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21 Natural Winning Strategies to Boost Your Metabolism & Lose Weight

Metabolism is a process by which your body obtains energy from nutrients and the food that you eat.  Up to 75% of the calories you burn daily sustain basic functions like breathing, heart rate, waste removal, cell growth and repair.  Physical activity accounts for another 15 to 25% of calories used, while digestion and absorption of food uses only about 10%.  Metabolism has a tendency to slow with age, but many lifestyle factors under your control can keep it well tuned, helping you to manage your weight and sustain your energy levels"Common sense is to change your body from a fat storing to a fat burning mode."

Do interval training   Get your heart rate up!  Cardiovascular exercise is critical for weight loss. Studies show that alternating short bursts of intense physical activity with longer periods of light exercise can increase your metabolism.  Try exercising at 80 to 90% of your maximum heart rate for one minute and then slowing to 50% of maximum heart rate for three minutes alternating for over 30 minutes.  Try to do this every day! Follow with stretching exercises, water aerobics or dancing if time permits.

Lift weights Every pound of muscle in your body burns about 35 to 50 calories a day, while a pound of fat burns just 2 calories. Muscle mass tends to decline with age, unless you do strength training to preserve it.  Strength training helps increase the number of mitochondria in your body and keeps your metabolism revved up.  Try to build up to 30 minutes of strength training every other day!


Eat small, frequent meals   In one study of obese women, eating 6 small, regular, frequent meals lead to a faster metabolism compared to following an irregular eating pattern.  Eating at a regular interval encourages a steady caloric burn.  Do not forget that if you go more than three or four hours without eating, your metabolism will slow down to conserve energy. Never ever skip breakfast! Try to eat at least 30% of your calories at your morning meal.  Studies have shown that when people have a low glycemic breakfast, they're not as likely to binge on the wrong foods later in the day. Do not skip meals!

Include protein at every meal  A study of normal weight women, found that consuming 30% of their daily calories in lean protein which included, beans, soy foods, nonfat dairy products, fish, skinless poultry and lean meats increased their metabolism even while they slept.  Plus women said they felt fuller and more satisfied, craved less salt, carbs and sugary foods.  Protein is harder for the body to break down and digest than foods containing fat or carbohydrates, so you burn more calories when digesting protein.  But remember, red meat and dairy can slow the body's metabolism down, if at all possible try to get a better percentage of your protein from plant based concentrations which are high in the essential amino acids. In the event you have kidney problems please consult your physician before increasing your protein intake.


Choose low glycemic carbs
  
Managing your blood sugar will help reduce cravings and binge eating, it will keep your blood levels low and steady, while maintaining hormonal balances. By keeping your insulin levels lower it will allow your body to use your fat stores as fuel for your energy needs rather than weight gain of fat or cellulite.  People consuming a low glycemic carb diet maintain higher metabolic rates, burning at least 80 more calories a day.

Spice up your meals  
A 2006 Nutritional Medical Review concluded that certain spices increase the body’s natural fat burners and speed up metabolism. Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers, black pepper, cayenne pepper, flucoxanthin, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and ginger their fire has been shown in several studies to boost heat generation in the body, which means people will burn more calories after a meal. “The additional plus behind this is that hot sauce or spices contribute to eating fewer calories!” 

Avoid flour-based foods at dinner   
Flour puts glucose in the blood stream, so eat flour-based foods like breads or pastas only when you know that you will be more active and have the opportunity to burn it off, such as after breakfast or lunch. At night, even a couple of slices of bread can counteract the weight loss that you desire. The abundance of quick digesting carbohydrates in the typical American diet is a sure fire recipe for weight gain.

Do not mix fats and simple carbs  
Fats consumed with insulin raising foods are more likely to be stored as fat. An example may be when eating avocados or olive oil for instance, choose whole grain breads or brown rice over refined carbs. When eating animal protein avoid flour-based foods and choose whole grains, vegetables, legumes or beans instead.

