Tips to Maximize Your Metabolism
Don't Starve Yourself
Many people rely on crash diets to lose weight. This is the absolute worst way to go. If you take in too few calories, your body starts preparing for starvation. It stores more of your calories as fat, and your energy goes down. If you want your metabolism running at a good speed, eat no less than eighty percent of the calories you use. You'll still lose weight and are much more likely to keep it off.
Change How You Eat
Eating several small meals a day, rather than two or three big ones, can help keep your metabolism in tip-top condition. The constant influx of calories keeps your body reassured that more will be coming, so it's likely to use more right away in the form of extra energy. Just make sure to watch your portions, and adjust your regular meal sizes accordingly. A quick metabolism won't help much if you're taking in many more calories than you're using.
Change What You Eat
Getting all your essential nutrients and minerals will help keep your metabolism working at an optimum rate. You should eat plenty of whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, and beans, and healthy fats and oils.
The Benefits of Spicy Food
Eating spicy food raises your body temperature and makes your heart beat faster. Both of these actions require energy, so you're metabolism is actually faster following a spicy meal. There is some debate among the experts as to whether or not this effect is great enough to actually make a significant difference, but all the experts agree that adding spices increases satiety. People who eat spicy foods eat less. So add some spice to your life by tossing in some chili peppers or making sizzling curries.
The Importance of Calcium
Many studies have shown that calcium boosts basal metabolic rates, so make sure you're getting plenty of calcium. Low-fat dairy products contain plenty of calcium, and are also good sources of protein. If you are lactose intolerant or otherwise unable to get adequate amounts of calcium through your diet, supplements are widely available and relatively inexpensive.
Sleep is important to all the body's functions. When you don't get enough sleep, hormone imbalances can develop. Leptin is a hormone associated with appetite suppression. Ghrelin is its counterpart, increasing appetite. Individuals who consistently don't get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night develop an imbalance in these two hormones. Ghrelin levels go up, while leptin levels go down. You wind up feeling hungrier and eating more, while simultaneously your metabolism becomes slower.
Exercise is the most powerful tool in boosting metabolism. As you exercise, your muscles burn energy. Over time, your body gets used to providing that extra energy, and your basal metabolic rate goes up. If you exercise in the morning, it will increase your metabolic rate for the entire day. Aerobic exercise requires more energy, but strength training exercise will help build lean muscle tissue. Muscles burn more energy than fat, even while at rest, so you'll burn more calories just sitting around enjoying your usual activities.