Boost Your Metabolism all Day!!
When you want to create a lean, firm body, the best way to accomplish it is with an effective workout program and a healthy eating plan. But that’s not the end of the story . . . . Because no matter how much you’re putting into your exercise sessions, practicing a range of healthy habits the rest of the time can give your metabolism an even bigger kick.
So here’s a full day’s worth of metabolism boosters. Any one of them may have a relatively minor effect, but when put together, they’re bound to help your body burn fat more efficiently. Add these tips to your weight loss arsenal, and you’ll get the results you want as quickly as possible.
- Get some sun. A little outdoor time in the morning can help you slim down in three ways. First, bright light helps regulate your body clock, so you’ll be more energetic during the day and sleep better at night. Second, during the winter months, sunshine helps ward off SAD (seasonal affective disorder), a condition that can lead to uncontrolled food cravings. And third, sunlight on your skin increases your levels of vitamin D, which are associated with a higher metabolism and a lower risk of obesity. (While sunscreen cuts down on your natural vitamin D production, experts warn that you shouldn’t spend much time outside without it. You can also get more D by taking multivitamins, drinking fortified milk, and eating fatty fish.)
- Eat a good breakfast. Research has shown that a filling breakfast that includes both lean protein and complex carbohydrates helps you burn fat all day (and keeps you satisfied longer, too). In a study presented to the Endocrine Society, dieters who ate hearty breakfasts stuck to their food plans and ended up losing more weight than those who didn’t, despite the fact that their daily caloric intake was actually slightly higher.
- And add some grapefruit. There’s a reason grapefruit diets have never gone out of fashion. In a recent study in the journal Diabetes, mice on a high-fat diet that were given naringenin—a flavonoid chemical that gives grapefruit its slightly bitter taste—didn’t gain weight, while others on the same diet did. And a study conducted at the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic found that half a grapefruit before each meal helped obese people drop more than 3 pounds over 12 weeks. (Consult your doctor if you’re taking any medications—large amounts of grapefruit can change the way they’re metabolized by your body.)
- Have a hot beverage. As you’ve surely heard by now, regular consumption of green or oolong tea can raise your metabolism by as much as 5 percent. But plain old java gives your fat-burning ability a boost too. Green coffee beans have been found to boost your metabolism through the combination of caffeine and something called chlorogenic acid. While roasting lowers the amount of this chemical, according to the Coffee Science Information Centre, a light roast retains more than a dark roast.
Whatever you drink, don’t overdo it, and keep the additives to a minimum—the calories in cream and sugar, or a coffeehouse latte, can far outweigh any fat-burning benefits.
- Take the stairs. Your daily workout will do more than anything else to burn fat and build lean muscle. But that doesn’t mean you should be a slug the rest of the time. A highly publicized British study found that kids who were very active during physical education classes were that much less active throughout the day, which suggests that you may need to make a conscious effort to move your body when you’re not working out, including taking such simple steps as walking everywhere you can and using stairs rather than elevators. Even relatively brief periods of exercise will help keep your metabolism revving at a higher level.
- Snack on nuts. All nuts (including peanuts, which aren’t technically nuts, but whatever) are fairly high in calories, but they’re also full of nutrients, especially protein and healthful fats. In a study at Purdue University, when people added 500 calories of peanuts to their daily diets, they ate less during meals and increased their resting metabolic rates by 11 percent. You don’t need to eat so many, though. Just an ounce at a time will go a long way toward boosting your metabolism and keeping you satisfied.
- Shop in the outer aisles of the grocery store. Most supermarkets are laid out in similar ways: produce, meats, fish, dairy products, and other fresh, whole foods are along the outside edges, while processed, boxed, and canned foods are in the inner aisles. Shop on the perimeter first, and you’ll end up with nutritious ingredients that will fuel your muscles while keeping you full—and because they’re higher in fiber and protein and lower in starch, you can eat more of them and still lose weight.
- Take time to relax. Stress can take a toll on your metabolism. When scientists at Georgetown University fed two groups of mice a high-fat, high-sugar diet, the ones under stress gained more than twice as much weight as the low-stress group. If your job (or any other part of your life) leaves you feeling like a mouse in a cage, try to find ways of cutting down on stress. At some point during the day, take a break for meditation, yoga, or just sitting in a peaceful place and thinking about something pleasant.
