After years & years & experiment after experiment of trying juice diets, fasting fads, point systems, counting this & counting that have you yet to become the master of your metabolism?
Your metabolism is the rate in which your body burns and uses food as energy. The faster your metabolism works the less food your body will be able to store as fat. Many factors can determine your metabolism such as your age, gender, how much exercise you do on a regular basis & the amount of muscle you have compared to fat. Along with the proper nutritional guidance, increasing your muscle mass will help to increase your metabolism.
To improve your metabolic efficiency you only need to alter what you eat and what you do in order to experience a difference in how you look and feel. The secret is not just in the calories you intake throughout the day. Eat fewer high-fat foods and less total calories. Choosing healthy foods, such as lean protein and vegetables, can actually increase your metabolism as well. Some basic rules would be to increase dietary fiber and limit sugary foods, alcohol, caffeine, & don’t smoke. The best foods to increase your metabolism and help you lose weight are fish, dark green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, blueberries and other fruits, whole grains, and at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Be a Protein Warrior! Lean proteins such as boneless skinless chicken breasts, egg whites, white fish, & whey protein powders are all great sources of protein when working to master your metabolism! Why? Protein builds lean muscle, the more lean muscles you have the more fat you burn, & this speeds up your metabolism which lowers your body fat, hence giving us the figure we want! Got it? When you choose to eat lean proteins on a low calorie diet you will not only promote muscle growth but you will be saving the muscle you already have. Remember, the more lean muscle you have the quicker your metabolism will be….I hate to keep repeating that but I just can’t stress enough the importance of proper nutrition and protein in your diet. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be building giant bodybuilder muscles but you’ll begin to see your body take shape as body fat decreases & muscle mass increases. Keep in mind that whey protein contains a high amount of glutamine and BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) – the building blocks of muscles. Taking whey protein increases your muscle mass, lowers the time it takes to recovery from exercise, and boosts your stamina! A variety of proteins in your diet combined with lots of veggies & good fats is essential to a balanced diet. It is suggested that you consume an average of 1g-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight daily.
No Need to Fear, the Carbs Are Here! It’s best to choose unrefined whole grain carbohydrates, “Whole” is key word here! Veggies & fruits which are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals are an excellent choice. Starchy carbs like whole grains, oats, bran, rice, wheat, & potatoes are a little higher in calories but because these foods are high in fiber as well, they help to keep you fuller longer & are a great source of energy. When your cells need energy they will break down carbohydrates first, then fat and finally protein. Your body converts carbohydrates into a form of sugar called glucose which is easily used as fuel by your body. Any excess carbohydrates you eat will be turned into fat for storage. Of course, any fat you eat will be stored as fat as well. Your body converts the fat you eat into body fat very efficiently. If you exercise and eat wisely, however, you will burn those fat stores and increase your metabolism. Assuming you choose nutritious less refined carbohydrates, you can eat anything between 35 and 55 percent of your calories in the form of carbs. If you wish to try a low-carb diet, that’s fine – but for optimum health you should avoid the very-low-carb weight loss plans except for very short periods of time (such as training for competition, bodybuilding, etc.). Some of these very-low-carb diets rely on nutritional supplements, which generally speaking is not a good long term dietary habit to adopt.
Eat, Eat, Eat! Typically we’ve grown up thinking we need 3 meals a day: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner…& the occasional midnight chocolate brownie dessert. With the fear of gaining weight engrained in our heads, many women cut their portions to half of this, skipping breakfast, or exchanging a wholesome lunch for a few evening cocktails with the girls. This is where the trouble begins- and by trouble I mean this is when our body begins to store fat! When you’re only eating a couple meals a day (which probably don’t even contain enough of the essential nutrients your body needs to raise your metabolism) your body goes into “starvation mode” which slows down your metabolism meaning, you’re body stores the fat. Your body is speaking to you as I’ve mentioned before, its saying, “FEED ME”! Whether you’re a hardcore competitor, a health conscious dieter, or a die-hard bikini babe, eating 5-7 meals a day is essential to putting on lean muscle & lowering your body fat. So eat, eat, eat! Eat frequently, about 6 small meals a day, every 2.5-3.5 hours. Research has shown that eating this way keeps your metabolism at a consistent higher level throughout the day.
Feast on Fiber! Fiber has been known to help decrease your chance of developing heart disease & heart attacks & there are many other benefits as well. Fiber works to form a gel like substance that helps to trap fats & cholesterol which allows carbs to pass through your body at a quicker more beneficial rate. Fiber also slows down sugar absorption which improves your blood glucose levels. Some of the best sources of water soluble fiber can be found in oats, beans, fruits like apricot & oranges, & veggies such as broccoli and kale. In addition fiber helps you to feel fuller longer so you’ll be less likely to snack throughout the day! The National Fiber Council recommends 32g. of fiber a day.
Some researchers have calculated that if Americans doubled their intake for fiber, they could cut 100 calories from their daily diet – which could shave off 10 pounds of yearly weight gain (WebMD.com)
Something’s Fishy! Fish is great a great source of protein with fewer calories than other meat sources. Rich in Vitamins B & D, & omega-3 fatty acids, fish such as salmon & white fish can help to promote a faster metabolism. The best fish oil is obtained through a process called molecular distillation. By processing the fish in this manner, the fish oil obtained is sure to be poison and toxins free. Fish oil supplements, compared to flax seed oil, another source of omega 3, contain the DHA and EPA fatty acids, while the flax seed oil contains only the ALA fatty acid, which has to be transformed by the body to DHA and EPA. (EzineArticles.com)