Forget gimmicks. If you want to lose weight, the key is a supercharged metabolism. Here are 10 ways to ignite yours today.
When it comes to losing weight there are no gimmicks. The formula is simple: if you want to burn calories, you need to rev up your metabolism — a set of chemical reactions that happen right inside your body that help control the rate at which you burn energy (ie: calories!). Keeping your metabolism revved is the best way to burn more calories and torch belly fat. So get started today by following these 10 strategies and get the body you’ve always wanted.
1. Build Muscle Through Strength Training.
“Unlike fat, muscle is metabolically active tissue,” says Carla Sanchez, CPS and IFBB Pro, founder and trainer of the Colorado-bas
ed Performance Ready fitness, figure and
bikini team. That means the more muscle you’ve got, the more calories you’ll burn even when you aren’t exercising. To start out, aim for two to three days of strength
training per week, remembering to keep increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting (while keeping good form).
2. Eat More Often.
Think of your body as a machine that needs a constant energy source (food) for fuel. Stop feeding it and it’s going to run sluggish. “Keep the engine stoked throughout the
day,” says Dallas-based sports nutritionist Jennifer Neily, MS, RD, CSSD. There are three benefits to eating five to six smaller meals (composed of healthy fat, lean protein and complex carbs). First, it takes about 10 percent of the calories in your food to digest it (so you burn 25 calories by digesting 250 calories), so eating more frequently helps rev the engine. Second, you’ll have more energy to be active, and third, you’re less likely to reach for a sugary, snack when you’re keeping your blood sugar steady.
3. Get Enough Iron.
Iron is what helps transport oxygen to your cells, and it’s tied in closely with your energy levels. “People who are anemic (deficient in iron) lack energy,” Neily says. Women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 18 mg of iron daily, but be careful of taking iron supplements (unless directed by your doctor) because too much can be toxic. Instead, get it through your diet by consuming foods such as beans, fortified cereal and prune juice (which has more iron than dark chicken meat, Neily says). Cooking in an iron skillet will also add some iron to your food.