Each time you take a bite of food, your body begins to process the nutrients you’re eating. Long after the food is digested, the nutrients you’ve taken in become the fuel needed by your body. The process by which your body gets energy from food is a series of chemical processes called metabolism. Minor changes in your diet and eating habits can help boost your metabolism so that you process food more quickly (and burn fat, too). Try the following tips.
1. Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Eating more frequent, small meals throughout the day increases your metabolism, while eating too few meals throughout the day actually slows your metabolism down. Try eating a small meal (for instance, a Live Rite shake) every three to four hours to speed up your metabolism.
2. Choose Complex Carbs Over Simple Sugars
Your body needs carbohydrates to convert into glucose and use as fuel. But, when your body has too much glucose, it stores the extra as fat. Complex carbs like whole grains, legumes, and vegetables take longer to break down into glucose than simple carbs like cookies, candy, white rice, and donuts. Thus, complex carbs are less likely to be stored by your body as fat. They also contain more nutrients than simple sugars. So reach for the complex carbs!
3. Eat Breakfast
Eating breakfast gets your metabolism going first thing in the morning; it’s vital to breaking the fast your body goes into each night while you sleep. In fact, three to four hours after you go to sleep, your metabolism starts to behave as though it needs to store food instead of burning it. To communicate with your body that is is not in need of extra fat storage, you must start your day off with a small meal–and continue to eat small meals every three to four hours.
4. No More Late Night Snacks
As mentioned before, your body stores food as fat after you go to sleep. So avoid eating right before you go to bed. Also, try to eat a lighter meal for dinner, as heavy “comfort food” is more likely to stick with you and get turned into fat once you hit the sack. Give your body at least three hours to digest your last meal of the day before you go to bed. You’ll probably sleep better this way, too!
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Water is needed for every function of your body, including the burning of fat. Try drinking a large glass of water in the morning just before breakfast and before each meal of the day. (Studies have shown that drinking ice cold water may increase metabolism, as your body has to burn fuel to maintain a warmer temperature than the cold water.) You should always drink water before and during your workout, as well–even more so during hot summer months. Aim for six to eight glasses of water per day.
With these simple, easy tips, you’ll be on your way to revving up your metabolism and meeting your weight loss goals.