Category Archives: Boost Your Metabolism

How Does Breakfast Affect Your Metabolism?

Breakfast Affect Your MetabolismIf you break down the word breakfast itself into break and fast, the answer is much clearer. You are breaking the fast you were on while sleeping (unless you are one of those munchers that get up during the night to eat something).

When you get up, your metabolism has already processed all the food you had in your system when you went to bed. Because there isn’t much work to do at the moment, it is kind of napping itself and not really working much at all beyond the bare minimums it needs to do to keep your body going.

Unless you give it a reason to wake up, it will keep more or less at its “vegetative” pace. That is where breakfast comes in. When you eat, all of a sudden you are flooding your digestive system with food and your metabolism jumps into action at a high rate in its endless pursuit to process the incoming food.

What does a good breakfast look like?

A healthy first meal of the day should include protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats are all good choices along with eggs.

A two-egg omelet with spinach is my favorite. Scrambled eggs with diced bacon is another favorite. Use a little olive oil to make the eggs; it is much better for you than using butter.

Complement your omelet with a piece of whole grain toast topped with some peanut butter. You could even add in a meat, such as bacon or sausage, both made from turkey.

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Other breakfast choices could include oatmeal with cinnamon and banana slices, yogurt with granola or a smoothie made with protein powder, almond milk and your favorite fruit. Stay away from the unhealthy saturated fats, simple carbohydrates and sugar.

Breakfast Affect Your MetabolismIf you need something on the go, choose a couple of hard-boiled eggs, or some trail mix or apple slices with some peanut butter. For a beverage, choose black coffee or tea; the caffeine in either will help speed up your metabolism.

As far as how fast your body processes food, about 75 percent of the calories processed is dependent on your age, gender, weight, body composition and genetics. The other 25% is processed by the physical activity you do during the day.

Speaking of physical activity, try to work in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Cardio is good for burning calories and will keep your metabolism elevated long after you quit your workout.

Mix in a couple days per week of strength training to build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the harder your metabolism has to work to keep feeding all that muscle mass.

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3 Meals vs 6 Meals a Day for Weight Loss?

Should you eat 3 meals vs 6 meals a day for weight Loss? For most of the population, eating more small meals is better for weight loss. Generally their meal plan consists of a small breakfast, lunch and dinner with a healthy snack in the morning, afternoon and evening.

However in a select group of individuals, those with Type 2 diabetes, the opposite has proved to be more beneficial for weight loss; eating a large breakfast and lunch. In a study presented by the American Diabetes Association, they found participants lost an average of 1.23 more BMI points when they ate two 750-calorie meals as the control group did eating six 250-calorie ones.

Granted that was in a controlled setting. For most of us, the two-meal-a-day program would not work. We tend to get too hungry between the lunch of one day and breakfast the following day.

The result, overeating leads to weight gain. Eating five or six smaller meals and snacks throughout the day keeps the hunger wolves at bay and keeps our metabolism humming along at a fairly constant rate thus keeping cravings in check.

Studies have proven that a consistent eating pattern day-in and day-out provides for the most weight loss. Eating breakfast within one hour of getting up, eating every three hours and stopping three hours before bedtime provides the following benefits:

  1. Increased basal metabolic rate (BMR): Your body always has food to burn so your metabolism always works hard.
  2. More energy: With a somewhat constant food level, your body always has plenty of food to make into energy.
  3. Decreased appetite: By eating every three hours, you don’t get hungry and end up eating foods that are not good for you.

One mistake many trying to lose weight make is skipping breakfast. That is one of the worst things you can do as far as metabolic function. Eating a good healthy breakfast consisting of protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, gets your metabolism revved up and running all day.

When you don’t eat breakfast, your body can go into “starvation mode”, actually burn food at a slower rate because it thinks there isn’t any more food coming soon; it tries to make the best of what it has. Eating breakfast wakes it up.

The key to this six-meal method of course is calorie/portion control. Uncontrollable eating leads to weight gain whether you eat three or six meals per day.

Only you can ultimately find how many calories your body needs per day to lose a sensible amount of weight per week (1 to 2 pounds) based on your BMR and exercise level.

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Will Drinking More Water Boost Your Metabolism?

