Jump Start Your Metabolism

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When you’re trying to lose weight — or maintain your current weight — you think about fats, carbs, calories, when you are ever going to find the time to workout and, for many of us, how good a slice of that chocolate cake would taste… and maybe it’s okay if we only have one bite. But, one important part of weight loss, that you are probably not thinking about, is your metabolism.

When you’re trying to shed extra pounds and keep the weight off, it’s smart to understand how your body uses the food you eat. Metabolism is the way the body processes everything eaten and drank, converting to sugar, protein and fat into energy. While there is no controlling how your metabolism works, you can control what you eat, how much you eat and how much physical activity you get every day. These factors have the power over your metabolism. It always comes back to diet and exercise, doesn’t it?

Your metabolism is uniquely based on your genetics, age, gender, muscle mass, and your environment. Those around you who seem to stay slim and have a faster metabolism probably just found, either through work or good luck, the perfect ratio of lifestyle factors. They have an established balance of caloric intake, exercise, muscle mass and effective sleep. When you skip meals or severely reduce your caloric intake, your body compensates by slowing down your metabolism, saving calories for energy your body needs for basic functions. When you eat too many calories without also increasing your physical activity, those unused stores mean weight gain.

Be more active and burn more calories. Your amount of physical activity determines how slow or fast your metabolism gets around to converting your food. When trying to lose or maintain weight, physical activity is one of the most important factors. A 150-pound person who runs for 60 minutes (with a pace of a 10-minute mile) will burn about 680 calories, or roughly the number of calories in a Whopper from Burger King. But even the most lazy of us is still burning calories, just not a good amount. Our bodies use about 10 percent of the calories from the foods we eat to process that food.

meatbolizmMuscle mass makes us strong and, hooray!, burn calories. Strength training helps build muscle mass and keep your bones strong. One pound of muscle burns about 15 calories a day, and while that’s still not much, it’s more than what one pound of fat will do for you.

If you are still having trouble shedding pounds it may be your sleep patterns are sabotaging you. A study conducted at the University of Chicago found that when we don’t get enough sleep, “sleep debt” changes the way our endocrine system functions. That includes our metabolism . If you’re normally getting about seven or eight hours a night, adding or subtracting about an hour won’t make much of a difference. But if you’re not getting more than four or five hours of sleep a day, add another two or more and kick start your weight loss.

To help boost your ability to lose weight, choose foods that are high in protein (lean meats, fish, soy) and fiber (pick whole grains over refined carbs) and keep your portions under control.

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About leisatwatkins

In May 2011, I hit an all time low in my life and an all time high in my weight. I was 199 pounds and the idea of hitting 200 scared me. I had tried every known diet, HCG, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Atkins, the grapefruit diet. I'd even tried Phen-phen when I was younger and Dexatrim before that. While I'd lose a little weight, I would always gain it back and then more. I knew the yo-yo dieting was not healthy for my body and it was definitely wreaking havoc on my mental wellness. I didn't know what to do and I was looking into taking drastic surgical measures to lose weight. That's when a friend of mine told me his story about losing over 200 pounds without pills, surgery, or starving himself. Not only did he lose the weight, but he kept it off. What did I have to lose? I asked him to share the secret with me. Now, only six short months later, I weigh 140 lbs and am working on losing 5 more. That will put me back to my weight that I was in HS, college, and before I had children. And I've done it with my friend's help as my Health Coach, without starving or even exercising, although I love to walk everyday. I haven't felt hungry at all in this process. How many "diets" can say that? I feel fantastic! I've felt great since the first week on this program. Let me be very clear about this. This is NOT a diet. This is not something you do for a little while, lose the weight, then go back to your old eating habits. This program is a life changing plan to help you eat healthier, make food choices that are tailored to your body, and bring you to a state of optimal physical health. If like me, you are tired of diets that don't work, then let me show you a life style plan that does.

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