Boosting how fast your body burns calories is possible in two ways, either through diet or exercise (or a combination of both). For the purpose of this article we are focusing on some diet tips you can use to “stoke the furnace.”
1. Eat Breakfast
When dieting, many people think it is a good idea to skip breakfast as a way to cut calories. Wrong! Eating a nutritious breakfast like oatmeal with walnuts sprinkled on top with cinnamon breaks the fasting you were on during the night. It wakes up your metabolism and keeps it working hard all day long. Without breakfast, your metabolism will run along sluggishly all morning until you eat lunch.
2. Graze on Food
Speaking of meal times, eating smaller meals more often is a good way to keep your metabolism running at full speed. When you only eat three meals, your metabolism is starting to slow down before you get your next meal. But by eating 300 calorie meals/snacks 5 to 6 times per day, your metabolism has a steady source of fuel to burn.
3. Don’t Cut Calories
One of the worst things you can do when trying to speed up your metabolism is to cut calories. By doing so, your metabolism thinks lean times are coming and it slows down trying to conserve energy.
How many calories are enough? You should eat the same number of calories as it takes to support your resting metabolic rate. For a 5’4” 40-year old female weighing 150 pounds, it’s about 1,330 calories.
4. Avoid Trans-fat
O.K., you have probably been told to avoid eating trans-fat before, but do you know how it affects your metabolism? Because of its molecular makeup, it binds itself to fat and cells of the liver slowing down metabolism. Plus it can also lead to insulin resistance which in itself can cause weight gain.
5. Shift to Organic
The toxins from pesticides in fruits, vegetables and grains that you eat interfere with the functioning of your thyroid. The thyroid is the thermostat that controls how fast (or slow) your metabolism functions.
6. Eat Protein
Because it takes your body longer to digest protein, it naturally burns up to 10% more calories trying to digest it than it does the other two macronutrients fat and carbohydrates.
Use these 6 diet tips to get your body’s furnace burning hotter and longer, and thus burning up more calories. To maintain a high functioning metabolism, also include muscle building strength training into your exercise routine. Muscle mass burns calories, so the more you have or it, the more calories you will burn over a given time.