Rev Up Your Metabolism!
By Gary Picariello
When I was in my late teens, there wasn't an ounce of fat on me. I could eat two or three Wendy's triple-burgers and still find myself hungry a few hours later. Ahh, those were the days (I think)! What I had naturally as a youth was a high metabolism (metabolic rate) which is quite simply the number of calories we burn. A high metabolism also provides you with a high energy level. High energy and calories to burn. Unfortunately, as we get older our metabolism slows down. The extra pounds creep up, our health takes a downturn and the next thing you know you're ready for a plot at Forest Lawn.
In Search of ... More Energy
Studies show that one of the most efficient ways to increase our metabolism is also one of the easiest: Keep moving! Motion burns calories. Lack of motion does not. An active lifestyle that includes daily exercise (running, walking, biking, working out at the gym or a combination of all four) keeps your heart pumping.
Now take this concept one step further by including HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) in your exercise regimen. HIIT can be as extreme as interval wind sprints or just increasing your reps at the gym while lowering your rest period between sets. Bottom line: HIIT increases your metabolic rate, burns more calories and in one of the real miracles of science keeps burning calories even after you finished working out.
Green Tea and Coffee
The jury seems to be mixed concerning coffee and green tea consumption and the relation of same to metabolism. Research seems to support the idea that the caffeine content in coffee can boost your metabolism by as much as 11 percent. Green tea, on the other hand, can boost metabolism by about 4 percent. Anything that aides in a natural increase in metabolism is a good thing but the keyword here is moderation.
Catch Some Zzzs
A quick review: keep moving and/or exercising, augment that with HIIT, drink a cup or two of coffee or green tea, and top it all of with a good night's sleep. Studies have shown that you actually burn calories while you sleep -- but that's not why you should hit the sack. Quality sleep recharges the body to give you the energy to do all the other things you need to do in life, many of which will increase your metabolism.