Your basic metabolic rate plays a major role in determining how efficiently your body burns calories. The higher your rate, the more calories you’ll use during exercise – and at rest. Lifestyle choices impact our metabolism. You can improve your ability to lose weight and increase your basic energy level by making a few small changes to your daily routine.
One of the most important factors affecting your metabolism is how often you eat. Never skip a meal – especially breakfast! Your body craves consistency.
Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism by putting your body into conservation mode. It doesn’t know when you’ll eat again so it starts burning fewer calories, making it difficult to lose stored fat even if you exercise.
Furthermore, it’s extremely important to eat protein at breakfast (and every meal). Protein helps you build lean mass – and lean mass burns more calories.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be a big deal – just eat something: a few pieces of fruit, a quarter cup of raw nuts, eggs, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or some plain yogurt are all great breakfast options.
While we’re talking about food – make sure you are getting plenty of calcium. Calcium increases your metabolism because it plays an important role in burning fat. A low calcium diet makes you more likely to store fat. Dairy foods are okay… but there are better sources of calcium that your body is able to process more efficiently. Dark leafy greens, broccoli, oranges and almonds are all excellent sources of calcium.
Next up – drink enough water! Your body runs most efficiently when it’s well hydrated. Water is needed for every biological process. When you are dehydrated, your body is sluggish and slow. Don’t worry about chugging a certain number of bottles each day. Everybody has different needs and how much water is in your food also affects how much additional water is necessary. Simply take note of your urine and drink enough water to keep it lightly straw colored (not clear).
Finally – exercise! Consistent, regular exercise shows your body that it needs to be serious about maintaining its lean muscle mass. Furthermore, studies show that your body burns more calories for about 24 hours after exercise as it repairs any damaged tissue and replenishes the carbohydrates stored in muscle. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 times a week and be sure to include a combination of cardio and weights – lifting light weights supports your lean muscle mass for an overall higher metabolic rate.