Just a note: Before making drastic diet changes or exercise routines, be sure that you consult with a doctor.
One thing that many are worried about is their metabolism. Certain disorders, lifestyles, and even age can vary one's metabolic rate. Below are a few things you can do to help keep your metabolism high (or higher than before) to assist with weight management and overall health.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant and readily available in the form of teas and coffees. To jump start your metabolism for a few hours and become more productive, sip a cup of coffee or tea. Studies show that caffeine has a positive effect on the body by increasing energy expenditure (burning calories) and in turn, burning fat. Although the effects are not immediate, daily consumption of green tea (which is full of antioxidants that help prevent cancer and other disease) can burn enough calories to lose a few pounds a year.
Something to try out this summer would be fruit infused water or tea. Many people do not consume enough water, especially during the hot summer. One way to effectively get into the habit of consuming more water is to add flavor it. Instead of adding high sugar (table sugar, sucrose, or artificial, sucralose) add natural flavoring by fruits. Not only to you get extra vitamins and minerals from the fruit (especially if you consume it), you are also consuming polyphenols. Polyphenols are a compound commonly found in fruits and other foods that act as antioxidants. In a study in 2004 done in mice, those that had a high fat diet supplemented with lemon polyphenols actually had improved insulin resistance, lost body fat (compared to others on a high fat diet) leading to a lower incidence of obesity and diabetes.
So enjoy that berry or citrus infused water.
If you want to check out other foods with polyphenols: Click here
Diet and Exercise
Yeah, we have all heard it. In order to lose weight, you have to exercise. Increasing muscle mass through resistance and weight training is going cause an increase in your resting metabolic rate, meaning you will burn more calories while at rest. However, exercising in general can lead to an increase in your metabolic rate. Although, you must take into consideration that regardless how much you want to lose weight, do not focus on limiting yourself food-wise and lowering your caloric intake too low. This will have the opposite effect, which many know as regaining the weight they lost or ‘bouncing back’. Your body responds to the lack of food intake as starvation and proceeds to store more and lower your resting metabolic rate. Everything should be done in moderation. Limit sugars and saturated fats, but not all fats. Healthy fats (omegas and unsaturated) are necessary for normal bodily function, as well as proteins and complex carbohydrates (those not listed as ‘sugars’ on labels). Try to limit intake of refined sugars such as those in cakes, cookies, etc they lack essential nutrients, have high calories, and cause blood sugar spikes. Just a note: Typically it can be calculated that 1 lb equals 2,000 calories, so even small adjustments to daily diet such as eating a little less or instead of sugary foods eating vegetables (lower calories) you can more easily lose weight or stop gaining. This applies to exercise as well. The more calories you burn, in addition to lower intake, the more effectively you can maintain your weight. Focus on natural sugars in fruits and high fiber foods such as vegetables. I'll still allow you that few bites of chocolate, especially dark with all those polyphenols!
I hope you enjoyed your bit of information for today. If you have anything to add, feel free to comment.
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Yoshiko F, Masanori H, Miki O, Sanae H, Yuka N, Toshihiko O, and Michitaka N. Lemon Polyphenols Suppress Diet-induced Obesity by Up-Regulation of mRNA Levels of the Enzymes Involved in β-Oxidation in Mouse White Adipose Tissue. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition. 2008. 43(3): 201-209