Burn Fat Faster
Some women can eat whatever they want without gaining a gram. This article is not for them. The rest of us only have to look at a cheeseburger to feel our jeans tighten. The difference is that some o...
Some women can eat whatever they want without gaining a gram. This article is not for them. The rest of us only have to look at a cheeseburger to feel our jeans tighten.
The difference is that some of us have high metabolic rates - the speed at which kilojoules consumed are burnt off - and some don't. The thinking used to be that this was just tough luck but increasingly research is discovering ways in which we can make our metabolism work faster.
Though you won't go from having slow-as-a-sloth metabolism to being an instant kilojoule incinerator, there are various ways you can optimize the metabolism you were born with. None of them involves weird diets, bizarre supplements or going hungry. They're just little tricks you can use to help your body burn kilojoules faster.
If you want to lose a few kilos or want to maintain your current weight while being able to eat more, check out the following research-backed tips.
Being dehydrated slows all your body's functions, including metabolism. Keep it on track by drinking eight glasses of water each day. And make them icy: drinking cold water may further up your ability to burn kilojoules as your body needs extra energy to heat it.
Spice It Up
Chillies and mustard seeds - two spices often found in Thai, Mexican, Chinese and Indian food - can help your body burn extra kilojoules, thanks to a compound called capsaicin. One study found that when people consumed one teaspoon of mustard and one teaspoon of chilli sauce with their food, their metabolism surged by an average of 25%. Order spicy Thai chicken or an Indian vindaloo curry, which contain these spices. Another advantage, is that spicy food makes you feel as though you've eaten enough sooner than meals with milder flavors do.
Put the Kettle On
Research suggests that EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), an antioxidant in some teas, can kick-start your metabolism. One study showed that when women consumed a mug of oolong or green tea, their metabolism increased by 10% and four percent, respectively, for two hours. Tea also contains caffeine, which gives the metabolism a slight nudge. A caffeine-rich option is, of course, coffee.
Mix to Max
Interval training - alternating bursts of high-intensity activity, such as doing jumping jacks, with lower-intensity cardio, such as jogging - revs your metabolism more than cardio alone does. During a 30-minute workout, push yourself as hard as you can, four times, for three minutes, then slow to a more comfortable pace. If you're over 30, your metabolism is slower than it was in your 20s, so do an extra three minutes of high-intensity activity during each workout.
Another muscle-mass booster - and therefore kilojoule burner - is resistance training: working with free weights or weight machines. After 10 weeks of basic strength training two or three times a week, your resting metabolic rate could go up by six percent, so you'd burn an extra 300 to 400 kilojoules per day. To build muscle, do at least one set (12 to 15 repetitions) of exercises per 30-minute workout that will target your thighs, back, abs, shoulders, arms or calves. Try to work up to two to three different sets per session to target more muscle groups.
Why He can have Bigger Helpings
Most women need between 5 000 and 6 700 kilojoules a day just to sustain vital body functions, whereas most men need 5 900 to 10 000 kilojoules to sustain theirs.
Where do the Kilojoules Go?
Between 60% and 70% of the kilojoules needed go towards sustaining your heartbeat, breathing and major organs such as the brain and kidneys. The other 30% to 40% of the kilojoules help maintain body tissues and muscle mass.
A Man's World
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sandra Prior runs her own bodybuilding website at http://bodybuild.rr.nu