The dreaded slow metabolism is a frequent roadblock in the effort to get fit by losing weight.
If your body tends to hold onto everything you put into it for dear life, consider the following tips for boosting your metabolism and giving your weight loss efforts some additional oomph.
Related: 7 Things That Slow Down Your Metabolism
1. Pack on Some Muscle
Next time you’re at the gym, consider adding a weight lifting circuit to your usual cardio workout. Muscle requires more caloric energy for everyday functioning, even while resting.
For that reason, every five to ten pounds of muscle you add to your body will result in the usage of an additional 100 calories per day, helping you to tip the balance towards calorie expenditure rather than calorie intake.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Making sure that you get the amount of sleep that is appropriate for your body is absolutely key in maintaining a healthy metabolism.
While the metabolic consequences of too little sleep are many, it is clear from a number of studies that getting either too much sleep or not enough sleep is related to a higher risk for obesity and diabetes. Too little sleep can also result in increased food cravings throughout the day, which certainly won’t help your efforts to lose weight.
3. Eat Enough Food
While you don’t want to overdo it with frequent meals, skimping out on breakfast or a mid-day snack can dramatically slow your metabolism, as your body goes into starvation mode. In an article for MSN, Dan Benardot, PhD, a dietitian and professor at Georgia State University, recommends adding 150-calorie snacks in between meals, and never dipping lower than 1,200 calories in a single day.
4. Utilize Interval Workouts
Any form of cardio exercise is most definitely good for your health and metabolism, but you can get the most bang for your effort by doing high-intensity interval training. By adding 30 seconds of full-effort exercise after every three minutes of moderate-intensity work, you can increase the amount of calories that you’ll burn while you rest in between and after exercises.
5. Keep Moving
Your metabolism slows during sedentary periods, like sitting at your desk while at work or on the couch after you get home. To remind your body that it needs to burn calories throughout the day, move around whenever possible.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of driving short distances, and get up and stretch frequently if you have a job that keeps you in a chair all day. While these small changes won’t cause you to shed pounds without any additional effort, over time they can help keep your metabolism running in a higher gear.
6. Up Your Omega-3 Intake
So-called “miracle” cures for a slow metabolism like hot peppers, green tea, and coffee have not proven to have much of an effect when it comes to weight loss, but omega-3 fatty acids do show promising results. In fact, 300 milligrams of omega-3s ingested on a daily basis can help your body burn through 400 additional calories per day.
What lifestyle changes have you made to boost your metabolism?