Do you have that skinny friend who seems to eat whatever she wants, and yet never gains a pound? Meanwhile, you struggle to lose weight even when cutting your calories. It’s frustrating, but your friend’s big secret is simply that she has a faster metabolism. While metabolism can be partly determined by your genes, luckily there are ways you can boost your metabolism through diet and lifestyle.
To burn calories faster and lose more weight, try these five tips:
- The right exercise. You already know that exercise is important for weight loss, but you can use it to boost your metabolism even when you’re at rest. The secret is to build muscle in addition to doing those calorie-burning aerobic workouts. Remember to do strength training at least three times per week, and the added muscle on your frame will help you burn calories 24/7.
- Eat protein. Yes, carbs are delicious, but protein is much better for your metabolism. Your body has to work harder to metabolize those calories, plus protein keeps your blood sugar more even throughout the day.
- Eat small, regular meals. We’re all accustomed to eating three big meals per day, but dumping all those calories into your system at once makes them more difficult to burn. They end up being stored as fat instead. So try eating five smaller meals every three hours. Sometimes these small “meals” will consist of something like a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts – just enough to boost your metabolism by stimulating digestion.
- Try small bursts of activity. Yes, with our busy schedules we often want to pencil in one hour of gym time, three times per week, and be done with the whole exercise thing. It is important to attend these gym sessions, but throughout each day you should try to fit in small bursts of activity to keep your metabolism going. Take ten minute walk during your lunch break, or park the car far away from store entrances, or get up and dance around with the kids for a few minutes after dinner.
- Get your beauty sleep. When you’re sleep deprived, your body goes into crisis mode from the stress and slows metabolism. Getting a solid eight hours of sleep tells your body that there is no crisis, and it can continue to burn calories at a normal rate.