Metabolism is partly ruled by genetics, but even a genetically healthy metabolism can be overwhelmed by negative environmental factors such as excessive consumption of unhealthy foods, not consuming necessary vitamins, or not having adequate exercise. Everyone can make the most of what they have got. Read on to know how to keep your metabolism strong to shrink your waist and get in shape.
1. Eat the correct number of calories
Metabolism is the chemical process in the body that converts the food you eat into fuel so you can get the energy to keep going each day. “Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories per day your body naturally burns at rest,” says Louis Aronne, MD, an obesity specialist at the New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. It’s highly important knowing your number of calories because in this way you’ll be aware of exactly how many calories to consume to maintain your weight. You can simply reduce these numbers to lose weight and do vice versa to gain.
2. Make workouts a regular thing
“Doing cardio exercise three to five times a week is associated with a higher metabolic rate at rest,” says Wayne Westcott, PhD, professor of exercise science at Quincy College, in Quincy, Mass.
Your body burns fat even when you are out of the gym. You might have heard about Tabata, a four-minute fat burning workout in which you alternate twenty seconds of all-out effort with 10 seconds of rest. Michele Olson, PhD, professor of exercise physiology at Auburn University, in Auburn, Ala., had subjects try it with squat jumps, they burned 13.5 calories per minute; most moderate-intensity cardio burns just 6 or 7 calories per minute. This workout casn be done with almost any exercise like sprints, jumping jacks or burpees.
3. Don’t blow off lifting
A pound of muscle burns nine times more calories than a pound of fat. “Lifting weights is the top way to stave off age-related metabolic drop,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
4. Avoid Weight Cycling
“My patients with the lowest metabolisms are the weight cyclers,” says Scott Isaacs, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. “When you lose weight, you lose muscle and fat, but when you gain it back, it’s mostly fat, which burns fewer calories.”
5. Have A Bedtime Snack
Two recent studies found that having 150 calories about 30 minutes before you go to sleep boosted metabolism in the morning, compared with having none. For best results, try protein-packed snack like low-fat milk or cottage cheese. However, it applies only if you’re exercising regularly.