Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lose Weight Over The Holidays!?

They may not know it but most people would like to increase their metabolism. Metabolism is the rate that the body produces and consumes energy and calories to support life and having a high metabolism helps to burn fat and lose weight with the least amount of effort.

There are several factors that can affect our metabolism, such as the amount of muscle tissue we have, how often we eat, genetics, how efficient our digestive system is, stress levels, diet, and activity levels.

Here are some simple steps to increase your Metabolism…

Put On Some Muscle! Our metabolism slows with age, but it is possible to counter the effects. The amount of muscle a person has is a big component in their ability to burn calories and shed fat. So it goes without saying that physical activity is essential. Try to mix in some weight lifting along with your regular exercise regimen. You don’t have to look like Tim Tebow to reap the benefits of a strength training routine.

Eat breakfast. I know you’ve heard it before but… Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Believe it or not, eating stimulates our metabolism and eating breakfast first thing in the morning will increase your metabolism throughout the day.

Avoid sugar. Another “no-brainer”, I know, but sugar stimulates insulin to be released in our bodies and this causes us to store fat. Ideally, the foods we eat should avoid spikes in insulin and large changes in our blood sugar levels. Also, physical activity 2-3 times a week is an important factor in stabilizing blood sugar (your strength training workouts count towards this too!)

Increase your water intake. Water helps flush out toxins that are produced when our bodies process the foods we eat. The majority of bodily functions involve water, and a lack of water causes these systems to decrease in speed and efficiency. Staying hydrated also helps us eat less as our brains often confuse low levels of thirst with hunger.

Eat smaller meals. Consuming 4 to 6 small meals throughout the day helps to keep our blood sugar levels even and avoids those “fat storing” Insulin spikes.

Don’t skip meals! People tend to skip meals in order to lose weight, but as we mentioned above, eating actually stimulates your metabolism. Figure out how many calories you need in a day and then divide that number by the 4 to 6 meals mentioned above. If you’re not sure how many calories you need, find out here.

Ditch the stress! This is probably the hardest one to do but stress, whether physical or emotional, triggers the release of Cortisol in the body which slows metabolism. Also, it’s easy to over eat when stressed. Fortunately, that exercise thing I keep mentioning, helps relieve stress and decrease the effects of Cortisol.

With the Holidays right around the corner, these are some great tricks help keep those extra pounds and inches off and still enjoy the festivities! If you have any questions or concerns about nutrition and exercise, feel free to stop in the office and ask! And don’t forget, we’ve moved to our new location, just a mile from the old office at 4704 Harlan Street, #510, in Denver!

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