If you have hit a plateau in reaching your weight loss goals, it may be time to jump-start your metabolism. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. Your metabolism can be affected by age, sex, and genetics. However, there are certain habits you can incorporate into your daily life that will help boost your metabolism and make your body an efficient calorie-burning machine.
Consume Enough Calories
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be tempted to drastically cut calories. However, this could be the biggest detriment to your weight-loss goals. When your body is deprived of the calories that it needs to function, it goes into “starvation mode” where your metabolism essentially turns off. Your body isn’t sure when it will receive food next, so as a survival tactic it stores all of your food as fat. In order to keep your metabolism working hard, you need to provide enough calories for it to burn. Most people only need to cut about 500 calories from their diet each day in order to achieve optimal weight loss. Any more than that can have the opposite effect.
Incorporate Interval Training
Interval training involves changing the intensity throughout your workout session. Rather than moving at a steady pace for the duration of your workout, interval training alternates between high, medium and low-intensity moves. It keeps your body guessing and allows you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time. As an added benefit, high-intensity interval training has been shown to improve athletic conditioning.
Make the Most of Your Muscles
For every pound of muscle in your body, you will burn about 14 calories a day. Compare that to just two or three calories burned for every pound of fat in your body. An expert with Intermountain HCG says that increasing your muscle mass will kick your metabolism into high gear, allowing your body to burn more calories while at rest. Weight lifting, power yoga, and body weight workouts will all help you reach your goals.
Harness the Power of H20
Studies have found that people’s metabolic rate significantly increases after drinking water. Drinking icy cold water has an even greater effect, since your body has to work harder to heat the liquid. Researchers estimate that increasing water consumption by six cups every day could burn up to 5 pounds over the course of a year. Keep a water bottle handy at home and at the office, and be sure to drink even more water on days that you exercise in order to replenish the water lost through sweat.
Incorporate these simple steps into your daily habits and your metabolism will work harder and better than ever before.