How fast you can lose weight depends on several factors, including your metabolic rate. You’ve probably seen people who eat all day long without getting fat. Some are very skinny despite eating huge amounts of food. There are also people who barely eat anything all day long, but still gain weight. The ones in the first category have a fast metabolism. Those from the second group have a slow metabolism. This complex process affects the way your body uses, stores, and burns energy.
As you age, your metabolism slows down. This process is also influenced by lifestyle factors such as your diet, smoking habits, and overall fitness. Active people have a higher metabolic rate than those with a sedentary lifestyle.
Most dieters complain about having a slow metabolism. This is particularly true for those who skip meals and follow strict diets. The explanation is quite simple. When you’re starving yourself or skipping meals, your body enters into starvation mode. As a result, your metabolism decreases. This means that you’ll burn fewer calories throughout the day. The good news is that there are several ways to boost your metabolic rate.
Eat more protein. This essential nutrient speeds up your metabolism, strengthens your bones, and helps build lean muscle. A protein-rich meal will keep you full longer than one rich in carbs. Start by eating nuts and lean meat instead of grains for breakfast, have a protein shake once a day, and replace dips and sauces with yogurt. Include more fish in your diet.
Besides eating more protein, the best way to increase your metabolism is to exercise. Strength training causes your body to burn more calories throughout the day. Your metabolic rate will be higher for up to 36 hours after working out. Instead of doing cardio for hours, you should start lifting weights. Stick to a regular workout routine. Aim for at least three exercise sessions per week.
Another easy way to burn more calories is to eat smaller, more frequent meals. This helps prevent energy crushes and hunger pangs. Have three main meals and two snacks. Don’t stay for more than three or four hours without food. Remember – when you don’t eat, your body enters into starvation mode.
Regardless of how busy you are, grab a quick snack between meals. This could be a protein bar, some low fat cottage cheese, yogurt, canned tuna, or nuts. Protein shakes are a great alternative to regular snacks, so you should include them in your diet.