- Watch your eating. If you’re like most people, your activity level slows down at night, and so does your metabolism. And yet there’s also a tendency to eat a lot at this time, either by having a big dinner or snacking in front of the TV, or both. If you’re overeating due to stress or boredom, the evening is a good time to concentrate on healthful dietary habits.
- Hold the hooch. Your body loves alcohol—so much so, in fact, that it’ll burn its byproducts as fuel before anything else. That means that while you’re processing alcohol, you’re not burning fat. Of course, alcoholic beverages also have calories, virtually none of which are good for anything other than helping you gain weight.
- Turn off your screens. At least 2 hours before bedtime, dim the lights, put away your computer, and turn off your video games. Bright lights, including those from computer screens, can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, an antioxidant hormone that builds up in the evening and helps you sleep. Research has shown that higher levels of melatonin are associated with lower levels of body fat.
- Catch your z’s. While you’re asleep, your body is hard at work producing hormones responsible for weight loss, muscle gain, and glucose metabolism. Studies have found that consistently getting less than the optimal 8 or so hours per night leads to a lower metabolism and a higher body mass. If you find yourself getting sleepy during the day, going to bed just an hour earlier could make a significant difference in your waistline.
A.M. is the best time to exercise?
By Kevin Haag, Fitness Consultant
When is the best time to exercise? Whenever you can make time to exercise is the best time. For some people, it’s nearly impossible to find the time to exercise at all, and for others there’s no way they can break a sweat until the evening. But if a.m. exercise may be an option, I’ve got five reasons why working out in the morning is best.
It’s a fact that burning 500 calories at6 a.m.is no different from burning the same amount at6 p.m.So what difference does it make what time you choose to do your workout?
For you night owls out there, working out in the evening may be the best thing for you, but for the majority of people looking to get in shape, the morning looks a lot brighter for making true gains in your fitness and weight loss goals.
Why? Well, for these sensible reasons:
As the day goes on you get busier and busier and your schedule can easily change, leaving you no time for exercise. How many times has that happened to you? Probably more often that not.
Get your workout out of the way by doing it first thing in the morning and you can be flexible to any changes that may pop up during your day. This way, you’ll have no excuses for not exercising, because you’ve already done it before your day got hectic. This means you’re more likely to exercise every day, helping you to be consistent with your workouts for lasting results.
Start your day out right and you’ll reap the benefits all day long. Morning exercise will rev up your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories all throughout the day.
Ever notice that after you work out for awhile you actually feel like you have more energy than when you were taking it easy?
That’s because your metabolism kicks in and feeds your body a consistent stream of energy all day long. You would be burning more calories while reading this if you had only worked out this morning.
Your body craves routine! Waking up at the same time every day to get your workout in helps your body to regulate many different functions for optimal performance all day long. It’s known as your circadian clock, and everyone has one.
This “clock” is really the routine that your body is set to. It takes time and practice to change this internal clock, so don’t expect to be waking up cheery at first if you’re trying to wake up earlier to exercise.
As you get up earlier on a consistent basis, your body will adapt and you’ll find that it’s not as difficult to wake up at5:30 a.m.as you thought it would be. In fact, you’ll probably end up waking up at the same time every morning without an alarm clock.
Research has also shown that your body is better able to prepare for the day ahead when your sleeping routine is consistent.
Have an important meeting with the boss today? A big, scary test at school today? Exercising in the morning gets the blood flowing to your brain, circulating precious nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to your various organs. More oxygen to your brain gives you a mental boost, helping you to stay focused all day long.
Don’t let morning fog stop you from getting that promotion, or getting an A on that test. Get up, get moving and get what you want out of your day
You Will Look Great and Feel AWESOME!
Your body will thank you, and so will your mirror. Exercise is not only healthy for your heart; it’s also great for an ego-boost. With consistent exercise you will shed unwanted pounds that have plagued you for years, giving you a new outlook on life.
And what better way to start your day than knowing you’re doing your body good?
What’s Your Fitness Style?
Some people find it easy to set the alarm clock for4:30 a.m.and jump out of bed for a five-mile run, while others hit the snooze button so many times that the chance of a morning workout becomes obsolete. There are specific aspects of your personality that determine what kind of exerciser you are, so if you’ve found yourself in a fitness rut it’s time to put your unique interests back into the equation.
