7 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism by Toby Amidor in Healthy Tips, March 7, 2012
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Looking to rev up your metabolism? Say no to dangerous weight loss pills and wacky crash diets. Instead try any of these 7 safe ways instead.
Between genetics, gender, and age we have limited control over how much we can boost our metabolism. Men in general have a higher metabolism than women due to their higher muscle mass. As we age (especially after the big 4-0), our metabolism slows down. There’s not much you can do about the hand you’re dealt, but a few healthy habits can help boost it up.
#1: Resistance Training
A regular weight training regimen can help increases your muscle mass, thereby boosting your metabolism. The key word is “regular”—meaning, hitting the weights once in a while won’t do the trick. Aim for three times per week.
#2: Avoid Extreme Calorie Cutting
Your metabolism works most efficiently at a minimum of 1,200 calories per day. If you eat fewer calories than that, it’ll actually slow it down.
#3: Spice It up!
Capsaicin, a compound found in hot peppers has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism several hours after eating. Add chopped chili peppers to soups, stews and other favorite dishes.
#4: Eat Breakfast
The last thing you want to do is skip breakfast. This will make your blood sugar drop after a long night of sleep. Instead, start your morning strong by eating a healthy breakfast to jump-start your metabolism.
#5: Eat Your Protein
It takes a bit more energy to break down protein compared to carbs and fat. So add lean protein at your meals and snacks. Healthy choices include eggs, chicken breast, seafood, fish, pork tenderloin, beans, and low fat and nonfat milk and dairy products.
#6: Sip Green Tea
Studies have shown that green tea has various components (including caffeine) that help temporarily boost your metabolism. Stick with 1-2 cups at most per day and stay away from supplement gimmicks (they tend to have many unregulated and dangerous herbs in them too).
#7: Drink A Cup of Joe
Caffeine found in coffee can help increase your metabolism for a short period of time. This doesn’t give you permission to down cups of coffee throughout the day — drinking too much also has its downfalls. Aim for about 1 cup per day.
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Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »