Learn how to raise your metabolism
Out of energy?
You may not be giving your body what it needs. If you are watching your diet or working out strenuously, you may actually be telling your body to conserve its energy.
But, you can get your body running like a machine by giving it proper fuels and keeping it well-oiled.
Carbs are a body’s best friend. When it comes to providing energy and helping you burn fat, carbohydrates are the key. The ultimate diet mistake is to cut out carbohydrates.
Fat is only burned in the flame of adequate carbohydrates. Low carbohydrate diets cause quick water loss and little fat loss.
When you consume enough healthy carbohydrates throughout the day, your body’s food cravings for both energy and sweets will be satisfied.
How do you know what to eat?
Step one: Plan menus around the new MyPlate.gov model, starting with healthy high fiber carbohydrates. These foods should form the base of and half of your entrees – grains, breads, cereals and starchy and garden vegetables. At a minimum, allow for two servings (or one cup each) from these groups at each meal. You also have the freedom to add extra “garden” veggies, especially deep greens, because these help aid in fullness and better meet your antioxidant needs.
Step two: Add in the second level of healthy carbohydrates – fresh fruit (two to four servings per day). This group contributes metabolism-raising high-fiber choices to the diet. And fruit, a natural sugar source, is an excellent dessert or snack option to help satisfy sugar cravings. Your plate only needs one fourth from fruit.
Step three: Allow a minimum of two servings each from the meat and dairy categories. Portions are two to three servings, three to four ounces each, in the meat group, and two to three 8-ounce portions of skim milk or yogurt in the dairy group.
Again, your plate model only needs one fourth of the plate for the meat serving size or a deck of cards size portion.
If you are dieting, reduce your meat-protein group intake to the lower end of the range (two servings, two to three ounces per day).
Last step: Provide your body with fats and oils daily but only in small amounts.
A simple suggestion is to allow yourself one teaspoon portion of margarine, mayonnaise or oil per meal. This allows you to have a calorie-satisfying energy source at each meal and helps satisfy your appetite.
What about exercise?
Aerobic or fat-burning activities like jogging, treadmill, cycling or swimming done on a regular basis are fat calorie-burning activities that contribute to healthy weight management.
Consider three primary factors in determining your exercise regimen: intensity, duration and frequency.
Intensity refers to the heart rate you achieve during the exercise session, duration means the length of time you exercise per session and frequency means how often you exercise during the week.
Experts generally agree that one’s heart rate should be in the target zone of 50 to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate (220 minus your age equals maximum heart rate).
The session duration should be a minimum of 30 minutes up to 60 minutes, and the frequency should be a minimum of three to five times per week.
The best advice in this area is to seek out good advice from a nationally certified trainer.
And, don’t forget about anaerobic exercise.
This type of higher intensity activity – stretching, yoga, Pilates and strength training – can increase your metabolism by helping maintain lean tissue.
It also helps to tone and shape your body.
Page Love is an expert on nutrition and sport nutrition, particularly with elite athletics. Her clients include the ATP Men’s Professional Tennis Tour, the Women’s Professional Tennis Tour (WTA), U.S. Tennis Association, the Atlanta Braves, U.S. Figure Skating and U.S. Synchronized Swimming. She served as a nutrition consultant during the Olympic Games in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004. Learn more at Nutrifitga.com