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7 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
7 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism
By Sheri Strykowski, special for eDiets
Ready to transform your sweet self into a lean, not-so-mean, fat-burning machine? You may be surprised to find that you don't have to overhaul your lifestyle.
People make the mistake of thinking they have to make drastic changes to lose weight and get in shape, says Lyssie Lakatos, RD, LD, CDN, but the secret is to make small changes and incorporate them into their lives permanently.
"Dropping your caloric intake below 1,000 calories a day on a consistent basis will signal your body that you are in starvation mode, and will slow down your metabolism," warns Lakatos, who with her twin sister, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, LD, CDN, is co-author of Fire Up Your Metabolism. When the metabolism slows, we store food as fat and gain weight.
Calories do count, but it’s also about how efficiently your body burns those calories. Your metabolism plays a big part in regulating your weight, Shames says. Metabolism is the way your body uses up calories from the food you eat and turns them into energy. Metabolic rate is the speed at which you use up those calories. The goal is to get your metabolism into peak operating condition so you will burn the most calories all day long — even while you sleep. If you follow these seven tips to speed up your metabolism, you might never again find yourself facing the dreaded "next bigger size" on the rack of cute jeans at your favorite store.
Tip 1 — Determine your daily caloric needs
To rev up your fat-burning engine, don't overload your system with too much food, Shames says. Figure out how many calories you need to consume each day to lose weight and keep your metabolism humming. Caloric level is determined by taking into account your age, sex, height, weight, lean body mass and activity level. Here’s a quick formula from Shames to give you an idea of your magic number: Multiply your body weight by 11. For example, a 140-pound woman would need to consume 1,540 calories per day to lose weight. If you’re very active, you can multiply your weight by 12.
Tip 2 — Divvy up your meals
Kick-start your metabolism and curb your appetite by dividing your meals into five to six small, nutritious meals a day instead of three squares. Eat a 200-400 calorie mini-meal every three to four hours. Your body will expend more energy to digest the food and your metabolic rate will increase, Lakatos says.
Tip 3 — Just move!
Physical activity accounts for 20 percent to 40 percent of calories burned each day. The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests a good goal for many people is to work up to exercising four to six times a week for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. If you can’t do that much, do what you can, say the twins: Walk the dog, park the car at the far end of the lot, take the stairs instead of the elevator, clean the house, just do something.
Tip 4 — Pump iron
Muscle is your best friend! Your resting metabolic...