Rev Up Your Metabolism
Follow These 7 Dos and Don'ts to Boost Your Metabolism
3. Spice foods up for taste.
Spicy foods don't really help you burn calories, says Carey Clifford, MS,
RD, vice president of Nutricise (www.nutricise.com), an online nutrition and weight loss program. But they may help you enjoy healthy
choices such as vegetables and chicken. "Spicy foods may boost your metabolism
slightly, but unfortunately, it's too small a boost to be significant," says
4. Drink water.
Lack of water can slow the metabolic rate just as lack of food can, says
John Acquaviva, PhD, assistant professor of health and human performance at
Roanoke College in Salem, Va. "Since water is the body's most important
nutrient, the liver will turn its concentration to water retention instead of
doing other duties such as burning fat."
5. Tone up.
Becoming more active will stimulate your metabolism, says Susan L. Burke,
MS, RD/LD, CDE, director of nutrition services for eDiets. Muscle is more
metabolically active than fat, she explains, so replacing your fat stores with
lean muscle allows you to maintain your weight much more easily. "It's not
necessary to become a body builder," says Burke. "Just use light weights to
firm and tone your muscles."
6. Get moving.
Aerobic exercise will burn calories, says Burke, who recommends at
least 60 minutes of moderate activity every day. Combined activity counts --
walk, skip, jog, or dance. Activity in your home counts, too. Garden, clean
closets, or clean your house. "You'll burn the most calories, however, with
sustained activity that gets your heart rate up," says Burke.
7. Watch those calories.
As you get older, your metabolism will slow down -- approximately 5% a
decade, says Madelyn H. Fernstrom, PhD, CNS, associate professor and director
of the UPMC Health System Weight Management Center in Pittsburgh. A slower
metabolism is a natural part of aging, Fernstrom explains, so to maintain a
stable weight, you must adjust your caloric intake and/or physical activity.
"If someone needs 1,500 calories a day to maintain his body weight at age 40,
for example, he or she will need about 1425 calories a day at age 50 to
maintain that weight, without changing anything else," says Fernstrom.
The bottom line when it comes to metabolism, says Susan Burke, "If it sounds
too good to be true, it is."