You want to be healthy (so do we), but trying to cut calories isn’t always the way to go about it, especially if you find yourself starving in the afternoon, which leads you to binge on whatever sugary snack is closest. The truth is, if your metabolism is lagging, no matter how many times you try to convince yourself the plain celery tastes like chips, your health won’t improve at all. The good news: there are ways to help jumpstart your metabolism and help shed some pounds in the process.
Wake up with water. Studies have shown that drinking 16 oz of chilled water as soon as you wake up can help raise your metabolism by as much as 24 per cent and the list of benefits for adding some lemon to that just makes your first morning beverage even better.
Kick off with cardio. Whether it’s biking into the office or taking in a quick 30 minute session on a stationary bike, getting in some early morning cardio (or whatever time of the day you can get it in) will rev up your fat burning system for up to 12 hours. Can’t get motivated on your own? Try one of these cool classes instead.
Caffeinate yourself. Yup, we said it. After you finish your lemon water (seriously, start with that), grab a cup of coffee in the morning to help speed up your heart rate (and duh, keep you awake). You’ll score a metabolic boost about three hours later.
Lift weights. Strength training for as little as 20 minutes, three times a week can set your metabolism into hyper-mode because muscle uses more energy than fat. You don’t need to go too heavy, but challenge yourself to increase the weight you’re lifting and the amount of reps each week.
Get spicy. While cooking up your dinner, toss in a couple hot peppers for some added flavour and to help amp up your metabolism. Many of the most common ones are known to help give you a boost right where you need it.
Eat a lot. Eating actually requires a lot of energy and the more often you do it, the more revved up your metabolism stays. Try splitting your meals up into five or six smaller meals (as opposed to three larger ones) to keep your system buzzing all day long.
Nosh on protein. Because it’s harder to digest, protein uses more energy than fat or carbs when you eat it. Try and get at least some form of protein into every meal you eat throughout the day for optimal burning effects. Plus, the protein will help you recover from the cardio and weight workouts you did.
But don’t forget the veggies. To help keep your digestive system running smoothly (and therefore preventing the pounds from sticking), make sure you’re getting in those leafy greens. Salads can often feel boring and too healthy to enjoy, but we have a few recommendations that’ll keep your taste buds buzzing.