How to stoke your metabolism

Burn, baby, burn! Your metabolism is your body’s fat-burning engine. It helps you build lean muscle mass, burn fat, and stay energized. While your metabolism is partially impacted by gender and genetics, there is also a lot you can do to get your metabolic fire blazing. Use the strategies below to burn more calories, boost energy, and look and perform better.

Focus on Food

Your diet is one of the most effective ways that you can get your metabolism going. Start your day off with a healthy breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. When you wake up, your body is running in low gear so you’re burning fewer calories. Eating a healthy breakfast cranks your metabolism into high gear so you can start your day off right.

Choose a blend of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat. While all of these macro-nutrients are important, it’s protein that really gets your metabolism up and running. When choosing protein, aim for foods with fewer legs like fish, turkey, or chicken. You can also get protein from lean cuts of red meats – be picky – and low-fat or nonfat dairy.

Research has shown that people who eat protein with their breakfast tend to maintain a leaner body composition. Great choices: whole-wheat toast with eggs scrambled with veggies or a smoothie blended with frozen fruit, Greek yogurt or protein powder, and flaxseed.

Once you’ve enjoyed breakfast, keep the momentum going by eating every two to three hours. Why? Every time you eat your body has to rev up your metabolism to break down food. This is known as the “thermic effect.” Aim for five to six small meals throughout the day with the same combo of carbs, protein, healthy fat, and color from veggies and fruit.

Wash your meals down with plenty of water, and strive to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you want something with a little flavor, opt for green tea (the tea bag kind, not the bottled version). It’s loaded with catechins that help stimulate your body to burn calories. Research has shown that just four cups a day can help optimize body composition.

Optimize Your Workouts

The way you work out has a big impact on how well your metabolism works. Interval training is an extremely effective way to get a solid workout and burn more calories both during and after exercise. With interval training, you’ll work hard for short periods of time and then allow your body to fully recover. This keeps your metabolism working even after you finish your workout. Try this with both cardio and strength and flexibility workouts. It’ll help boost your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular fitness allowing you to push yourself harder with each workout. Get after it and feel the results!