Kevin Haag is a Fitness Trainer and Consultant with the K2Performance Team, and is the founder of Summit Fitness Adventure Boot Camps. You can reach Kevin at 908-803-8019 or http://www.LiveK2.com
I was informed that along with one of my holiday greeting cards was a letter about this individual’s family experience over the past year. I was told that “You have to read this letter; It is so obnoxious and brags about the children the whole letter.”
Since “Those People” who write and talk about how great their kids are drive me nuts, I almost trashed the letter away before reading it. I am so glad that I did not!
This letter made me laugh out loud the entire time. Rather than brag about the children, this letter poked fun at the way kids’ act, the way they think they run the world and…you get the picture.
My point is: How did this person miss the satire????
I am not a shrink, but I KNOW that the happiest, most fulfilled, most balanced people complain the least. They see things different. They are more open-minded. This is a Fact based on hundred of interviews and case studies over the years. These people handle every situation, whether tragic and insignificant, better than others.
I personally believe that the person who viewed this letter as obnoxious is insecure or sad, and wasn’t able to see the happiness and humor this letter was meant to provide.
I cannot tell everyone how to be happier and live a better life, but I can tell you it begins with change. And most change cannot happen alone. Please always work on being happier. Happiness is contagious!!
Take Charge of Your Metabolism
“Love the one your with” That would be you! You have to live with yourself 24/7/365. Wouldn’t it be nice if you loved everything about yourself?
If you are reading this, you have the ability to control almost everything about your life. What you spend your days doing, who you hang out with, what you eat, what you do for activities. The greatest thing about being you is you hold the key to happiness! So if you complain once today, then you need to take a long look in the mirror.
Ok…Let me focus on 1 thing we all have control over – Our metabolism.
Do you ever wonder how your friend can eat whatever he/she wants and not gain a pound, while you seem to gain weight by simply looking at food? The answer is in your metabolism—the way your body burns up all the calories from food.
Some people have a fast metabolism which helps keep weight off, and others have a slow metabolism, putting on weight very quickly. The good news is metabolic rate can be altered, and even sped up.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the rate at which your body’s internal engine operates as it performs its bodily functions. The largest component of your metabolism, approximately 70%, is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is how many calories you burn just sitting around. In other words, it is the energy used by your body to perform basic functions, such as breathing, keeping the heart beating and maintaining body temperature. As you age, your BMR decreases. Basal metabolic rates differ from person to person due to:
Genetics: A slow metabolism (you burn calories more slowly) or fast metabolism (you burn calories faster) can be inherited.
Amount of lean muscle: Muscle burns calories faster than fat. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.
Sex differences: Males generally have a 10 to 15% faster BMR than females because the male body has a larger percentage of lean muscle tissue.
Age: Younger people have faster metabolisms due to increased activity of cells.
Other components of your metabolism include physical activity, which accounts for about 20% of calories burned, and dietary thermogenesis, which is the number of calories required for digesting and processing the food you eat. This accounts for the remaining 10% of energy needs.
How Does This Affect My Weight?
Simply put, your metabolism affects weight management because it determines how many calories you need per day. If you have a high BMR (fast metabolism) it takes a lot of calories for your body to function; eating calorie-laden foods may not pack on the pounds for you. On the other hand, if you have a low BMR (slow metabolism), your body needs fewer calories to function. Unfortunately, for your sluggish metabolism, eating calorie-laden foods will result in weight gain.
How Can I Jump-Start my Body’s Metabolic Engine?
Follow these tips to naturally boost your metabolism:
Eat Breakfast. Breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day, especially for you weight loss seekers. Research shows that those who eat breakfast lose more weight than those who skip breakfast. Your metabolism slows down while you sleep and it doesn’t speed back up until you eat again. If you don’t eat until lunchtime, your body won’t burn as many calories as it could during the morning period. Kick start your day with a balanced breakfast such as omega-3 eggs and toast or a protein shake.
Eat smaller meals throughout the day. Eating five or six smaller meals rather than three large meals helps to keep your metabolism revved up! It also helps to fill you up over the course of the day, making a binge session less likely.
Don’t starve yourself. Fasting, cutting calories and skipping meals will all help put weight ON not OFF. Your body needs a certain number of calories to function. If you don’t meet this need, your body will switch into survival mode, slow down the metabolism and promote the storage of energy (calories) in the form of fat to protect itself from starvation. Be sure get the proper number of calories for an optimal metabolism.
