There are some factors that have an influence over your metabolism, such as age, body composition and gender, which you have no control over. However, there are other factors such as food intake, physical activity, and hydration level that you have complete control over. Fortunately, many factors that you have control over can boost your metabolism for the long term, which will help you to not only lose weight now, but keep it off for good.
Short Term Metabolism Boost
There are some things you can do to boost your metabolism in the moment; however they will not have a huge influence over your metabolism for the long-term, meaning if you stop doing them today then they will not necessarily influence over your metabolism next week.
For instance, cardio is very effective at boosting your metabolism for a short period. One study on cardio exercise and metabolism showed that participants who engaged in moderate exercise for 20-45 minutes per day, between 3-5 days per week, were able to burn 130 extra calories per day. Therefore, if you want to give your metabolism a constant boost, exercise at least three times per week moderately.
Interval cardio is now viewed as an even more effective practice for boosting the metabolism than just cardio alone. Interval cardio involves doing a high intensity workout broken up with short low intensity workouts. For example, 2 minutes of high intensity running followed by 2 minutes of regular walking can be repeated in a 30-45 minute interval workout.
Some ads for weight loss claim that you can eat certain foods which increase your metabolic rate and help you shed pounds; however, these claims are false. While certain foods can promote a temporary expenditure due to the thermic effects of the food, eating certain foods will not raise your metabolic rate in the long-term, and even the short term benefits are not much value when it comes to weight loss.
If you really want to include foods that cause your body to burn more energy, then include foods that take a longer time to digest than others foods. For example, you may want to include high fiber foods or, as research has shown, protein that causes your body to burn up to twice the amount of calories during digestion than it does when carbs are eaten.
It is much better to choose foods that provide adequate nutrition with lower calories and fat than to try to eat foods that are supposed to increase your metabolic rate. Otherwise, you may not see any results and become discouraged about your weight loss efforts.
Another common short term metabolic boost is irregular body temperature. You may be tempted to play in the snow or stay in the sauna for a long period because you have heard that hot and cold temperatures can increase your metabolism, but the process of sweating and shivering does not increase metabolism simply because neither of the two raise or lower body temperature, but rather fight to maintain a stable rate.
However, if you put something inside of your body that affects the internal body temperature, such as a cold drink, then your body does have to work at raising its temperature, and you may experience some metabolic rate benefits from it. Since caffeine is known to increase the metabolic rate, you may want to include iced coffee or iced green tea into your diet so that your body is not only forced to warm up while you drink, but also gets a metabolic boost from the caffeine.
Long Term Metabolism Boost
If you want to boost your metabolism permanently, then cardio exercise and eating specific foods are not going to cut it. Your metabolism is like a furnace. If you put some fuel in their (in the form of exercise or food) then it will work hard for a while, but if you fill it full of never ending fuel, then it will keep working hard long after you exercise or feed it certain foods and help you to burn off calories no matter what you are doing.
One way to keep it full of fuel is to build muscle. Muscle burns fat all day, not just in the period after your workout like in the case of cardio exercise. Therefore, it is crucial that you add weight training to your routine if you want to rev up your metabolic rate to constantly help you burn off calories throughout your day, no matter what you are doing.
Also, do not cut out a huge amount of calories from your diet. At least, not if you want to increase your metabolism. When you cut a large amount of calories from your diet, your body goes into starvation mode, even if it is getting food. And when your body goes into starvation mode, metabolism slows down. So while you may see some short term benefits from cutting a large amount of calories when it comes to immediate weight loss, you will eventually see the negative effects of this practice because your body will start to have to work harder at burning calories and keeping the weight off.
In addition, eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Not only will this help you from becoming hungry throughout your day, it will also help you to permanently speed up your metabolism because your metabolism will work much harder than if it does not have food for long periods of time.
This means that you should be eating every two hours after you get up and then giving your body a rest for the night-time. However, remember that food does not have a huge impact on one’s metabolic rate when it comes to weight loss, so you have to ensure that you are also building muscle (the biggest factor in boosting it) along with this nutrition plan in order to reap the long-term benefits.
Lastly, ensure that you stay hydrated. When dehydration occurs, a decrease in the amount of calories burned also occurs because the metabolism does not function at full level. Dehydration causes all functions in the body to slow down, so never let yourself get dehydrated.
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