Have any of you wanted to punch your husband or boyfriend in the face because when he decides to drop a few pounds it’s as though he does it overnight and with minimal effort? Meanwhile, you feel like you are starving and exhausted from working out and you struggle to drop a pound. How many of you like me, curse the DNA gods who gave your sibling the skinny gene? My sister is 5’8″,145lbs, never eats a vegetable, fries chicken, eats fast food like it was one of the food groups and never exercises. Meanwhile, I workout 5 days a week, train for multiple triathlons every year, watch what I eat, drink water, etc and it’s a struggle to hold it together. One misstep and I promise you I will be back up to 250lbs in a matter of minutes! Well, listen. If you have had these experiences, don’t worry. You are not crazy. The three things, over which we have no control that affect our metabolism are:
- Gender – men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting
- Genetics – some people inherit a speedy metabolism (or what I call… it’s just not fair that my sister is naturally thin and I’m not!)
- Age – after 40 our metabolism tends to slow down considerably.
So, how can you improve upon what nature didn’t seem fit to give to you? Keep reading and I will give you 5 things you can do to get your metabolism moving in the right direction.
1. Build Muscle – One pound of muscle needs to burn about 6 calories just to sustain itself. One pound of fat only needs 2 calories. This may seem like a small amount, but trust me, over time this is one of the best ways to turn your metabolism into a raging calorie burner! Include strength training in your workouts!
2. Make Your Workouts Bigger – Aerobic exercise can speed up your metabolism hours after the workout is over. Try more intense classes or include a short burst of jogging during your walk. The higher the workout intensity, the more you will rev up your metabolism.
3. Hydrate – Water is very necessary to process calories. Even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism. So, don’t forget to drink water and snack on fruits and veggies, as these foods naturally contain water.
4. Green Tea – Green tea and Oolong tea contain both caffeine an catechins, which are known to increase metabolism. 2-4 cups of either tea per day will allow your body to burn up to 17% more calories.
5. Avoid Crash Diets – Crash diets are any diets where you care consuming ,<1200 calories per day for a woman and <1800 calories per day for a man. These types of diets can cause you to lose muscle which will ultimately decrease your metabolism. The body will burn fewer calories and you will gain weight faster than before you went on the diet.
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Until next time,