You’re on track to long term health and fitness. You are eating correctly and your fitness program, a balance of strength training and cardio-vascular exercise, is progressing well.
Don’t forget that third element of a successful long-term fitness plan: Your metabolism.
Your metabolism is boosted into overdrive by several means: Strenuous exercise which fires it up to supply the energy demanded by your muscles; coupled with the development of muscle tissue that burns more energy than fat tissue; and your diet, as what foods you eat controls how fast your metabolism must work to utilize the ingested nourishment.
Your metabolism is simply defined as the amount of energy (calories) that our bodies consume to maintain themselves. Our bodies are constantly burning calories whether we are exercising, working or at rest.
If we eat more calories than we burn, the excess is stored as fat. Simple, isn’t it? We have a choice: We can eat less or exercise more to lose excess weight.
The metabolic rate varies by age, physical condition and the amount of fat and muscle on your body. Your metabolic rate has several stages it goes through: Very high at birth through physical development; slowing in adulthood and dramatically slowing in middle age.
By the age of 55, your body requires about 150 fewer calories per day than when you were in your thirties. Your fitness program must make similar adjustments; less calories and/or more fat-burning exercise.
The Causes of a Low Metabolism:
Fasting will cause your calorie burning to slow considerably. A low calorie diet will retard the thermostat.
Eating high-sugar foods – candy, cookies, cake, donuts, pastries. Drinking high-sugar soft drinks – Colas, Kool-Aid, fruit-based drinks. Low physical activity – Couch-potato disease. Under active thyroid gland – Seek medical assistance for this one.
To boost your metabolic rate, reverse all of the preceding:
- Eat a number of small meals throughout the day.
- Exercise daily.
- Build muscles.
- Avoid alcohol, sugar and fasts.
- Drink a lot of fresh, clean, unflavored water, 8-10 glasses daily.
- Eat Foods with high nutritional values.
NOTE: One pound of fat burns two calories per day. One pound of muscle burns 50 calories per day. As your muscle mass increases, so does your metabolic rate.
Foods That Will Boost Your Metabolism:
Some foods require more energy to metabolize that others. Your diet program should have more of these foods than those that convert quickly to energy (starch and sugar rich foods).
Natural metabolism boosters include: Chilies, mustard, green tea, water and dietary fibers.
Foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates will also speed up your metabolic rate. High fiber foods will also crank up the furnace.
Citrus and other fruits that are high in vitamin C will dilute the fats and help release them from your body. Limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and guava are on this list.
The pectin in apples restricts the ability of the cells to absorb fat from foods. Pectin also encourages water absorption from foods, helping to release the fat deposits on the body.
Research has reported that the calcium in dairy products like whole milk, yogurt and cheese can act as a fat-burner by increasing the fat breakdown in your cells. Calcium supplements don’t work as well as the real thing.
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