Have you tried every diet on the planet, but you still can't seem to lose weight regardless of how hard you work out or how hard you try? If that's you, then forget everything you've ever learned about losing weight. Substitute all that past thinking with five simple metabolism-boosting tricks that will help you melt belly fat faster.
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[Read More: The 3 Secrets to Losing Belly Fat]
It's all about the speed of your metabolism. Your diet makes up 90 percent of your weight-loss success, while your workouts make up the final 10 percent. Not seeing results? It's time to turn up the heat in your body to rev up your metabolism, jump-starting your weight loss and busting through that plateau.
Let's back up for a moment. You need to learn what your metabolism is and how it works. Just for the record, your metabolism isn't the enemy that it's made out to be. In fact, it's your best ally when it comes to losing weight.
Metabolism is the process in which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. That energy is either burned off or stored as fat. The number of calories your body uses to complete these functions is known as your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate can be affected or slowed by the following factors that make losing weight almost impossible:
- Stored excess fat around your belly, hips and thighs
Approaching, currently in or post-menopause
Lacking muscle tone
Eating too much of the wrong kinds of foods and not enough of the right kind of foods
You exercise too much or too little or, even worse, do the wrong kind of exercise
You are genetically predisposed to a slow metabolism and gain weight quickly
In addition, you probably already know that being female and over 40 (this can affect men too) means your metabolism is slowing down every year. It takes a significant step backwards every five years due to muscle loss and hormones. Our thyroids begin to tire and slow down as well. When combined with life issues, chronic exhaustion and stress, it creates the perfect storm for weight gain.
But there's more hope than you think, and you have a lot more control over the speed of your metabolism than you realize. These five metabolism-boosting strategies will work every time, no matter how old you are or how sluggish your metabolism is.
Step 1: Eat all your meals within a 10- to 12-hour window every day.
This sets up a fat-burning atmosphere in your body and allows it to detoxify each night. This is not only great for persuading your body to use stored fat for fuel, but also for antiaging. You should eat between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. for best results.
Step 2: Exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Your body is naturally primed for fat-burning first thing in the morning. This escalates weight loss and makes it easier to melt fat. Metabolic exercise is more effective when free weights are used because they work the entire body and contain 10 to 12 multijoint exercises.
For maximum fat-loss results, complete two to three sets of each exercise in the metabolic circuit in superset fashion, with little or no rest in between sets. Allow at least one day in between sets, and perform three workouts a week. Lift as heavy as you can while still maintaining proper form. You don't need to work to fatigue. In fact, it's suggested that you don't, so that you don't affect the fat-burning process.
Step 3: Kick-start your metabolism with a whey protein shake after your workout.
This will recalibrate your appetite and switch your cravings to "off." Thermogenic eating also creates heat in your metabolism, which is exactly what you want.
The simplest way to do this is to replace your current breakfast with a metabolism-boosting smoothie 12 hours after your last meal. This blocks cortisol from rising, making it easier to lose belly fat.
It's important that you look for a whey that is high quality, micro-filtered and contains very few carbs, sugars and less than five grams of fat. Ideally, this complete protein shake will contain 155 calories, 24 grams of whey protein, less than 15 grams of carbohydrates and be almost void of sugar and fat. This nutritional profile is best because it starves the fat so it gets burned off, but feeds the muscle so it gets replenished and nourished.
Step 4: Eat thermogenically to rev your metabolic engines.
Certain foods slow the metabolism while others speed it up. These thermogenic foods are the best when it comes to speeding up your metabolism. Trade in your chicken breast for white fish, and replace the starch on your plate with a leafy green vegetable. Watch the pounds drop quickly.
Fish good for you, but the lighter and whiter the fish, the better it is for your metabolism. Keep in mind that just because a fish is good for you doesn't mean it's good for weight loss. Portions still count.
Step 5: Eat more fiber.
Your weight-loss efforts get derailed due to hunger and cravings that are caused by blood sugar fluctuations that can occur when you change your diet. As if that wasn't bad enough, you can become bloated due to constipation. Eating fiber can help keep you feeling full without filling you out and help relieve constipation and bloating.
While we can't control our gender, age or genetics, we can control how and what we eat as well as how we exercise. Most of the time it's not what we know that stops us from losing weight but what we don't know. This prevents us from achieving our weight-loss and fitness goals. But now that you know, are you ready to give your metabolism a boost?
Written by Lisa Lynn