Exercise. Both cardiovascular exercise and weight training help to improve metabolic rate and keep weight off. Cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, running, biking, swimming and aerobics, allows your body to burn a lot of calories at one time. Weight training will increase muscle mass, which burns more calories than body fat. Weight training also puts the metabolism into overdrive, so your burn calories for up to two hours after the workout.
Drink Green Tea. Research shows that green tea appears to increase metabolic rate and speed up fat oxidation. Compounds in green tea, catechin polyphenols, appear to speed up the rate at which calories are burned and therefore increase overall energy expenditure leading to weight loss!
Drink water. Not drinking enough water can slow down your metabolism. Be sure to drink at least six to eight glasses of water per day. Add a lemon slice to water for a tangy, fresh taste.
Take Supplements. If you use make-up to look better, supplements can probably do a lot more for your appearance. Even ugly pants look better on a nice pair of legs. The Supplement market is 50 Billion because they do work! Visit www.khaag.getprograde.com
Eat hormonally balanced meals. Eating in hormonal balance includes:
- Energy-dense carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits that contain fiber to help regulate your metabolism by having less impact on insulin levels.
- High quality protein, such as fish, poultry, lean meats, soy, tofu and lowfat dairy products to help build metabolism-boosting muscle mass.
- Essential fats for good health such as olive oil, avocado and nuts.
Ask for Help.
You can contact me, Kevin Haag, with any questions you have. I spend my days researching and practicing this stuff, so I can bombard you with enough emails to make you not want to eat.
Goal Setting and Planning Worksheet
“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” Aristotle
What are you trying to accomplish? More importantly why? These 3 questions will help you define your goal. Take your time and be honest with yourself. Your goal needs to be clearly defined and meaningful in order for you to reach it.
STEP 1 – SETTING A GOAL
Question 1: What is your Goal? What do you want to achieve? (Be specific as possible)
How do you quantify it?
What is your timeframe?
How do you know when you reached your goal?
Question 2: Why do you want to achieve the goal?
What will it do for you?
Why did you decide to do this now?
What is your Motivation(s)? Below are 3 types of motivation.
1: Obligation based – I really should. This type of motivation doesn’t last long
2: Desire based – I want to do this. Much more powerful
3: Enjoyment based – I love doing this. Part of the process
What if you don’t reach your goal?
Questions 3: What is the price? Are you willing to pay the price? Is it worth it to you?
What will you need to sacrifice? What are you willing to cut back on?
What behaviors are you willing to change?
Behavioral Change 1:
Behavioral Change 2:
If anything, what do you see a preventing you from attaining your goals? What made you fail in the past?
Will you journal things? If you don’t write things down, you have nothing to look back and evaluate things.
What keeps you motivated to continue working toward your goals? Why?
What is going to motivate you when you get discouraged?
STEP 2 – MAKING THE PLAN
“Failure to plan is planning to fail”
The following plan and process must be something you are going to enjoy
Where are you now – Measure progress
Measure you body, weight yourself, take photos and set aside clothes you want to fit into. They help you see who you really are.
Nutrition Plan: Make sure you follow nutrition plan
You MUST know what you are going to eat the following day before you go to bed at night. This may sound odd, but this simple habit will make an enormous effect on how you eat. Pick a RITUAL to prepare your meals!
Option 1 – Sunday Ritual, You dedicate Sunday to getting ready for the rest of the week. Cook and pack
Option 2 – Daily Ritual. You get everything ready as soon as you wake up. You cook and pack meals and snacks every morning.
Option 3 – Bi-Weekly Ritual. Take a couple hours on Sunday and a couple hours on Wednesday to prepare meals for a few days
Be realistic. Make an enjoyable plan. Make sure you pick and exercise program you can do, you will enjoy,
Barriers to success:
What time of day is most convenient for you? _____________
What time of day are you most likely to continue to exercise? _____________
What are your work obligations? What are your family obligations?
How many days? ______ How long each day? _______
Execution Strategy: Start and follow Plan.
Get yourself into some of routine. The first hour of each day will set you up for success.
8 am _________________________
12 pm _________________________
How do you feel? Why
Are you getting enough sleep?
How are you reacting to your diet? How do you feel?
How closely are you following plan?
Do we need to count calories? Can you manipulate calories?
Can you do more exercise?
