If you’re watching calories like a hawk and still gaining weight, your metabolism may be the culprit. Metabolism is the mechanism our body uses to burn calories. Think of it as your body’s “motor.” The faster your metabolism operates the more calories you’ll burn and lose weight in the process.
As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. So, what’s a body to do to keep the metabolism up and the weight down? There are lots of factors that count in the role that your metabolism plays in your ability to lose weight, including your age and lifestyle.
The truth is you don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, the best way to rev up your metabolism (that calorie-burning chemical process) is to eat! Some of you may have to work harder than others to speed up the process, while others just need to regulate their lifestyle and diet habits.
Most of what we think of as “diet foods” won’t help jump start your metabolism. They may be low in calories and even high in fiber, but if you make those foods the mainstay of your diet, you’ll gain weight almost immediately after you return to a normal diet.
That’s because your metabolism has become sluggish while you were dieting and has lost its ability to burn excess calories. To effectively “fire up” your metabolism, keep in mind the following tips:
- Don’t skip meals. It’s better to eat four to six small meals per day than to skip a major daily meal — especially breakfast.
- Cardio workouts (the kind that get your heart rate up) are great for burning calories and to get your metabolism moving at a faster rate.
- Drink plenty of water so that your body can rid itself of the toxins that pulls down your metabolism to a sluggish level.
- No matter what you’ve heard about carbohydrates, remember that they help to boost your metabolism.
- Tone your muscles. Use weights to firm and tone your muscles, ridding yourself of fat and replacing it with lean muscles.
- Don’t eat just before bed time. Give your body a chance to take care of excess calories before it slows down for sleep.
- Lower your alcohol intake. Alcohol is like a “go slow” sign for your metabolism. Keep it to a minimum.
Begin now to rev up your metabolism. Remember, when your metabolism improves, so will your shape!