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15 Creative yet Easy Ways to Put Your Metabolism in High Gear
Do you feel like your metabolism is like those bad dreams where you are running through mud so you just go nowhere? Well, you don’t have to spend hours at spin class or even run marathons to kick up that metabolism. Just a few simple tweaks here and there can add fuel to your metabolism fire place. It’s really much easier than it seems!
Take a look at these 15 creative, but science backed ways you can increase your metabolism without attending a single aerobics class.
1. Become a Fidgeting Fanatic
When your better half or coworker gives you “that look” when you are bouncing your foot or leg, just tell them that you are NOT fidgeting, but you are actively engaged in some non-exercise activity thermogenesis. (That should quiet them down) Otherwise known as NEAT, this non-exercise can help you burn as much as 350 calories every day.
Just small bursts of activity such as walking when you are on the phone, jiggling your leg when you are sitting, running up or downstairs when you drop off the mail, all count. It can add up quicker than you can say “I hate the gym!” Take advantage of any chance that keeps you moving, no matter how small, throughout the day. Jiggle away, friends.
2. Drink Before Eating
No, not an apple martini, but water. Research shows that drinking two glasses of water before eating helped people to lose 15.5 pounds during the three month study than those who did not drink water.
This study was presented at the annual conference of the American Chemical Society. Taking quick breaks throughout your day to rehydrate can keep that metabolism burning strong.
Try to consume about half of your body weight in water ounces. For example, a 150 pound person would drink about 75 ounces of water per day. A 200 pound person would drink about 100 ounces of water every day.
3. Have Some Coffee
Caffeine can speed up our central nervous systems and make turn it into a powerful way to kick that metabolism into high gear. Coffee also provides healthy antioxidants as long as it isn’t full of sugary flavored creams and sugars. Drinking coffee has been proven to increase energy levels during exercise and can therefore make people work longer and harder during their workouts.
SEE ALSO: 5 Reasons to Drink Coffee Before Your Workout
This means you will burn more calories. After your workout, drinking coffee is also a great way to increase the glycogen in your muscles by as much as 66 percent, which means you can quickly replenish those energy stores that you used during exercise.
4. Add Whey Protein to Your Morning Smoothie
It doesn’t get much easier than this! When you are tossing all that fruit, veggies, ice, or what have you, take a few extras seconds and add something that really rev’s up the metabolism- whey protein powder.
This protein powder increases the amount of calories burned as well as the utilization of fat, which means the body will maintain muscles while it sends signals to the brain that you are full. This is all according to a study done at Skidmore College, who did studies to observe the effect that whey protein might have on the body. Although it’s true that all types of protein increase your metabolism, because protein has a thermogenic effect, (which means it makes your body produce more heat, which means more calories burned) but whey is the most effective non-meat protein you can use.
Another study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that this thermal effect, as well as the oxidation of fat, was far greater with whey protein than with either casein or soy protein. Find out 7 unusual superfoods smoothies that improve your life.
5. Add Some Green Tea to Your Day
Most Americans drink about 3 cups of coffee every day. Consider swapping one of those cups of coffee, or one glass of water, for green tea. Green tea does contain caffeine so you will still get that jolt many people crave, but green tea is loaded with a type of antioxidant called catechins. Drinking green tea, combined with a total of 3 hours of moderate exercise every week, was shown to reduce abdominal fat over the three month study period.
This is according to a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Freshly brewed, unsweetened green tea was shown to increase the amount of calories burned by about 100 calories every day. Imagine that; 700 calories burned every week simply by drinking one cup of green tea every day. Brew it fresh yourself.
You can drink it hot or cold, but make it yourself because those canned or bottled versions have absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever, so don’t waste your time, or money, buying those. Fresh is the way to go!
6. Snack on Yogurt
The healthy bacteria, called probiotics that is found in yogurt, pickles, and fermented foods such as sauerkraut might just help you drop a few pounds, ladies.
The British Journal of Nutrition released a new study that showed that when men and women who were overweight followed a 12 weight loss diet, those who took a probiotic pill everyday lost more weight than those who didn’t take the pill. Well, the women lost weight, it didn’t seem to make any difference for guys, but, yogurt is good for you anyway!
All that good bacteria means good stuff for your digestive system. Eat up!
7. Don’t Forget to Laugh
Its ok, no one is looking, minimize that Word document or Excel spreadsheet and open up YouTube. Check out those hilarious cat videos or the dog eating macaroni with a little help from human hands.
