Your body functions like a machine: the faster it goes, the more fuel it burns. And boosting your metabolism — the rate at which your body runs — can be key to dropping pounds. Here are some tips to help you lose weight by ratcheting up your metabolism.
Consuming water may seem counterintuitive, but it does have a temporary impact on your metabolic rate. This is because your body needs to expend energy to absorb that water into your organs. You can burn even more calories by drinking cold water, since your body needs to burn energy warming the water to body temperature.
Water has a valuable side effect: it fills your stomach, reducing hunger pangs.
Consuming water is not the same as consuming other liquids. Water has zero calories. If you drink energy drinks, you are putting calories into your system, which means more fuel — and the goal of weight loss is to burn more calories than you put in. Also, even “zero calorie” diet drinks have been shown to be associated with weight gain.
Lose Weight by Adding Muscle
Lifting weights is not only good for creating muscle. It also causes you to burn more calories and jack up your metabolism. Increasing muscle actually causes you to burn more calories, even when you’re simply relaxing. This is because muscle needs to expend energy to keep functioning. A pound of muscle burns about six calories, compared to two calories burned by a pound of fat.
Add Some Spice to Your Diet
Spicy foods can cause an increase in your metabolic rate. This is thanks to a substance called capsaican, found in peppers. Several studies have shown a small but noticeable increase in metabolism in subjects who eat foods laced with capsaican versus subjects who didn’t. So add peppers to your diet. A small effect can make a huge difference if you apply it often.
Studies show that a jolt of caffeine can boost your metabolism and cause you to lose weight. This affects lean subjects more than overweight ones, but the effect is significant regardless. So don’t begrudge yourself the occasional cup of coffee. However, avoid coffee that includes a great deal of sugar or cream. These add calories, which defeats the purpose of using the caffeine to ratchet your metabolism.
The Magic of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can boost your metabolism because it contains medium-chain fats. These are more easily broken down and absorbed by your body. In fact, medium chain fatty acids are delivered to your liver, where they are immediately turned into energy — unlike long-chain fats which can be turned into body fat.
Coconut oil can be used as a healthy replacement for regular cooking oils. It can also be used as a spreadable alternative to butter or margarine because it solidifies when cool.
If you eat large meals with a great deal of time between them, your body slows your metabolism in those intervening periods. Having much smaller meals but more of them keeps your metabolism running at a higher rate. Research shows that those who eat snacks regularly eat considerably less at regular meal times.
Fill Up on Green Tea
The Chinese were on to something when they discovered green tea. Green tea contains both caffeine and substances called catechins, which cause the metabolism to rev up for several hours.
Managing Your Weight Loss Goals
Losing weight and keeping it off involves a lifestyle change, not simply a temporary diet. So plan on incorporating these tips into your life. Replace regular tea with green tea; try black coffee rather than lattes or even coffee with cream. And equally importantly, incorporate exercise into your routine. Even a simple half-hour walk several times a week will pay healthy dividends.
If you get “stuck” in your goal to lose weight, our Hong Kong medical practice can test for hormonal issues, food intolerances, and identify prescription drug side effects, or other issues that may be blocking your weight loss. Don’t hesitate to call us at (+852) 2523 8044 for help.