How to Raise Your Metabolism (and keep the weight off for life)

How to Raise Your Metabolism (and keep the weight off for life)

Making the resolution to raise your metabolism is a great idea.  This lifestyle change can help keep weight off for the rest of your life.

As a fitness professional, I find that the greatest mistake people make is to crash diet or lose weight without exercising. This can be disastrous to one’s metabolism.

Taking extreme measures to lose weight leads to self-deprivation and ultimate failure.  Self starvation puts the body into survival mode.  This leads to a lowered metabolism.  The body will react by storing fat and burning off muscle and bone.  This is the reason why careless dieting can lead to obesity.  Once the metabolism is lowered from starvation, it becomes more and more difficult to burn fat.  In my experience, I have found that people with a history of yo-yo dieting burn less calories while at rest than the average person.  In order to lose weight, they need to eat less and less.  Now their body doesn’t have the nutrition it needs to go about life in a healthy way and this can lead to lowered bone mass, fatigue and many other health problems.   So what can we do to raise our metabolism?  Why is it that some people seem to eat a lot but still maintain a low percentage of body fat?

Exercise:        This is the best way to raise the metabolism.  A body that doesn’t move  will store it‘s fuel as fat.  Studies have shown  that people who engage in thirty  minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week while still continuing to eat the same amount of food through out the day lose an average of fifteen pounds in a year.

Resistance training adds lean muscle and tones the body.  It also adds mass that uses up fuel.  The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.  This makes strength training just as important as aerobics when it comes to burning fat and raising that metabolism.

Exercise stimulates the body to move.  It engages every area of the body to work and this helps circulate blood and cleanse the organs.  The food you eat gets used and the nutrients you consume get absorbed.  A body that doesn’t move is like a pond of murky water.  It stays stagnant and eventually becomes toxic .  Fat deposits start to form in the arteries and on the flesh.  Digestion becomes less efficient  and nutrients are not as easily absorbed.  The lymphatic glands that produce cells that fight disease do not get pumped and the immune system is compromised.  Exercise is essential for metabolic health and this spills over into every other aspect of health.

Eat more often:    Let me tell you a story about myself.  I was always a chubby child and I just accepted it as being a part of my general make up until I was about fourteen years old.  One summer I decided to lose weight and become a thin teenager.  I tried what most teenagers tried.  I exercised until I exhausted myself.  I starved myself, although I didn’t think I was hungry.  I decided to become an athlete and joined the high school cross country team.  I lost a ton of weight.  I also stopped menstruating for a season and suffered from excruciating shin splints.  But I lost the weight and I was beautiful.

Less than three months went by and I gained back the weight it took me six months to take off.  I went through this cycle for years.  I had a low metabolism due to too much dieting.  One day, a personal trainer advised me to eat small meals and snacks two to three hours a day.  I took this advice and continued to exercise.  I had gained a lot of weight and resolved to take it off.  This time, I took a different approach.  Because I chose healthy snacks, I lost the same amount of weight without having to starve myself.  Furthermore, I didn’t gain the weight back when my schedule got tight and I couldn’t exercise as much.  My weight stayed steady for years.  Later on I got pregnant and dealt with morning sickness.  I realized that if I don’t eat every two hours, I would get nauseous and won’t want to eat.  I realized then that I had been hungry in the past.  I suffered from migraine headaches and fatigue but I didn’t know it was due to low blood sugar.  I ate small meals throughout my pregnancy and continued to do so afterward.  I didn’t gain any weight until I weaned my son.  Due to the changes in my body and lifestyle I gained ten pounds.  After that, I went back to the gym and lost the ten pounds I had gained with exercise and eating healthy and often but without starving myself.  I have kept the weight off ever since.  Looking back at these past  years of my life as compared to the previous years  makes me realize  how rewarding eating often can be.  My weight has been steadier and I’ve enjoyed food more.

Another example is one of my friend who gained weight by starving herself to the point of killing her metabolism.  You see this a lot, terribly overweight people who eat hardly anything.  The only way she was able to burn the fat was by eating more often and revving her metabolism back up.  She lost twenty pounds by eating five times a day through the Jenny Craig program.

Eating often allows the body to burn what it intakes right away.  Eating a large meal after starving yourself for six hours does two things.  Starving yourself tells the body that there isn’t enough food available and that it must slow down its rate of burning fuel.  Your body is in hibernation more and fat is stored.  Once you eat again, the body will really want to store that food rather than burn it.  Eating a big meal does not guarantee that all of that food will be burned so some of the meal will be stored as fat.  Fat is harder to burn once it has been stored.  So it is better to eat a small meal, burn it, then eat another small meal and burn it.  This keeps the metabolism working smoothly and rapidly.

Eat More Fiber: Keep in mind that the body is burning calories as it digests food.  This is why some foods are considered to have negative calories.  For example, the body burns more calories simply in the act of digesting celery than the amount of calories in celery itself.  For this reason, eat as many fiber rich vegetables as possible.  You’ll burn calories digesting the calorie less fibers and gain many important nutrients.

Eat Meals As Soon After You Work Out As Possible:
Countless studies have shown that the sooner you eat after you exercise, the faster those calories get burned. Also, the longer you wait till after you exercise, the less likely the food you eat will go to recovery and this can lead to slower fitness results and more fatigued muscles. Exercise will bring down blood sugar and make you hungry so do not wait until you are starving to eat. As I mentioned before, this will lead to over eating and loss of metabolism.

Please understand that you can’t lose weight if you eat more calories than what is necessary. I am just suggesting that you don’t let your body starve because that leads to overeating. Planning your meals can help ease the hunger that comes from trying to lose weight. Don’t force yourself to eat if you aren’t hungry but don’t wait till you are starving and you have no choice to stop by the nearest fast food joint because you don’t plan when and what you eat. Also keep in mind that this posts advises people to eat five times a day NOT five “meals” a day. Most healthy people are advised to eat three meals and two snacks a day. If these techniques do not work, see a doctor or registered dietitian to see if there are underlying issues with your metabolism.

I hope you can use this information as a tool to help you in your lifestyle choices.  If you change your lifestyle and habits to healthy ones, you can end the cycle of yo yo dieting and stay healthy for life.

By: Rhea Morales

15 thoughts on “How to Raise Your Metabolism (and keep the weight off for life)

    1. It depends how you are eitang and if you are doing any other types of exercise/weight training. The key with any workout program is to be patient .it will not happen overnight. Good Luck!

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      1. Limit TV. Watching too much TV encourages you to eat more than you rlzieae. Avoid the excess calories and mindless eating by cutting down on the amount of time you spend in front of the TV. i just know you can Find other activities to enjoy that occupy your hands as well as your time.

      1. malnutrition is the same cause to being underweight as to being ovrgweieht. To eat healthy means you eat tons of raw fruits and veggies. To eat fast food is like eating cardboard.The healthier you eat, the longer you will live. The longer you live, the happier you become because only with wisdom of life, can you understand why you should love who you are.ou eat junk food because you are uneducated because you are yet too young to know how to feed your body properlyThe only oil you should be allowed to eat are oils from fruits onlyOlive oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut oils and so oneat rancid food and your liver will suffereat free radicals and your kidney will have to be removedeat ice cream and cookies and your left lung will be affectedyou are what you eatbeware

  2. Hello Rhea!

    Happy New Year! Thank you so much for this magnificent gift of information on how to raise metabolism. It will help me a lot with my weight loss. I tend to eat only three times a day but I will eat more often and less food each time! You also shared your personal experience and that makes it more real and believable!
    Thank you againa and have a lovely year! hope to see you soon!


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