Copyright 2006 Karen Sessions
Are you sluggish and low on energy? Do you feel like you work and work toward your weight loss goal and never seem to make any dramatic improvement?
You could be suffering from a slow metabolism. Even though you may have a slow metabolism, it does not have to destroy your weight loss efforts. You can dramatically improve your metabolism, and boost your energy levels without taking supplements.
Your metabolism simply refers to the conversion of food to usable energy by the body. It is the biological process, by which energy is extracted from food, and the net result is how fast or slowly the body burns those calories.
A few steps you can take to improve your metabolism naturally are:
Drink Water – Water is great to drink and you should be drinking a minimum of 8 to 10, glasses daily, of course, more is better. It will help increase your metabolism and flush out sodium, toxins, and fat. Drinking water before meals will fill your stomach so you feel full and prevent overeating. Avoid excess colas, coffee, teas, and sugary juices. Caffeine will dehydrate you, and the sugar will do more damage than good in the long-run.
Eat Every Three Hours – Eat a small balanced meal every three hours, including snacks. Meals and snacks should be balanced, meaning they should contain a complete protein, carbohydrates, as well as natural fat. Failure to eat consistently can lead to a slower metabolism and fat storage. Also, skipping meals slows down your metabolism. To ignite fat loss you need to be consuming the right foods in a balanced manner throughout the day.
Don’t Skip Breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gets your metabolism running in high gear. You wouldn’t drive your car to work on an empty tank, and you shouldn’t start your day without adequate nourishment. Your first meal sets your metabolism for the day and keeps it going, as long as you eat every three hours. If you get up early and eat a late breakfast, you miss out on several hours of burning calories.
Don’t Fear Fat – Fat has developed a bad reputation. Many people think fat makes you fat. This is false. The type of fat and how much fat you eat impacts your body fat composition. Fat is needed by the body. Those who follow a very low-fat diet have a harder time ridding their body of fat. Choose natural healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, various nuts, flax, and natural peanut butter to receive your necessary fats.
Omit Trans Fat – Trans fat is the bad fat, the cause of weight gain, low energy, depression, cancer, and heart disease. You will never get the body you desire by eating “healthy” fast food, frozen dinners, and other processed choices. If it’s man-made, it’s not the best choice, and will halt fat loss endeavors. Eat the foods Mother Nature has provided to meet your fat loss goals.
Be Active Daily – Stay active at least six days a week. Take the stairs when possible or park further out to get that little bit of extra movement to keep the heart and lungs working optimally. The more movement you get daily, the better you will feel overall.
Do Cardiovascular Exercise – Cardio exercise is necessary for heart and lung health. It also burns calories. Doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can tap into fat stores, and keep your body burning calories at a high rate for about an hour after cardio is finished. If you fail to eat adequately daily, first morning cardio on an empty stomach can work against you. Doing morning cardio on very low calorie diet can burn muscle. Another good time to incorporate cardio is in the evening after your last meal. This allows you to burn calories so you are not sleeping on them. You do not have to implement a morning and evening session, choose one or the other or cycle between the two to prevent staleness and boredom.
HIIT It – Blend some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your cardiovascular program from time to time to give your body and metabolism a good shock. The body is programmed for adaptation. Therefore, doing the same cardio format day in and day out can become stale really fast. Take one or two days a week and implement some HIIT to give the body an added shock.
HIIT is basically alternating low intensity and moderate to high intensity cardio training. For example, a 20 minute HIIT session would look similar to this:
Minute 1 and 2 – Low Intensity (Walking) Minute 3 and 4 – High Intensity (Light jogging or running) Minute 5 and 6 – Low Intensity Minute 7 and 8 – High Intensity and so on…
Weight Train – Resistance training builds muscle, which is metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you acquire, the faster your metabolism will be. Adding more lean muscle tissue to your body will put curves in the right places and allow you to eat more calories a day.
Listen to Your Body – Killing yourself with workouts is just as dangerous as not working out at all. Listen to your body and get proper rest. Don’t train if you are ill, still sore from the previous workout, or just simply too tired. Training in such a state can cause more problems than it solves.
If any of the above fails to prove results in 4 to 6 weeks, there could be an underlying problem, such as a food allergy, sluggish thyroid, hormonal imbalance, toxins, parasites, etc. If so, I recommend searching for a natural healer in your area to determine the cause. and work from there. For the most part, proper diet, detoxifying, and herbs can correct any ailments.