Think FRESH
   "Do not consume anything that your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." Avoid food products that contain 5 ingredients or more, unfamiliar, unpronounceable or that include high fructose corn syrup. Avoid  foods bearing a health claim, as healthy foods do NOT have labels.  DO NOT get your body's fuel from the same place your car does, avoid the processed non-perishable snack foods, candy, sweetened vitamin waters or sodas while filling up your car. Load up on an abundance of veggies and fruit found in the produce aisle or at your local farmers market. EAT veggies and whole grains such as barley, Quinoa, brown rice or dahl that contain the essential amino acids found in animal proteins.  Having said that, please do not force yourself to eat things you do not like. "Find healthy replacements!" Take cooking classes with friends. Research, be proactive! If you do not know what those healthy replacements are, seek help, this is the age of information and by increasing your awareness you can obtain the goals that you desire. "It starts with your awareness and that can start now!" At meals, put less food on your plate.  Chew slowly! "Stop eating as soon as you are no longer hungry; do not wait until you feel full!"

Drink green tea   Japanese research suggests antioxidant compounds found in green tea called Catechins aid in weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decrease body fat.  I suggest drinking a few cups of very good quality organic green tea every day with or between meals. A 2005 Nutritional Clinical Survey discovered that individuals who drank a bottle of oolong tea with green tea extract containing 690 mg of catechins extract, which is equivalent to approximately 6 cups of green tea every day for three months lost more weight, had a greater reduction in waist size and body fat than those who drank plain oolong tea that did not contain catechins.

Prepare   Lasting weight loss is not just about the body, you've got to get your mind on board. "Take an honest look at your life!" Start with the intention, journal about your deepest wishes and hopes for where you will be in three months, six months and a year.  Do not think only in terms of scales or sizes, actually see and visualize yourself experiencing what you truly want to experience, allow it to manifest! Very important, determine where your energy goes......  Before shifting your habits, draw a pie chart that shows how you spent your time in the last six months.  How much of your pie goes to work, your family, your friends, your lover, your kids, yourself, and your inspirations?  How can you allocate your energy to make room for the changes that you need to accomplish the goals you desire. "Think positive and start small!"  Base your changes on self-love, not deprivation. "Keep in mind that for many people, plans and details ground us in success!" An example would be, "I am going to get in shape," think about how, when, where and with whom you will exercise.

Reconnect "We cannot know if we are full if we are not connected to our bodies!" Breathing exercises and meditations can help keep you grounded and assist you in changing your habits. You can increase your energy and connect to your body by learning to breathe more fully, take 10 minutes a day to practice a breathing exercise than lessens the overload placed on your heart and digestive system. You can download various breathing meditation exercises by clicking onto my meditation window.  When we disconnect from our bodies during meals, either because we are multitasking or using food to numb our feelings, we tend to overeat or choose foods that provide quick rushes instead of long lasting nourishment."So remember, conscious or mindful eating will make a difference!"

Experiment with mindful eating   When eating, turn off the television, light candles and put on music that makes you feel good. Drink a glass of water or a cup of tea before you start to eat. Before digging into your next favorite meal, turn your attention to your plate. Notice how the food looks and how your body responds.  Then take a bite, noticing the smell, texture, taste and colors of the food.  Pay attention as to how it changes in your mouth when you chew it.  Chew slowly until your food is liquefied before swallowing, this allows the enzymes to assist your stomach in processing digestion. Take your time! "The idea is not to eat every bite this way, but to remind you of the difference between a big gulp and a conscious bite."  For the next three weeks, do this exercise once a day and see whether it changes your eating patterns.  Listen to the signals that your body is trying to send you and pay attention when you are no longer full, not when you are stuffed, as it takes your brain 20 minutes to realize you are full.  The earth is abundant there will always be more food; there is no urgency to cram an enormous amount of food in your mouth at one seating. "This is called conscious eating!"

Notice your triggers   Many of us eat or stop eating in response to emotional cues like sadness, stress anger or anxiety.  Define your triggers! Keep a journal for three weeks, noting times you ate when you were not hungry or did not eat when you were hungry.  What was your state of mind?  How did you feel?  Did a particular event, a phone call, an intense meeting, a dispute or confrontation contribute to increasing your food choices or intake?  Emotional eating habits can be deeply ingrained and very unconscious.  “Gaining awareness is the first step to freeing yourself from your cycle.” The number of calories you take in is less important than the kind of calories.

