How to Boost Your Metabolism
Sally Perkins explains how to boost your metabolism for optimal health and fitness.
Your metabolism is "the rate at which your body expends energy or burns calories", according to Harvard Health. As such, a healthy metabolism is essential for optimal health and fitness. The faster it runs, the more calories you burn, and the easier you lose and maintain weight. Although metabolism is influenced by many outside factors including, age, weight, muscle mass, and thyroid, you do have some control over how efficient it is. Here is how you can boost your metabolism with changes to your diet and exercise regime.
Eat enough, not too much or too little
If weight loss is your goal, you may be considering drastically cutting calories and increasing exercise. However, when you restrict calories, your body takes in less energy than it burns, and your metabolism slows. This makes it harder for you to lose weight and keep it off. In these situations, people tend to panic, start restricting more, and over exercise to achieve weight loss. But this is ultimately unsustainable and can result in bingeing and weight gain.
The solution? Find a diet and workout plan that suits you, something you enjoy and can stick to will increase your metabolism and help weight loss. Eat a balanced, protein-rich diet and avoid processed foods. When you are eating enough of the right foods and exercising, you will feel better mentally and physically. You will therefore have the motivation and stamina needed to work out regularly, which in turn revs your metabolism.
Exercise the right way
A varied exercise routine is key to boosting metabolism, as well as ensuring you do not get bored. Each week fit in a few high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions. Essentially, HIIT sessions are short bursts of intense exercise, which increase metabolism and burn fat long after the workout ends.
Do not skip strength training, either. In a 2008 study, a group of women were placed on an 800-calorie diet with either strength training, cardio, or no exercise. Afterwards, the women who did strength training had maintained muscle mass and metabolism, unlike the others who saw declines in these areas. This is because lifting weights retains muscle, which is more "metabolically active" than fat. Building muscle boosts metabolism, and burns more calories throughout the day, even when you are resting.
Finally, get enough sleep as it is essential for good health and a well-functioning metabolism. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and every morning you will wake up refreshed and re-invigorated to crush your health and exercise goals.
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About the Author
Sally Perkins is a professional freelance writer with many years' experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and travelling as much as possible.
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