Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stoke Your Metabolism

More than 60% of Americans blame a slow metabolism for excess weight. The good news is there are tools you can use to fire up your metabolism and jump-start that calorie-burn. Here are two for you to try.

Hit the Weights

Pumping iron keeps your metabolism humming. "Starting around age 35, women lose 5 to 10 percent of their lean muscle mass per decade" says Michele Olson, Ph.D. "So when you're 45, even if you weigh the same as you used to, you've lost about eight pounds of muscle and replaced it with eight pounds of fat." Studies have found that women who do a moderate strength workout four times a week can gain about a pound of muscle per month. This can boost your resting metabolic rate (RMR) so you are burning calories for hours after your workout.

Ditch Crash Dieting

Diet shakes, bars and supplements might sabotage your weight loss. A recent study in Obesity showed that people who reduced their calorie intake by 25% experienced a drop in their RMR. While you are crash dieting, you are most likely losing muscle, not fat. Your body will break down it's own muscle tissue to get the amino acids it needs. A better plan is to eat at least 1500 calories a day of real food in balanced portions, making sure to include protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Banish BPA

This environmental toxin can alter your metabolism, hunger hormones and how your body stores fat. Limit your use of plastics - especially ones marked with recycling code 3 or 7. Look for BPA-free water bottles or choose stainless steel. Avoid consumption of canned foods & beverages, which often have BPA linings. When people ate fresh food for just three days, their BPA levels dropped by 66%.

Stay active, burn calories and have fun!

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