Category Archives: Metabolism

15 Easy Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism

Even before you start exercising, you can use plenty of tricks to eliminate visceral fat, improve your flab-burning metabolic process, and start losing weight fast.

And for more great ways to and lose weight and stay slim for good, pick up a copy of The Men’s Health Diet today! It combines the latest findings in exercise and nutrition with practical how-to advice that will transform your body into a fat-burning machine. 

Don’t Diet!

The Men’s Health Diet isn’t about eating less, it’s about eating more—more nutrition-dense food, to crowd out the empty calories and keep you full all day. That’s important, because restricting food will kill your metabolism. It makes your body think, “I’m starving here!” And your body responds by slowing your metabolic rate in order to hold on to existing energy stores. What’s worse, if the food shortage (meaning your crash diet) continues, you’ll begin burning muscle tissue, which just gives your enemy, visceral fat, a greater advantage. Your metabolism drops even more, and fat goes on to claim even more territory.

Go to Bed Earlier

A study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that of each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.

Eat More Protein

Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. In a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease,” researchers argued that the present recommended daily allowance of protein, 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, was established using obsolete data and is woefully inadequate for an individual doing resistance training. Researchers now recommend an amount between 0.8 and 1 gram per pound of body weight. Add a serving, like 3 ounces of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts, or 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, to every meal and snack. Plus, research showed that protein can up post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.

Go Organic When You Can

Canadian researchers reported that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experienced a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lost weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. In other words, pesticides make it harder to lose pounds. Other research hints that pesticides can trigger weight gain. Of course, it’s not always easy to find—or to afford—a whole bunch of organic produce. So you need to know when organic counts, and when it’s not that important. Organic onions, avocados, grapefruit? Not necessary. But choose organic when buying celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale or collard greens, cherries, potatoes, and imported grapes; they tend to have the highest levels of pesticides. A simple rule of thumb: If you can eat the skin, go organic.

Get Up, Stand Up

Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your health and your waistline as your fitness routine. In one study researchers discovered that inactivity (4 hours or more) causes a near shutdown in an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism. To keep this enzyme active and increase your fat burning, break up long periods of downtime by standing up—for example, while talking on the phone.

Drink Cold Water

German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that’s 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—enough to shed 5 pounds in a year. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature. Though the extra calories you burn drinking a single glass don’t amount to much, making it a habit can add up to pounds lost with essentially zero additional effort.

Eat the Heat

It turns out that capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their mouth-searing quality, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating about 1 tablespoon of chopped red or green chilies boosts your body’s production of heat and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system (responsible for our fight-or-flight response), according to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. The result: a temporary metabolism spike of about 23 percent. Stock up on chilies to add to meals, and keep a jar of red pepper flakes on hand for topping pizzas, pastas, and stir-fries.

Rev Up in the Morning

Eating breakfast jump-starts metabolism and keeps energy high all day. It’s no accident that those who skip this meal are 4 1/2 times as likely to be obese. And the heartier your first meal is, the better. In one study published by theAmerican Journal of Epidemiology, volunteers who got 22 to 55 percent of their total calories at breakfast gained only 1.7 pounds on average over 4 years. Those who ate zero to 11 percent of their calories in the morning gained nearly 3 pounds.

Drink Coffee or Tea

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily java jolt can rev your metabolism 5 to 8 percent—about 98 to 174 calories a day. A cup of brewed tea can raise your metabolism by 12 percent, according to one Japanese study. Researchers believe the antioxidant catechins in tea provide the boost.

Fight Fat with Fiber

Fiber can rev your fat burn by as much as 30 percent. Studies find that those who eat the most fiber gain the least weight over time. Aim for about 25 g a day—the amount in about three servings each of fruits and vegetables.

Eat Iron-Rich Foods

Iron is essential for carrying the oxygen your muscles need to burn fat. Unless you restock your store, you run the risk of low energy and a sagging metabolism. Shellfish, lean meats, beans, fortified cereals, and spinach are excellent sources. (But it’s not always a good idea to take a supplement. Too much iron has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease in men. Get this essential mineral in natural doses from real foods.)

Get More D

Vitamin D is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Unfortunately, researchers estimate that a measly 20 percent of Americans take in enough through their diet. Get 90 percent of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Other good sources: tuna, fortified milk and cereals, and eggs.

