Ok my dear workout buffs. Do you need another reason to love your body? Well guess what, it burns calories all by itself—as long as you don’t get in the way.
You see, every cell in your body plays a role in energy metabolism—the process of turning the food you eat into energy that keeps your heart beating, lungs pumping, and muscles moving. It’s like stoking a fire to get the appropriate heat you want. You don’t want to throw too many logs on the fire for fear of running out, but you also don’t want too little because you’ll let the flame die. The right recipe will burn appropriately and give you the energy you need and Body Mass Index (BMI) you want. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn and vice versa. And just like there are ways to speed it up such as working out, there are other habits that can hit the brakes on your natural calorie-churning engine. Here are 8 suggestions to keep your metabolism working for you.
Avoid Irregular Eating Schedules
In a 2012 Hebrew University study, mice fed high fat foods sporadically gained more weight than mice that ate a similar diet on a regular schedule. Researchers suspect that eating at the same times every day trains the body to burn more calories between meals. If you can, find the best time that works and stick to it. I know you’re busy with your schedules, but if you can find that perfect time that works for you and your family, you will notice a difference.
Avoid Skimping on Sleep
A 2012 study found that people who sleep less move less the next day, which means they burn fewer calories. But it gets worse, sleep deprivation actually reduces the amount of energy your body uses at rest which obviously is not good. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep as this gives your body time to recharge and prepare for whatever lies ahead the next day.
Supplement Iron During Your Period
You lose iron during your period every month, and iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles. If your iron levels run too low, your muscles don’t get enough O2, your energy plummets, your metabolism sputters and your fuel tank runs dry. Guess what? Your body isn’t going to run. To prevent this freeze up, try stocking up on iron rich foods such as beans and dark leafy greens such as spinach, bok choy and broccoli. Keeping your metabolism fired up is key during this time of the month.
Avoid Eating Too Little
When you skimp on calories, your body switches into starvation mode, slowing your metabolic rate to conserve the fuel it’s got. Be your own experiment by finding out how many calories you actually need every day and stick to that equation. You’ll feel the hunger pangs and lack of energy as the determining factor. Everyone’s is different, so you find what works best for you!
Avoid Sitting Too Long
It takes only 20 minutes in any fixed position to inhibit your metabolism. For me, I’ve come up with about 7 moves that I repeat during the day to keep my body nimble, my blood moving and my metabolism fired up. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic, just get your body moving. It sounds funny, but once you get into the groove of it, your body and metabolism will thank you for it.
Accomodate Jet Lag
Your internal clock directly controls the part of your cells that keeps your metabolism chugging along. But when you disrupt your so-called circadian rhythm—by crossing time zones, for instance—your cells don’t function the way they should and your metabolism suffers. Your body has no idea that it’s taking a trip, and soon it’s going to be interrupted by disrupting the eating department. When your body is use to eating breakfast at 7:00 am and all of sudden there’s no fuel at that time, it starts to wonder what the heck! Once you get where you’re going and back on a new time schedule the body follows naturally. Try to establish that new schedule as quickly as possible.
All of your body’s cellular processes, including metabolism, depend on water. If you’re dehydrated, you could burn up to 2 percent fewer calories. The solution to this issue is a fine line of trying to find out how much water you need to stay hydrated. Once you find that out, you’ll know when your gauge is approaching empty. The thirst mechanism is an incredible guage. Use it to define your hydration.
Avoid Skipping Breakfast
When you miss breakfast, you don’t just set yourself up to overeat at lunch, you actually tell your body to conserve energy—which means it burns calories more slowly. That’s one reason a study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who skip a morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. Start off your day with something that fills you up and stays with you. The longer your body hangs on to it, the less likely you’ll snack between meals or gorge yourself at lunch or dinner.
Paying attention to these little tips will make your body smile and operate at peak efficiency.
Turn It On and Look Fab!