CAT | Solutions
There is no magic bullet for losing weight and keeping it off—but there are things you can do each day to make sure you get the most out of your weight loss efforts. Here are the 7 Metabolic Boosters that will help you maximize weight loss and achieve healthy weight management by supporting your metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories to run all of your bodily functions).
- Frequent eating (5–6 times daily): Studies have shown that your metabolism increases by as much as 30 percent during eating and digestion. By eating smaller portions every two to three hours or so, your metabolism is continually fired up to help you burn even more calories. (Fasting, on the other hand, lowers your metabolism.)
- Muscle boosting:Muscle cells are about 8X more metabolically demanding than fat cells, so the greater your ratio of lean body mass to fat, the faster your metabolism runs and the more calories you burn. A good strength training program can help increase your metabolic rate by as much as 15 percent to help with weight loss and long-term weight management.
- Aerobic exercise: Aerobic activity heightens your metabolism during and even after your workout (especially if the exercise is high-intensity) to help you burn more calories. It also helps maintain lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism to help you continually burn calories. Combine aerobic activity with strength training for maximum benefit.
- Drinking plenty of water: Researchers in Germany found that drinking 16 ounces of water can increase your resting metabolic rate by as much as 30 percent. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in ounces every day, and try to drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before eating to help prevent overeating.
- Getting eight hours of sleep every night: The connection between sleep and weight loss has to do with two important hormones: leptin (which tells the body you are full and to stop eating) and ghrelin (which signals hunger). When you are sleep deprived, leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase, causing you to eat more. Getting at least eight hours of sleep each night is critical to maintaining a healthy metabolism.
- Using the sauna: Did you know you can actually burn extra calories by simply relaxing in the heat? Your body uses 0.568 calorie to evaporate 1 gram of sweat, so the more you sweat, the more calories you will burn! Note: it is important to gradually increase your time in a sauna and drink enough water to keep up with the sweating.
Detoxification: Research has shown that toxins slow down the body’s metabolic rate, decrease satiety (resulting in increased caloric intake), and limit your ability to burn fat. Regular cleansing and detox can help eliminate toxins and assist with healthy weight management.
You know all about the health benefits of fiber—but are you getting enough of this important nutrient on your plate each day? Probably not, according to a recent study from the University of Minnesota that reveals most U.S. adults and children are still not getting enough fiber in their daily diets. In fact, while you should be getting at least 35 grams of fiber daily for optimal health, the average American consumes only about 15 grams each day, say researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Here are 3 good reasons to gobble up more high-fiber foods:
- Your Heart. Consuming more high-fiber foods is important for a healthy heart. Studies have shown that an increase in dietary fiber promotes healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels—both of which support overall heart health. In addition, fiber supports healthy blood pressure by slowing down the conversion of carbohydrates during the digestive process to ensure insulin levels rise gradually and blood pressure stays within the normal range.
- Your Tummy. Studies show a healthy balance of soluble and insoluble fiber in the diet supports healthy digestive function and elimination. The combination provides needed bulk to the diet, helping to capture toxins and waste in the intestines and “sweep” them from body via healthy bowel movements. Fiber also helps tone the bowel muscles by creating resistance and promoting peristalsis (the wave-like contractions that move food through your intestines).
- Your Waistline. Did you know fiber plays an important role in helping you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight? Fiber-rich foods promote healthy blood sugar and help you feel full longer after eating, plus fiber stimulates a powerful anti-hunger hormone in the body called cholecystokinin (CCK) to help prevent overeating. Foods high in fiber also help to “flush” unused calories from the body blocking their absorption and eliminating them via the stool. According to experts, it’s possible to flush away up to 7 calories for every gram of fiber you eat!
Consuming more non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits is the best way to increase your daily fiber intake, but if you’re still having a hard time reaching 35 grams a day, add a high-quality fiber supplement with a balanced ratio of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Flaxseed, oat fiber and acacia fiber are great options.