Water Boost Your MetabolismMost studies show drinking water does boost your metabolism, but by how much? According to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, participants showed a 30 percent metabolic increase that lasted between 10 and 40 minutes after drinking two cups of water.

By drinking the recommended 8 cups per day, you would burn an additional 96 calories. Other studies support these finding, just not to this great of an extent.

Keep in mind, drinking water alone will not increase your metabolism enough to show any appreciable weight loss, but when added to your other weight loss efforts it will help, plus it will keep you from being dehydrated, a major problem to weight loss.

If keeping hydrated is part of a weight loss strategy, then why do 22 percent of us not get our 8 glasses per day? Because we falsely use thirst as our guide to drink.

Most studies have found that by the time you feel thirsty, you have already lost 2 percent of the water in your body. While that might not sound like much, it is huge when our body is made up of at least 50 percent water.

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Tricks To Increase Your Water Consumption

There are a few hacks you can use to get the most metabolic increase from the water you drink:

Drink water cold: When you drink something cold, the body has to work harder to warm the liquid up to body core temperature. The warming process burns additional calories over drinking tepid to lukewarm water, water that is closer to body core temperature.

Add lemon to water: Adding lemon to your water does a couple of things:

  1. It makes your water taste better and
  2. One lemon has up to 40 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C and provides the replacement of the electrolytes potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium lost during an exercise workout. All with the addition of only 15 calories.

Put a day’s worth of water in a pitcher: It is easy to lose track of how much (or how little) water you drink in a day. An easy way is to fill a pitcher with 64 ounces of water, add the juice of one lemon and put it in the refrigerator.

All three hacks accomplished at once. Periodically throughout the day get a glass of water from the pitcher. Make sure it is empty by the end of the day.

Drinking an adequate amount of water not only speeds up your metabolism, but is so important for good health. Make it a part of your daily regimen so that you ensure you are getting enough.

How to Drink Water to Lose Weight Video:

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Do You Have a High or Low Metabolism?

Genetics do have a role to play in our metabolism. Some people just have a naturally high metabolism, while for others it doesn’t work quite as fast. But before we get into the specifics of the causes of having a high or low metabolism and what can be done about either, let’s first discuss metabolism, so we have a better understanding of it.

What is Metabolism?

high or low metabolismMetabolism is a biological process in most living organisms that breaks down food consumed so the body can use the nutrients as energy. It has two parts called reactions – catabolic and anabolic.

The catabolic reaction happens first as it breaks down food so the nutrients can get into your bloodstream and get eventually into your cells. The anabolic reaction occurs after the nutrients enter your cells and are used to build new tissue and repair your body.

The rate at which the catabolic and anabolic reactions happen is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR plays a large part in how your weight is affected. A low rate means food is broken down more slowly; a high rate more quickly.

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High Metabolism

On the surface, it sounds great to have a high metabolism; in theory, you could eat whatever you want and not gain weight. But, it isn’t all that great because it can cause some serious health issues of its own.

People with high functioning metabolisms eat a lot of calories in a day just to keep from being hungry, but much of the food they eat not only tends to be high in calories, but also high in saturated fat, sugar, salt – all things not good for them. This can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, strokes, high cholesterol and diabetes.

While a high metabolism in many people is caused by their genetics, gender and age, other causes can be an overactive thyroid, smoking and stress. There isn’t much one can do about their genetics, but the other three are treatable and manageable.

Low Metabolism

Generally a low functioning metabolism can be due to a hormone imbalance. As we age we lose testosterone which helps regulate muscle mass.

high or low metabolismThe more muscle we have, the more calories we burn. To build more muscle, add a couple days per week of strength training in addition to your cardio exercise routine.

Just as an overactive thyroid can cause a high metabolism, and underactive one can cause a slow metabolism. Your doctor may be able to reset your thyroid activity through thyroid therapy.

Stress can also cause a slow metabolism due to weight gain brought on by increased cortisol levels. Reduce the stress and you’ll increase your metabolism.

As you can see, having either a high or low functioning metabolism can cause health problems. If you think your metabolism is out of whack, and nothing you try is working to make it function more normally, see your doctor; many times they can help get your metabolism back on track.

