Turbo Charge Your Metabolism…
Everyone has that annoying friend or colleague that, like Cameron Diaz, claims their lean, mean physique is all down to a super-fast metabolism, which allows them to binge on naughty treats and junk food without putting on a kilo. Meanwhile, the rest of us struggle to lose weight despite sticking to a strict diet and downing bucket loads of water ever day. Life’s not fair, right? But bemoan your bulges no more. With our top tips on how to turbo-charge your metabolism you’ll get closer to achieving the bod of your dreams.
At rest, muscle tissue is metabolically active, unlike fatty tissue, which just stores energy. So it makes sense that the more muscle tissue you have, the faster your metabolic rate will be! But you don’t have to be a scary looking bodybuilder type to make this work for you. Toning exercises using light weights is all you need to do to help build up a reasonable level of muscle tone.
Fitness expert Dylan Eiffe from Dubai’s Core Direction says, “The more calories you burn in a day (i.e. the higher your metabolism), the more effectively your body burns fat – which means you can eat more without piling on the pounds. Weight and resistance training is the most effective way of increasing your metabolism, because it maintains and promotes lean muscle tissue, which in turn burns calories.”
Studies claim drinking coffee before a gym session can help increase the speed of your metabolism – and therefore make your workout more effective. According to nutrition expert Dr Nicola Lowe, drinking caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee can alter your resting, or Basal, Metabolic Rate (BMR), which makes it the ideal pre-workout pick-me-up. “How much tea and coffee we drink makes a difference, as caffeine can increase your BMR by around five to ten per cent for two hours,” she explains.
“The mechanism isn’t entirely clear, but they are stimulants, so perhaps increase nervous activity, making your body move more. Caffeine also alters our fuel use, so we burn fat for energy rather than glucose.” Make ours a double expresso, please!
For most dieters, carbs are a dirty word, but not all carbohydrates are the enemy. Good carbohydrates, like wholegrains, brown rice and sweet potatoes are actually required to lose weight in a healthy way - as a major fuel source you’re likely to feel mentally and physically lethargic if your body lacks carbohydrate based energy stores, which will mean you won’t work out as hard. Steer clear of refined carbs like white bread, rice and pasta, and instead fill up on good carbs and fresh fruit and veggies to bulk up your lean protein based meals.
We’re not suggesting that you go back for seconds after dinner every night. But starving yourself actually slows down your metabolism, because your body thinks it is being deprived of food, and so will start desperately conserving calories from food already consumed. The best way to keep you metabolism active to is to eat small, regular meals, thus giving your body a constant supply of fuel. Ensure meals include lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and snack on crudites, fruit, low fat cottage cheese, almonds and hummus if you get hungry. The balance of protein and carbs will help boost energy levels as well as speeding up your metabolism. And one key rule for guaranteed weight loss? Never skip breakfast.Countless studies say those who eat a healthy morning meal, like wholegrain cereals with skimmed milk, poached eggs on wholemeal toast or fruit and low-fat yoghurt increase their metabolism by up to 10 per cent.
Cut down on drink
One of the biggest reasons why you can’t lose weight may be because of your drinking habits. Despite never filling you up, all those ladies night cocktails and mocktails are laden with sugar. Aside from adding countless calories to your daily recommended intake, alcohol is processed in the liver, which prevents fat burning whilst slowing down the metabolism. According to studies, just two Martini’s can reduce your metabolic rate by 73 per cent. It’s time for fizzy water on the rocks!
Take your vitamins
It’s never a bad thing to increase your vitamin intake, especially if you want younger looking, glowing skin. Essential vitamins such as B6 and B12 are not only good at raising energy levels, so you feel less fatigued, but can also help to speed up the metabolism and lower the risk of chronic diseases. Be sure to stock up on spinach, asparagus, beans, nuts, whole-grains, broccoli, fish, poultry and eggs, or pop a multi-vit every day.
Snooze, you lose!
While the ideal is to get seven to nine hours of sleep, burning the candle at both ends can impact on how much actual rest we get. Sleep deprivation causes your body to release cortisol, which not only slows down metabolism, but assists your body in storing fat. When sleeping, the body release growth hormones and melatonin, which helps in burning fat. Core Direction’s Dylan explains, “Sleep deprivation reduces energy expenditure the following day. It effects your metabolism, boosts your appetite, which makes you eat more and decreases the hormones that make you feel full!”
Still not convinced? Penelope Cruz sleeps for no less than nine hours a night, while Eva Mendes swears by lots of sleep to keep her body looking smoking hot. ““I love sleeping” she spilled. “If there was an Olympics for it, I’d take a gold medal!”