Metabolism is the way your body breaks down and processes food. It affects how efficiently you burn energy from food and how easily you lose or gain weight, and it’s influenced by factors like genes, age, gender and proportion of lean body mass (more muscle means higher metabolic rate). Here are some steps you can take to boost your metabolism.

Build Muscle Mass. We lose muscle mass as we age, and consequently, our metabolism slows. Strength training exercises, such as push-ups, can help counteract muscle loss associated with aging. Every pound of muscle burns approximately six calories per day.

Do More Aerobic Training. Aerobic training burns calories and can help create a caloric deficit for weight loss. Interval training helps maximize your cardio workout by keeping your caloric burn elevated for several hours after a workout.

Eat Within Two Hours After Exercise. Your metabolism stays elevated for approximately two hours after your workout. During this time, you burn calories more efficiently.

Eat Breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. Studies show that skipping breakfast leads to a slower metabolism all day, even after you finally get around to eating. Breakfast helps stabilize blood sugar better through the day, and plus, people who eat breakfast tend to be leaner and lighter than breakfast skippers.

Don’t Skip Meals. Eating several small meals throughout the day acts as a steady source of fuel and keeps your metabolic engine firing. Each time you eat, your metabolism stays stimulated for about an hour, so the more often you eat, the more you’ll increase your metabolism. Research from Georgia State University shows that people who eat every two to three hours carry less body fat and have a faster metabolism than those who eat only two or three meals per day.

Drink More Water. Water is essential to all body functions at a cellular level. Metabolism will slow to conserve water, even if you’re only mildly dehydrated, so drink up!

Sleep! Skimping on sleep can alter your metabolism, says Sanjay Patel, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. Lack of sleep can decrease the number of calories your body burns while at rest. According to author John Berardi, PhD, the calories your body burns resting is about 60% to 75% of your total daily caloric burn.2


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