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Should you Diet or Improve Metabolism for Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, there are generally three schools of thought. The first is extreme dieting. This involves strictly following the instructions of the latest dieting trend to make headlines. The measures are extreme, and the results are generally short lived.

The second is balanced dieting by controlling your calorie intake against the amount of calories you burn during the day. Creating a calorie deficit is said to result in weight loss.

The third is metabolism boosting. Your metabolism is the process by which your body turns food into energy. A slow metabolism leads to your body storing food as fat, while a fast metabolism burns through food more quickly. So which approach is best?

First up, let’s look at extreme dieting. It’s nonsense. You might see short term results, but it is generally completely unsustainable. Put it out of your mind.

That was easy! OK, so what about balanced dieting vs. working on your metabolism? This one isn’t so easy. Unfortunately, proponents of both are often quick to disparage the benefits of the other. The reality is that a balanced diet and boosting your metabolism should really go hand in hand. They are intrinsically linked, and keeping both in mind is the best way to approach weight loss.

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There are many ways to boost your metabolism, but the most important is to make sure you are eating enough of the right foods. Severely reducing your calorie intake actually slows down your metabolism, making weight loss even more difficult.

In order to lose weight, you need to maintain your calorie intake. This involves being aware of just how many calories you are taking it, and how you are getting them. By substituting fatty, high calorie foods for greater portions of healthy, low calorie foods, you will speed up your metabolism and lose weight more quickly.

Another closely linked aspect of dieting and metabolism is exercise. Aerobic exercise burns calories, but by increasing your heart rate you can encourage your metabolism to work faster, greatly increasing the benefits.

A good way to increase your heart rate is to introduce high intensity periods to your exercise. For joggers, this could be breaking out into a sprint for 30 seconds every couple of minutes. For walkers, this could be increasing to a jog for 30 seconds every few minutes.

The truth is that there is no definitive answer to the question of dieting vs metabolism. A balanced diet (and not a severe calorie cutting diet) will naturally improve your metabolism.

Similarly, foods and activities to boost your metabolism will result in a more balanced diet. The key is in understanding your body. Understand the foods it needs and what positively impacts your metabolism. Only by keeping both in mind can you see sustained, permanent weight loss.

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Can Tea Boost Your Metabolism?

You’ve probably heard the idea that tea can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories. Study after study shows it can, but to what extent?

In one study done by the University of Geneva, Switzerland, participants were divided into three groups: Group One took 50mg of green tea extract, Group Two took 50mg of caffeine and Group Three took a placebo.

During the study, participants were housed in a respiratory chamber where their energy expenditure and thermogenesis were measured.

At the conclusion of the study, Group One showed a 4% increase in thermogenesis and a 4.5% overall increase in energy expenditure over the other two groups.

So can tea really make a difference?

Can a 4.5% increase in energy expenditure really make a difference in one’s weight loss endeavours? Yes and no.

From the aspect that whatever we can do to help speed up our metabolism, and ultimately help with weight loss, is beneficial in the long run. And when added to the other things we are doing to speed up our metabolism, yes it can.

No, from the aspect that it is unreal to expect that drinking a cup or two of tea per day will be the answer to weight loss for an obese person. After all, 4.5% of a 1,500 calorie diet is only about 60 calories, but as said before, it can be part of a synergistic effect when added together with other metabolism-increasing efforts.

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Types of Tea

Although the study referenced only took green tea into consideration, other types of tea have also proven themselves to increase metabolism and ultimately weight loss:

Oolong – Increases fat burning by 157% in addition to increasing metabolism and blocking fat absorption.

Pu erth – Improves digestion along with increasing metabolism.

Feiyan – Suppresses your appetite along with improving metabolism and the burning of fat.

White – Stimulates the burning of fat while stopping the generation of new fat cells.

Peppermint – Served hot or cold, it not only speeds up digestion, but helps burn more calories.

Porangaba – Boosts weight loss while suppressing your appetite. Has also shown to reduce fatty deposits and cellulite.

Drinking tea is not enough

While drinking tea does help increase your metabolism, alone it is not enough to promote any appreciable weight loss. However, when added to a consistent exercise routine including both cardio and weight lifting along with a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats, the three-pronged approach creates a recipe for substantial weight loss.

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