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Ways to keep your metabolism revved up at work

Updated on March 1, 2007

Metabolism. Simply put, it's the process by which the body makes and uses energy (calories) for everything from the cellular absorption of nutrients to running a marathon. Sounds like pretty boring science on paper. Except that knowing how to efficiently metabolize calories could translate into a healthier body. Metabolism slows as we age, by as much as two percent a year, it also slows from inactivity, stress, and not eating right. Whether you're trying to lose extra pounds or preparing for the inevitable metabolic slowing that comes with age, we could all use a little more focus on keeping our metabolism up, and probably the hardest place to do it is when we are stuck behind out desk at work, so here are a few surefire ways to keep your metabolism revved up at work to keep your energy pulsating and your body in shape.


Get moving. Most of us don't like to hear it, but to boost your metabolism, you have to get moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you need to talk to someone about an issue walk over to their office rather than call, at lunch time try to get outside, even just a short 10 minute walk can rev up your metabolism for hours. Try stretching every two hours during the day, just take 5 minutes, stand, and complete a few stretches. Sitting for 8 hours is one of the worse things we can do for our metabolism.

Eat. It may sound crazy to those trying to lose weight by severely restricting their daily caloric intake, but the problem with this school of thought, is that it actually slows metabolism. When our bodies don't get enough fuel they slow down and try to conserve the fuel they have, thus slowing metabolism. Try eating several small meals rather than just a few large ones, recent studies suggest eating every three to four hours (this will also prevent for from getting very hungry and overeating).

Drink water. Staying well hydrated is essential to flushing the body of toxic byproducts that are released when fat is burned. Cold water may also give your metabolism at least a small boost because energy is required to heat the body.

Avoid sugar. When you eat sugar your body begin storing the food as fat, however when you eat food low in sugar (such as lean meats, fruits, and vegetables) your body is forced to break these foods down to help maintain an even blood-sugar level, and in turn keeping your metabolism higher.

Eat breakfast. It's a fact that people who eat a healthy breakfast are skinnier than people who don't. And try to think outside the box. A breakfast bowl of vegetables and brown rice is a great way to kick-start your metabolism for the day.

Include hot foods. If Mexican and Thai are favorites, you're in luck; spicy food that has hot peppers in it appears to boost metabolism.

Drink green tea. There are unhealthy things that can boost your metabolism, like a really strong cup of coffee, or nicotine, but I would never say go have a cigarette! Nor overdo it on caffeine, which also has undesirable side effects. Instead, go for green tea which is known to stimulate metabolism longer and more effectively than coffee.

Avoid stress. Although much easier said than done, it is one of the key factors to keeping your metabolism high. Stress can actually cause weight gain, particularly around the stomach because physical and emotional stress activates the release of cortisol, a chemical in the body that slows metabolism.


Exercise. Muscle is the single most important predictor or how well you metabolize your food, how well you burn calories and burn body fat," insists Shari Lieberman, author of Dare to Lose. Strength training with dumbbells or resistance bands at least twice a week is essential to boosting your metabolism. And here's the really good news: Your metabolism stays pumped for many hours after you finish your workout.

Sleep. Research shows that people who don't sleep for seven to eight hours a night are more prone to weight gain. Additionally, we now know that lean muscle is regenerated in the final couple of hours of sleep each night. Which takes you right back to the importance of exercise!


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