There are several ways you can speed up your metabolism by making slight changes in your weekly routine.
- Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. Water helps keep you full while promoting fat oxidation.
- Exercise regularly three to five times per week. Exercise influences metabolism by affecting the body's anatomy, physiology, and biochemical makeup. Exercise type, duration and intensity are all important factors. Try adding more cardio exercise. Walking, jogging, hiking, swimming and biking are all great examples.
- Strength train two times per week to build muscle. It takes more energy to maintain muscle mass than it does fat mass. Muscle burns calories 24 hours a day!
- Add intervals to your current exercise plan. Changing your workout routine keeps your body challenged and hinders those pesky plateaus. Try walking at a faster pace for one to two minutes every five minutes throughout your workout.
- Eat every three to five hours. Eating five to six small meals per day promotes using more energy to turn food into fuel. This will also help from overeating later in the day.
- Don’t skip breakfast! Breaking your overnight fast is the perfect way to wake up your metabolism. Research shows individuals who don’t eat breakfast tend to be overweight.
- Eat on a routine; don’t go on or off diets. Eating 1,200 calories Monday - Thursday and 2,000 calories Friday - Sunday will only confuse your body. Stick to a realistic amount of calories to yield slow and steady weight loss. Changing habits permanently is far better than losing weight quickly and then regaining it. Consistency is key!
- Stay away from diet pills and fat diets. Following these plans can actually slow down your metabolism. There is no quick fix! Be patient and remember the bottom line is calories in vs. calories out!
By Anna Key, RD
Huntsville Hospital Wellness Center dietitian