It’s not a waste of time, you are actually burning calories! The International Journal of Obesity just published a study that showed that, when you are genuinely laughing, you know, those feel good belly laughs, and you are burning about 40 calories every 15 minutes.
So Yuk it up with Curly, Moe, and Larry, friends, because it’s good for you!
8. Make It Hot and Spicy
Your food, we mean. When you are looking for a little extra flavor for your next meal, pass on the salt shaker, and reach for the chili powder or hot sauce.
Chilis contain capsaicin, a chemical that has that thermogenic effect that we are all looking for. This means that, by adding some chili or hot sauced to your meal, you can burn about another 90 calories after that meal. In fact one study showed that chilies activate our brown fat, which means we will burn more calories.
You’re going to have to really love that hot sauce, though, because you need about ½ a teaspoon per meal. Bring on the Tabasco sauce and some tissues please!
9. Add a Little Seafood
You know that having salad for either lunch or dinner is a great way to fill you up with lots of those belly shrinking fiber and nutrients. But if you add just one more simple ingredient, you are going to be stoking that metabolism fire.
Try adding a bit of salmon to your salad. You know that you get a bigger metabolism burn from protein but with salmon you will also get a wallop of those healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Studies published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showed that those who ate salmon for six weeks decreased their fat levels while increasing their lean muscle mass.
Researchers believe that it’s the fish oil that helps our bodies to reduce the levels of fat storing enzymes in the body. Use canned salmon for your best health. Read also about drinks that shrink belly fat.
10. Eat a Mini-Meal
Ok, we have all been there. It’s 3PM and your stomach is growling and you don’t want to wait until dinner at 6 because by then you will be starving and you will probably stop at the fast food drive through instead. So eat a mini meal instead! It will keep your from hitting the drive through and it will keep that metabolism burning strong. If you think of your metabolism like a fireplace, then you know that to get a fire going, you need to start with some decent wood.
Then, every few hours, you add a bit more to keep it going, right? (For those of you who have never had a fireplace or have never gone camping, just trust us, this is how it’s done) Your metabolism works the same way. Eating small meals throughout the day keeps the fire that we call your metabolism stoked throughout the day.
Don’t grab those empty calories, like potato chips, or sugary snacks. Eat a little protein and a complex carb, such as cottage cheese with a little fruit, Greek yogurt with a few berries or apple slices with peanut butter.
11. Stand or Pace When the Phone Rings
You already know that every little bit of movement can help you to keep that metabolism going, so think about it; why sit for every phone call? This is a super easy tweak you can easily add to your day that will double the amount of calories your body will burn.
For example, a 150 pound person burns about 72 calories per hour sitting, and 129 calories per hour standing, and about 143 calories per hour walking. So make it a habit to either stand or walk around while you are using your phone. Use speaker phones at the office or get a blue tooth headset to free your hands. The same applies for Facebook, friends.
Either stand while you are using it so you burn more calories or you will find you are using it a lot less. That is a win-win situation!
12. Make It Organic
Always by organic. Why?
The pesticides that are found on conventionally grown produce are called obesogens. They slow down your metabolism and can make some people gain weight. Toxicity is one of the biggest problems for weight loss resistance and almost no one realizes this.
Always buy organic and choose the cleanest, highest quality cuts of meat that you can afford.
13. Slow It Down
Although it might not make a direct impact on your metabolism, eating quickly almost guarantees that you will eat more.
It takes about 20 minutes for the hormone cholecystokinin, or CCK, reaches your brain to tell it to stop eating. Eating quickly means you will eat a lot more before that signal reaches your noggin.
Super- fast eating also raises insulin levels which tell your body to store more fat, rather than burn it. Eating the right diet is important, but so is slowing down. Take your time and enjoy your food.
14. Put Down Your Phone
The blue light that is put out by cell phones, tablets, and computers, increases your hunger, according to a small study done at Northwestern University.
The researchers aren’t sure why this is, but there is definitely a link between blue light and an increased appetite levels. Other research also shows that distractions during mealtime cause people to increase their portion size.
So make it rule at your house that there are no phones, televisions, or tablets at the dinner table.
15. Eat enough
When you put yourself on an ultra-low calorie diet, you are telling your body that food has suddenly become scarce.
This means that your body, in order to protect you from starvation, will put your metabolism on super low burn. Well, this is the exact opposite of what we want!
Be sure that you eat a sufficient amount of calories each and every day for optimum burn.