Rev Up Your Metabolism
6 Easy Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism | It's key to fueling metabolic chemical reactions—if you don't sip enough, your metabolism becomes less efficient. A good rule: Try to get 2 quarts of fluids (8 ounces times eight) daily. Fruit, veggies and other liquids (e.g., coffee) count, too.
6 Easy Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism | Your body needs a little energy to digest food, so having small, frequent meals (around 200 calories) stokes your metabolism. Don't cut cals; split 'em up. For example, eat half of your lunch at 11 a.m. and the rest at 2 p.m.
6 Easy Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism | Got four minutes? Try Tabata, the high-intensity form of interval training that alternates 20 seconds of all-out effort with 10 seconds of rest. It's quick and effective—a new study shows Tabata can double your metabolic rate for 30 minutes post-exercise. Or try some at-home routines.
6 Easy Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism | Sculpting and maintaining lean muscle keeps your metabolism on high, because it uses more energy (as in burns more calories) than fat. Aim to strength train for 20 minutes, three times a week.
Bump Up Your Burn - Aim for 25 g to 30 g of fiber per day. To get the most benefit for your calories, load up your plate with these 10 foods, which, in addition to having fiber, Norwegian researchers have found are high scorers when it comes to antioxidant capacity: walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate, blackberries, cranberries, boiled artichokes, dried apricots, curly kale and red cabbage.
Fill Up On Plants - The fiber in produce helps stabilize blood sugar levels, keeping your metabolism humming. Plus, the antioxidants in fruit and vegetables help your body get rid of free radicals, says Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., a spokeswoman for the Institute of Food Technologists. Free radicals can harm healthy cells—cells your body needs to keep your metabolism going strong. Unwanted pounds and health complications can result.
Bump Up Your Burn - Seven to eight hours of sleep per night is considered the sweet spot, says Richard D. Simon Jr., M.D., of Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington. The Up by Jawbone ($99) can help you track your zzz's. The bracelet uses motion sensors to monitor movement, calculating your calorie burn and how well you sleep.
Clock Your Snooze - As few as two sleepless nights can mess with your metabolism—increasing levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, and decreasing levels of the hormone leptin, which tells you to stop munching—a study in Endocrine Development shows. Research also notes that sleep debt causes insulin resistance, interfering with how your metabolism processes fat and leading to weight gain.
Bump Up Your Burn - Two or three times a week, finish your calorie-zapping cardio sessions with 15 to 30 minutes of strength training. "Perform 12 to 20 reps of moves that engage as many muscles as possible, such as squats, planks, lunges and push-ups," Coopersmith says. "You'll get higher muscle activation and calorie burning with this strategy." Devise your own plan with the self Workout Builder at Workouts.Self.com.
Sculpt Lean Muscle - "As you age, you start to lose some muscle mass," says Geralyn Coopersmith, an exercise physiologist and national director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute. "Lifting weights helps you maintain and build on what you have, so your metabolism stays high."
Bump Up Your Burn - Intervals are great for upping calorie burn during your workout, but to keep metabolism high hours after you've left the gym, you need to exercise once or twice a week for 45 minutes at a steady level that makes it difficult to converse (about a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the hardest you could go). Relax after the tough workout, and revel as you burn nearly 200 more calories from your couch.
Bump Up Your Burn - Yoga can reduce stress by signaling to your brain to lower cortisol levels, according to a review in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. There's evidence that meditation and tai chi may have the same effect. To find your version of Zen-ercise, sign up for group-buying sites to get deals on classes. Pick your fave and make it a regular habit.
Soothe Your Stress - It's impossible to live in a worry-free bubble, but constant anxiety can cause your adrenal gland to pump out too much cortisol. High levels of the stress hormone change how your metabolism stores fat, sending flab to the belly, where it affects vital organs (and your bikini confidence).