By JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFI
Have you hit the weight loss wall? Check out the following tips to help you rev up your metabolism!
1. Be sure to get protein in at each meal.
Protein is by far the most satiating and the most thermic (i.e. the process of digesting it raises your metabolism). The best sources are from animals, as these contain the complete profile of essential amino acids and are more bio-available, which means that your body can use them more effectively and efficiently. Look for low fat choices like egg whites, whey protein and turkey breast.
2. Drink up.
Water that is! Even a little dehydration can dramatically impact your metabolism! You need water to burn fat and if you are drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages you are dehydrating your cells further.
3. Trade your starchy carbohydrate servings for non-starchy veggies.
Do this at one or two of your meals, especially your evening meal.
4. Eat one of your fruit servings soon after your workout.
Eating fruit within 60 minutes of working out helps store energy back into your muscles without raising insulin.
5. If possible, do two workouts some days.
Doing so will boost your metabolism. Just don't do cardio too late in the day, and be sure to stretch afterward to bring stress hormones down again.
6. Drink green tea.
Green tea contains a compound that has been found to aid with fat burning and may raise metabolism. Drink at least 4 cups a day to get these benefits.
7. Go decaf!
Caffeine can make you insulin resistant which makes you a fat storer rather than a fat burner. Trade your coffee and tea for decaf.
8. Pump some iron.
Muscle dictates your metabolic rate. Each pound of muscle you add burns 40-50 more calories per day.
9. Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day.
Eating raises metabolism and eating less more often means less insulin response, better blood sugar balance and fewer cravings.
10. Check your portions.
Learn to read labels and ask questions at restaurants. Ask for sauces on the side and monitor how much you use. Everything counts so pay attention to how much you are actually eating and make sure you are on track with optimal amounts of protein, limiting your starchy carbs and fat and getting in enough non-starchy vegetables.
11. Read labels.
Learn all of the different names for sugars and be sure you are choosing foods that are low in sugar and fat, high in nutrient value and fiber. Ignorance is never an excuse! If you aren't sure about something, skip it until you can find out if you should be eating it or not.