Boost Your Metabolism
B vitamins are key players in DNA synthesis, the central nervous system, metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein and energy production. Inadequate amounts of B6, B12, folate, thiamin and niacin can leave you feeling depressed and fatigued, slow the body’s metabolism and increase your risk for chronic diseases. Get the bulk of your B’s from food, where they pair up with other vitamins and minerals for a complete synergy of action. Foods high in the B’s include: spinach, asparagus, beans, melon, broccoli, fish, poultry and eggs.
Magnesium is a mineral needed by every cell in your body and is used in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including proper muscle, nerve and heart function, protein synthesis and energy metabolism. The National Institutes of Health reports that most Americans are not getting enough magnesium in their diets for optimal health. Boost your intake of high magnesium foods to give your metabolism a boost. Green vegetables such as spinach provide magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule contains magnesium. Other excellent sources of magnesium include: halibut, nuts such as almonds, cashews and peanuts, soybeans, whole-grain cereals, oatmeal, and legumes such as black-eyed peas and lentils.
Snacking can help ignite your energy by giving your body a fuel boost. Eating healthy snacks, in snack-size portions, can help you avoid the overeating that often leads to weight gain and can leave you feeling lethargic. Be sure to include healthy carbs and protein in each snack such as: peanut butter and banana, trail mix, hummus and baby carrots, or an apple with low-fat Cheddar cheese. The protein and carbohydrate combination helps regulate blood sugar, energy levels and feelings of satiety.
Eat breakfast. Studies suggest that eating breakfast may increase resting metabolism by 10 percent and reduce the risk of obesity and diabetes. Make sure it’s a healthy morning with whole-grain cereal and fruit, whole-wheat toast and peanut butter or fat-free yogurt and a handful of granola.
Do interval training. Interval training is a great way to pump up your metabolism and make your workouts more fun. Interval training alternates short bursts of intense activity with lower intensity activity. For example; alternating sprints with a slow jog, or powering up a hill followed by an easy downhill lope. Interval training teaches the heart and muscles to use oxygen more efficiently. A few studies have found that interval training makes the body to burn more fat. You will likely burn more calories, increase your metabolic rate and your level of fitness at a faster rate than with your old familiar workout.
Strength training increases muscle mass. As we get older we tend to lose muscle, gain fat and our metabolism slows down as a result. One way to combat this metabolic slowdown is with regular strength or resistance training. Resistance training stimulates muscles to become stronger and healthier, providing your body with beneficial improvements in strength and function.
Don’t go hungry. Restricting calories also signals the body that there is no food available, so it tries to conserve stores of carbohydrate and fat by slowing down its metabolism. The best way to keep your metabolism revved is to eat regular meals with snacks when necessary to give your body a constant supply of healthy fuel.