Plan your indulgences   Many people over indulge on their favorite treats like sweets, alcohol, chips, ice creams or baked goods, while others deprive themselves.  If you crave chocolates allow yourself a few squares of high quality dark chocolate once a week rather than a half pound of Reese's peanut butter cups in front of the TV every night.  If you crave sweets before your menses, buy only enough to satisfy that craving, as that craving generally does not exceed 48 hours. Do not make a habit of keeping sweets at home! To satisfy your once a week craving or indulgence, by only the small amount you plan on eating that day and throw the rest away.  Therefore you will not be inclined to eat your indulgence more than once a week.  Actually, this will give you something to look forward to, your indulgence for the week. "Remember if you intend to berate yourself whenever sugar passes your lips; plan a small weekly treat, no guilt allowed!"

Relax and De-Stress  When you are stressed, your body produces more cortisol, a hormone that can slow down metabolism, stimulate appetite and increase abdominal fat.  Engage in things that relax you, like a walk, massage, a good film, visiting with an emotionally supportive friend or take a Detox Salt bath. Practicing daily relaxation methods such as a breathing meditation promotes fat burning.  One 2005 Alternative Health Study found that regular yoga practice, which does not burn significant amount of calories, can prevent middle-age spread in normal weight men and women and promote weight loss in those who are overweight.

Get enough sleep   A lack of sleep can affect your hormones that regulate appetite, leading to weight gain.  In a 2004 Medical Science Study showed that people who slept five hours or less at night, or were sleep deprived from children, a snoring spouse or outside noise, weighed more than those who got eight hours of sleep and had higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates hunger and lower levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite. Well rested people are happier and more productive. Avoid eating before bedtime and during the night as this contributes to a poor and restless night sleep.  Supplementation with melatonin may help with this as nighttime eaters often have low melatonin levels.

Consider supplements   For healthy weight loss, digestion and metabolism need to work like clockwork. Certain supplements may promote a healthy metabolism by protecting the mitochondria or increasing their energy production, such as Fiber, probiotics, Omega-3 essential fatty acids, Coenzyme Q10, Acetyl L. Carnitine (ALC),  Alpha-lipoic acid, aloe vera juice, Citrin(Indian berry), sea weeds, fennel and green tea extracts.  Hoodia (South African herb) and Caralluma ( Indian herb) when composed properly in a formula with botanicals can suppress appetite, promote fat and weight loss.

Slow and Steady wins the race   It takes time to put on pounds and it will take time to lose them. About ½ to 2 pounds per week is considered to be a healthy and safe weight loss. Be patient with yourself as you leave the bumpy yo-yo diet cycle and learn to enjoy an entire life cycle of abundance, health and wellness. Healthy weight is achievable with the right approach. The key to successful weight loss is daily maintenance , making changes in your daily eating and physical activity habits that you can keep up for the rest of your life.

Daily Detox  This is primary advice for weight loss and maintenance. Water helps battle hunger, keeps cells hydrated and flushes out toxins. Start your morning with water and lemon or a pink grapefruit to stimulate digestion. Reduce your toxic load by eating fiber and supporting the daily cleansing of your liver with dark leafy green vegetables, artichokes, milk thistle or dandelion root tea. Increase your lymphatic flow by bathing in our Himalayan detox salts, along with our hydrating elixir and exfoliating mitt massage to rid body of unnecessary toxins.

Inspiration of Body and Soul  Diets are often a joyless time about saying, “No, I can’t have that, go there or do that!” You may even feel as if your body is your enemy. By increasing your awareness to your actual needs for health, happiness and abundance, you will be able to take the first steps to adjusting your lifestyle and choices.

An inspiration from Tao Te Ching, “A tree that reaches past your embrace grows from one small seed. A structure over nine stories high begins with a handful of earth. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step."


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Nutritional Counseling & The Evil Twins of Aging | Weight Loss Solutions | Healing Digestive Disorders | Stress "Silent Killer"
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Copyright 2008 Veronika Voss. All Rights Reserved.