With the holiday season kicking into high gear with parties, yummy food, tempting treats and libations it’s hard to keep those extra pounds at bay. To offset the extra calories and lack of time in the gym, check out our tips on ways to boost your metabolism throughout the day.
- Add a little resistance training and weight lifting to your day. In a study at Southern Illinois University, exercisers who did a 15-minute resistance routine burned 100 extra calories a day for three days afterward. Aim for 1 to 3 sets of five resistance exercises, like squats, push-ups, or lunges, just three days a week.
- Drink plenty of water. It will keep your metabolism revved up even when you’re inactive. In a University of Utah study, participants who drank 8 to 12 glasses of water a day burned more calories at rest than those who drank four.
- Eating may seem counter-intuitive if you are trying to keep the weight off, but starting your day with a healthy breakfast will kick start your metabolism. Try to snack every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day on low-calorie, high protein items like nuts, cheese or Greek yogurt. When planning meals or snacks, make sure to include lean, healthy protein. Not only will it fuel your body throughout the day, your body burns more calories trying to digest protein than other foods.
- Minimize your stress level. If you are feeling particularly stressed, consider taking a yoga class or getting a massage. When your body feels stress, it produces a hormone called cortisol. Too much cortisol can cause your metabolism to slow down and inhibit fat burning.
- If you can tolerate it, kick up the spiciness factor in your food by adding red chili peppers, cayenne or hot sauce. These foods have a high thermogenic effect, which causes your body to begin burning calories as you chew. Other metabolism boosters include fiber rich foods like oatmeal and brown rice and drinking four cups of green tea a day helped people shed more than six pounds in eight weeks, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
These tips will keep your metabolism humming during the holiday season and throughout the coming year. Remember, the holidays are a time to relax and enjoy family and friends. Even if you do gain an extra pound or two, there will be plenty of time to hit the gym in 2014.
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