July 13, 2009
Anyone who has watched television after 10pm has seen ads for fat-burning potions that promise to melt off unwanted pounds while you watch TV, read a book or sleep. However, while you know that there is no magic potion to help you lose weight in the La-Z-Boy, there are steps that you can take to help your body burn more calories every day and lose weight faster-yes, even as you sleep.
The secret to better calorie burning is in raising your resting energy expenditure-your metabolism- the amount of calories you burn every moment as you live and breathe. Sometimes in our 30’s, our metabolism starts slowing down at a rate of 5% every decade- a seemingly small decline, but one that can add up to more than 10 extra pounds’ worth of calories a year if you’re not careful.
Why the metabolism meltdown? Muscle loss. Muscle tissue burns about five times as many calories each day-even when you’re not exercising-than fat tissue does. Unless you take action, by the time you’re 65 it’s possible that you will replace half of your lean body mass with twice as much body fat.
MAKE SOME MUSCLE
“Resistance training probably is the best long term method for increasing resting energy expenditure,” says metabolism researcher Gary R. Hunter. If you work every major muscle group twice a week, you can replace 5 to 10 years’ worth of muscle loss in just a few months. That new lean muscle tissue will boost your resting metabolism. Plus you’ll also burn about 200 calories by performing your strength training routine and your metabolism will stay revved up for about 48 hours afterward.
EAT TO LOSE
Exercise always works better if you eat right. You can complement your calorie-burning efforts with these strategies…
Eat breakfast. According to a study by researches at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, skipping breakfast can cause your resting metabolic rate to 5%. Eat a morning meal-oatmeal, yogurt and fruit provide a good protein-carbohydrate blend-and your metabolism will return to normal.
Get protein with every meal. Protein not only makes you feel full faster than carbohydrates, but also takes more energy for your body to digest, so it gives you a slight metabolic boost. Some good sources are fish, lean meats, poultry and legumes.
Eat frequent meals. Whenever you deprive your body of food for too long, it goes into survival mode, slowing your metabolism and hording calories. Eat regular, healthy meals-along with one or two healthy snacks in between.
Drink plenty of water-and make it cold. In a study from Germany, researchers reported that drinking water boosts your body’s calorie burning rate by 30%. Ten minutes after 14 men and woman drank just over a pint of water, their metabolism sped up, and within 40 minutes, it reached a peak burning stage that lasted more than one hour. Since the metabolism spike is partly due to the body’s efforts to warm the water you drink, cold water works best.
Drink green tea. Researchers from Switzerland found that 6 out of 10 men who took a green tea supplement-the equivalent of one cup of green tea-three times a day with their meals burned about 80 more calories during the following 24 hours than those who took a caffeine pill or a dummy pill. They believe the tea’s flavonoids enhance deigestive efficacy.
Dr. Saman Bakhtiar is a Chino Hills Personal Trainer and Boot Camp Instructor.
Dr. Saman Bakhtiar has dedicated his life in studying the art of human body transformation.
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