Boosting Your Metabolism

You've probably heard that it's important to keep your metabolism high to lose weight. You don't have to settle for living with a slow metabolism. Wishing and hoping won't enhance your metabolic rate, but doing the right things will. Here are effective ways to boost your metabolism and keep it high throughout your life:

Body of Knowledge

An equivalent weight of muscle is one third the size of fat. As you increase muscle mass percentage, you will be smaller and fit into those jeans.

  • Make sure that you do not inadvertently put yourself into starvation metabolism. If you do, correct the situation as soon as you can.

  • Avoid overeating because this stalls the efficient burning of fuel. Eat from 0-5. Overeating forces the body to store more fat, increasing your body fat percentage. This slows your metabolism.

  • Increase the muscle percentage in your body and decrease your body fat percentage. The higher the muscle mass, the faster you burn fuel. As you increase muscle mass, your basal metabolic rate increases. Do this with two to three sessions of strength-training exercise a week. Use free weights, weight machines, Pilates, or exercises with flex bands or the Fitness Ball. You'll love how your body looks with more muscle and less body fat.

  • Don't severely limit your intake of proteins, fats, or carbohydrates. Eat balanced meals so that your body has enough nutrition to keep your metabolism high.

  • Get plenty of sleep every night. Not getting enough sleep slows your metabolism.

  • Use the power of your mind to propel yourself to a higher metabolic rate. Tell yourself that you have a high metabolism. Also be sure to keep saying aloud to yourself that you are at your ideal size.

  • Avoid continually running on adrenaline or living with a chronic stress situation. Reduce or eliminate stress with the stress-soothing suggestions in Simple and Effective Stress Soothers.

  • Breathe deeply. Get plenty of oxygen. For fuel to burn, it needs lots of oxygen. Get this from exercise and from taking deep breaths that you can feel all the way into your stomach. This is called diaphragm breathing.

  • Don't skip meals. When you're hungry, eat 0-5.

  • Consider alcohol to be a food and factor it into your overall food consumption.

  • Avoid watching TV or playing video or computer games for more than a couple hours at a time. When you watch television, your body's metabolism drops almost to sleeping levels. When we sleep, our metabolic rate is the lowest of the day.

  • Just as you should only eat when you are hungry, only sip on sweet-tasting liquids when you are hungry, or at 0 on the hunger scale. This includes juices and beverages sweetened with artificial sweeteners, such as diet sodas, as well as beverages sweetened with sugar or honey.

  • Drink plenty of water—at least eight glasses a day. Being hydrated increases your metabolism.

We strongly encourage you to use these criteria to help you lose weight and keep it off. If your weight-loss plan violates these guidelines, you won't get the results you desire.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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