When it comes to creating great abs, even the most effective workout programs can only bring you so far if you keep digging into that Halloween candy. That’s because you can’t get a flat, hard core without losing body fat. No one’s going to see your abs if they are covered by a layer of flab. (The good news? While it’s impossible to “spot-reduce,” abdominal fat is often the first to go when you start losing weight.) Here’s how to eat your way to great abs without eating 10 zone bars every day.
Most good dietary programs will lead you to eat the right foods to lose fat and get in shape. But the following seven principles can give you an extra edge and will help ensure that the effort you’re putting into your abs will bring you the results you want.
1. Get plenty of protein. Eating enough lean protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain, the two most important pieces of the “great abs” puzzle. It also helps keep you from getting hungry while you’re eating right. You don’t have to gobble down 12-ounce steaks—just eat a normal portion of lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, or vegetarian protein with every meal, and make sure your snacks contain some protein, too. If you still have a hard time getting enough in your diet, a daily shake made with Whey Protein Powder.
By the way, protein is especially important in the morning, when a lot of people don’t get as much as they should. A protein-rich breakfast will help keep your blood sugar steady for hours, preventing the dips that can lead to cravings later in the day. (Try some low-fat chicken sausage, or an omelet with one whole egg and three egg whites, along with fruit or whole-grain toast.)
2. Reconsider your carbs. Despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets, the average American meal is still too high in sugar and fast-burning starches to bring body fat down to ab-baring levels. It’s time to say goodbye to soda, ditch the chips, and save the cake for your birthday. If your fitness plan calls for a sports drink before a workout, or a carb-and-protein recovery drink after training, that’s fine. But the rest of the time, stick with foods that are on the low end of the glycemic index (refer to http://www.GlycemicIndex.com for more information)—these foods burn more slowly so they won’t spike your blood sugar and insulin levels.
3. Have fun with fiber. Something about the word “fiber” just doesn’t sound appetizing. But high-fiber foods can actually be quite delicious: fresh berries and other fruits, salads loaded with colorful produce, your favorite steamed vegetables or vegetable soup, stews or chili made with beans, chewy whole-grain breads and cereals . . . You get the picture. (These foods just happen to be loaded with nutrients as well.) High-fiber foods keep you fuller with fewer calories, and they help keep your digestive system working at its best—a double-whammy for getting rid of belly bulge .
4. Enjoy some yogurt. Probiotics, the healthful bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods, have been proven to help reduce belly fat. In a recent study in Finland, new mothers who took probiotic supplements averaged smaller waist circumferences and lower body fat in general, than those who didn’t take probiotic supplements. And while the topic is still controversial, studies have found that eating lots of calcium-rich dairy foods like yogurt may increase overall weight loss.
5. Don’t forget to eat. Tempted to lower your daily calorie count by skipping meals? Don’t. Going hungry can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which research has found can increase belly fat even in otherwise thin women. And eating too infrequently can lower your metabolism and energy levels, while increasing the chance that you’ll get too hungry and decide to chuck your meal plan entirely. If you’re eating the right foods, regular meals and snacks will keep your body fueled while you’re working toward that strong core.
6. Drink more fluids. Hydration is important when you’re on a fitness plan, but drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.)
Plain ol’ H20 can’t be beat, but you can also switch it up with flavored waters, iced tea, and anything else you like to drink that isn’t full of sweeteners. How much do you need? The old rule of 8 glasses a day is a good start, but everyone is different: drink more if you’re exercising or it’s hot out, and less if you’re running to the bathroom every 5 minutes.
7. . . . With two exceptions. It’s time to cut down on those mood-altering substances, coffee and alcohol. Too much caffeine raises your cortisol levels and can impair your sleep, which can lower the production of fitness-promoting hormones. Meanwhile, the proverbial “beer belly” isn’t just the result of extra calories—alcohol actually makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize carbs and fat. Booze also stimulates your appetite and lowers your inhibitions, which can lead to bingeing. The best road to flat abs is no alcohol at all, but if you really like a drink now and then, just have one at a time (and no more than a few a week), and stay away from higher-calorie beers and sugary mixed drinks.
If you add these rules to your fitness plan, you’re sure to see faster improvements in your midsection. Of course, there’s a bonus to eating this way: it’ll keep you healthier, too. That may not be as big an incentive as great abs, but we’re throwing it in for free.