By Helen Agresti R.D.
1. Say good morning to your body. Drink at least 8 oz. of water when you wake up. Water purifies the body and makes for a more favorable environment for nutrients to be absorbed. Aim for a minimum of 64 oz. per day.
2. Eat a well-balanced breakfast. Your first meal of the day should include protein, carbohydrate, and fiber. Keep variety and timing a priority. We don’t eat the same thing for dinner every night. Why do we eat the same thing for breakfast everyday? Give your metabolism a boost by eating within an hour and a half of waking up.
3. Make time for lunch. Fueling our engines every 3-4 hrs. with real food is essential to our metabolism. We’d never allow our cars to run on the wrong type of gas or on empty. Avoid convenience foods and map out your healthy meals and snacks.
4. Distribute your calories evenly throughout the day. Waiting until the evening hours to consume the majority of your calorie needs increases insulin levels, promotes fat storage, and results in weight gain. By the end of the day, our metabolism slows down and doesn’t burn calories as efficiently.
5. Add some spice. Cayenne pepper, ginger, and dark mustard are just a few of the many spices that kick the metabolism into high gear. Their thermogenic effect naturally raises the metabolism and can burn up to 50 calories per meal.
6. Increase your lean body mass. We have the ability to increase our lean body mass. Incorporate weight or resistance training into your workout routine 2-3x per week. The more LBM you have the higher your metabolism is at rest.
7. Sleep well. Not getting enough sleep will slow down our metabolism. It can lead to a ravenous cycle of overeating. When we’re tired we don’t want to cook which leads to poor food choices. Try to sleep 7-8 hrs. a night. In turn, this will increase your leptin hormone level which communicates with the brain when you’re appetite is satisfied.
– Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children. For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web at www.pronutritionconsulting.com.