Remember being sixteen and eating through the refrigerator without gaining a pound? Those were the good ol’ days.
While growing up, our metabolisms are at their fastest. This is why teenagers, especially teenage boys, have a reputation for going through food faster than they go through data. Teenage boys use up around 2,800 calories a day! That’s the equivalent of 4 Big Mac Burgers or 3 medium cheese pizzas. You could have an entire pizza for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner, with a few calories left over for drinks.
Unfortunately, after we stop growing, our metabolism slows down. We don’t burn as many calories as we used to. In fact, most women and older adults will burn around 1,600 calories per day. The changes in our metabolism are due to several factors, among them loss of muscle mass and low activity levels.
While you can’t get your sixteen-year-old metabolism back, there are steps you can take to improve your current metabolism. From maintaining muscle mass to eating the right kinds of foods, check out these 7 tips to speed up your metabolism!
1. Work to maintain muscle mass.
We’re not saying you should become an Olympic weight lifter, but using your muscles prevents their decay, and this in turns prevents your metabolism from slowing down. The more muscles you have, the more calories you will burn at rest. This 4-Step Program has the 101 on building and maintaining muscle.
2. Eat breakfast
Your metabolism wakes up with the first thing you consume in the morning. Instead of putting off breakfast, get your metabolism started as early as possible. Additionally, eating a balanced breakfast can keep munchies and cravings away. You’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks in the afternoon. Check out these 5 breakfast foods to jumpstart your metabolism.
3. Stay active throughout the day.
Unfortunately, if you sit on your butt all day, your metabolism won’t work at its peak. When your body senses that you’re not using that much energy, it slows down its calorie burn and instead stores the calories as fat. To prevent this metabolic speed bump, try moving throughout the day. One way to do this is to aim for the recommended 10,000 steps per day. Check out this 7-day challenge for all the details.
4. Consume natural metabolism boosters.
If you’ve ever browsed a store that sells sports supplements, you might be familiar with the word thermogenic. Thermogenic supplements are used to achieve a low body fat percentage. They raise your metabolism and body temperature so you burn more calories. Unfortunately, these thermogenics also come with dangerous side effects. For a natural, risk-free, metabolism boost, try green tea or coffee. The caffein in these drinks will boost your metabolism and help you stay awake on long days. Read more about the benefits of green tea.
5. Work HIIT into your gym routine.
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, might be all the metabolism boost you need. A 1996 study from Baylor College of Medicine compared the calorie burn of subjects doing HIIT workouts vs subjects doing steady-state cardio. They found that subjects doing HIIT burned significantly more calories during the 24 hours following the workout. A more recent study by Florida State University reported similar findings, citing a figure of 10% more calories burned by subjects performing HIIT. Check out this Total Body Toning HIIT Workout.
6. Eat enough calories.
While we all know that eating too much makes you gain weight, did you know that eating too little can also hinder weight loss by slowing down your metabolism? If you’re depriving your body of necessary calories, you begin losing muscle mass, which significantly slows down your metabolism. Your body matches your intake, meaning it decreases its energy use to fit the amount calories you’re consuming. Weight loss comes to a standstill and any surplus of calories can mean significant weight gain. If you’re still not convinced, check out these 7 ways calorie-counting can sabotage weight loss.
7. Get a little bit nutty.
Healthy fats, such as those found in nuts and seeds can help keep your metabolism healthy. Other good sources of fat include avocados and fatty fish, such as salmon. Find more source of healthy fats here.
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