Institutes of Health. Your age, gender and body size all contribute to your unique basal metabolic rate ( BMR). Your BMR is the minimum number of calories your body needs to sustain life while it's in a resting state. This rate accounts for well over 50 percent of the calories you burn each day. A few alterations in diet and lifestyle may help boost your metabolism.

Aerobic Exercise

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Swimming is a great activity to boost metabolism. Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

You can give your metabolism a boost by performing physical activity for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Aerobic exercise such as jogging, brisk walking and swimming can increase the number of calories your burn and help to prevent weight gain.

Keep Moving

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Change daily habits, like using stairs instead of the elevator. Photo Credit Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Adopting active hobbies and habits can also contribute to a speedier metabolism. Activities such as gardening, climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, standing up while using the phone and parking farther away from the entrances to buildings are simple changes you can make throughout your day to enhance your metabolism.

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Lift Weights

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Using weights a few times a week for 20 minutes can increase your resting metabolic rate. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Resistance training is another good way to jump start a sluggish metabolism. Using free weights or a weight machine two to four times a week for 20 minutes can increase your resting metabolic rate for several hours after your workout. Keep in mind that muscles burn more calories than fat while at rest.

Say Yes To Breakfast

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
You need to jump start your metabolism with breakfast. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Eating breakfast helps enhance your metabolism at the start of each new day. Your metabolic rate slows overnight after being deprived of food for several hours. Your cells need to be replenished with nutrients or they will adapt to surviving on less by storing fat in anticipation of future deprivation.

Don't Starve Yourself

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Eating small amounts more often helps regulate blood sugar. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Breakfast isn’t the only meal that is important for a healthy metabolism. Your metabolism works best when you eat several small meals each day. Eating small amounts every two to four hours throughout the day helps regulate your blood and encourage your metabolism to work at a higher rate. When you skip meals, your metabolic thermostat stops working in order to conserve its remaining energy.

Eat Healthy Foods

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Leafy vegetables and tomatoes are good food choices. Photo Credit MASH/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Eating a nutritious diet that includes plenty of fiber and limited amounts of sugar can help improve your metabolism. Good food choices include whole grains, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, blueberries and tomatoes.

Say No to Sugar

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Try avoiding sugar, it interferes with your body's normal metabolic functions Photo Credit Photos.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

When you eat sugar, you throw your metabolic switch into fat storage mode. High blood sugar levels then lead to increased levels of insulin, our body’s signal to store unused energy as fat.

Spice Things Up

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Try adding spice to meals to raise your metabolic rate. Photo Credit Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Certain spicy foods, like chili, may raise your metabolic rate. You might want to consider adding a few hot peppers or jalapenos to your meals.

Drink Water

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Drinking lots of ice water can help speed your metabolism. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Drinking at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day can contribute to a higher metabolism. Cool water works best because your body burns more calories by working to warm the water to your body temperature.

Get Enough Sleep

10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

When you don't get enough sleep, you may feel hungry even when you're full. Sleep deprivation can lead to overeating, which compromises your body's ability to sufficiently metabolize carbohydrates. This can result in weight gain and make weight loss more challenging. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, according to True Star Health.com.

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author image Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell
Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.
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