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3 Simple tips to help increase your metabolism

7190209429_6d6b828104_nDon’t you hate forever counting calories and putting items back on the shelf because you know you’ll only regret it the next day, whilst your friends or family sit around happily munching away on some fries, a burger or pizza?

Well here’s some news that should brighten your day. There are things you can do to help speed up your metabolism.

It’s not all about genetics, no matter what your mum tells you!

In fact, genes play only a small part in it – 5% of total daily calorie consumption to be exact. The rest is down to you and your lifestyle choices.

So what can you do to increase your metabolism?

1. Exercise

The number one way to help get your metabolism breaking down proteins, carbs and fat is to exercise. In order to exercise your body needs energy. That’s what your metabolism does – it breaks the proteins, carbs and fat down to give the body energy.

The best exercises:

  • Interval training
  • Weight training

Exerting yourself for a short period of time in between ‘regular’ workout sessions changes the body’s needs. These changes force the body to function at a higher rate and increase your EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or afterburn). All of this means, your metabolism is working hard, even when you’re not. Great for us Tabata and HIIT lovers!

Building muscle also increases your metabolism. The more muscle your body has, the more energy it needs, the harder your metabolism needs to work. It’s been said that for every extra pound of muscle you have, you body burns 50 additional calories – without doing a thing!

2. Eat

No this isn’t counter-intuitive! Eating actually helps speed up your metabolism, but of course you need to be eating the right type of food. When we diet, the body goes into starvation mode and stores fat, because it doesn’t know when it’s going to get more fuel. So it needs to store the fat to be used when the body absolutely needs to create energy.

Frustrating I know!

But it’s okay. As long as you’re eating nutritional food in small portions, you only need to eat what your body absolutely needs. Find out the number of calories your body needs as a minimum without storing fat here: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-calculator

So when it comes to eating right there is a wealth of information to be found online. But the key points to bear in mind when it comes to eating in order to boost your metabolism are:

  • Eat Protein
  • Choose Organic

Protein is harder for the body to digest and therefore it takes up more energy doing so. It also helps you feel fuller for longer. In fact, it’s the main reason why many people believe having protein for breakfast is such a great way to start the day. Incorporate more protein into your daily meals and remove the carbs.

Okay so organic is a more expensive option and for many of us that may not be a possibility. But if you can choose organic products your metabolism will reward you for it. Foods grown without pesticides are known to keep your fat-burning system functioning correctly. Non-organic products on the other hand may contain pesticides which expose toxins to your thyroid – which plays an essential role in metabolism.

3. Drink.

The final step to help increase your metabolism is by drinking throughout the day. And no, I don’t mean of the alcoholic variety!

Drinking cold glasses of water throughout the day will get your metabolism working. And here’s why:

  • Drinking cold water will mean your body will use energy regulating its temperature.
  • The body doesn’t differentiate between hunger and thirst. Fool it into thinking its need have been fulfilled by drinking a glass of water!
  • You can reduce portion sizes. By drinking a glass of cold water prior to a meal, you will feel fuller, quicker.
  • Your body needs to stay hydrated in order to carry nutrients around the body successfully. Drinking plenty of water, ensures that the body is operating at 100%, which means your metabolism is also running at maximum efficiency.

All of this will help you achieve the results you want whilst being able to have the odd indulgence every once in a while. I know I couldn’t live without my dark chocolate fix! What’s yours?

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