Drink Milk

There’s some evidence that calcium deficiency may slow metabolism. Research shows that consuming calcium in dairy foods such as fat-free milk and low-fat yogurt may also reduce fat absorption from other foods.

Eat Watermelon

The amino acid arginine, abundant in watermelon, might promote weight loss, according to a new study in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers supplemented the diets of obese mice with arginine over 3 months and found that it decreased body-fat gains by a whopping 64 percent. Adding this amino acid to the diet enhanced the oxidation of fat and glucose and increased lean muscle, which burns more calories than fat does. Snack on watermelon and other arginine sources, such as seafood, nuts, and seeds, year-round.

Stay Hydrated

All of your body’s chemical reactions, including your metabolism, depend on water. If you are dehydrated, you may be burning up to 2 percent fewer calories, according to researchers at the University of Utah who monitored the metabolic rates of 10 adults as they drank varying amounts of water per day. In the study, those who drank either eight or twelve 8-ounce glasses of water a day had higher metabolic rates than those who had four.

And for more great ways to and lose weight and stay slim for good, pick up a copy of The Men’s Health Diet today! It combines the latest findings in exercise and nutrition with practical how-to-advice that will transform your body into a fat-burning machine. 

Wikio

Study: 10 minutes of exercise, hour-long effects

By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer
Tue Jun 1, 3:04 am ET

WASHINGTON – Ten minutes of brisk exercise triggers metabolic changes that last at least an hour. The unfair news for panting newbies: The more fit you are, the more benefits you just might be getting.
We all know that exercise and a good diet are important for health, protecting against heart disease and diabetes, among other conditions. But what exactly causes the health improvement from working up a sweat or from eating, say, more olive oil than saturated fat? And are some people biologically predisposed to get more benefit than others?
They’re among questions that metabolic profiling, a new field called metabolomics, aims to answer in hopes of one day optimizing those benefits — or finding patterns that may signal risk for disease and new ways to treat it.
“We’re only beginning to catalog the metabolic variability between people,” says Dr. Robert Gerszten of Massachusetts General Hospital, whose team just took a step toward that goal.
The researchers measured biochemical changes in the blood of a variety of people: the healthy middle-aged, some who became short of breath with exertion, and marathon runners.
First, in 70 healthy people put on a treadmill, the team found more than 20 metabolites that change during exercise, naturally produced compounds involved in burning calories and fat and improving blood-sugar control. Some weren’t known until now to be involved with exercise. Some revved up during exercise, like those involved in processing fat. Others involved with cellular stress decreased with exercise.
Those are pretty wonky findings, a first step in a complex field. But they back today’s health advice that even brief bouts of activity are good.
“Ten minutes of exercise has at least an hour of effects on your body,” says Gerszten, who found some of the metabolic changes that began after 10 minutes on the treadmill still were measurable 60 minutes after people cooled down.
Your heart rate rapidly drops back to normal when you quit moving, usually in 10 minutes or so. So finding lingering biochemical changes offers what Gerszten calls “tantalizing evidence” of how exercise may be building up longer-term benefits.
Back to the blood. Thinner people had greater increases in a metabolite named niacinamide, a nutrient byproduct that’s involved in blood-sugar control, the team from Mass General and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard reported last week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Checking a metabolite of fat breakdown, the team found people who were more fit — as measured by oxygen intake during exercise — appeared to be burning more fat than the less fit, or than people with shortness of breath, a possible symptom of heart disease.
The extremely fit — 25 Boston Marathon runners — had ten-fold increases in that metabolite after the race. Still other differences in metabolites allowed the researchers to tell which runners had finished in under four hours and which weren’t as speedy.
“We have a chemical snapshot of what the more fit person looks like. Now we have to see if making someone’s metabolism look like that snapshot, whether or not that’s going to improve their performance,” says Gerszten, whose ultimate goal is better cardiac care.
Don’t expect a pill ever to substitute for a workout — the new work shows how complicated the body’s response to exercise is, says metabolomics researcher Dr. Debbie Muoio of Duke University Medical Center.
But scientists are hunting nutritional compounds that might help tweak metabolic processes in specific ways. For example, Muoio discovered the muscles of diabetic animals lack enough of a metabolite named carnitine, and that feeding them more improved their control of blood sugar. Now, Muoio is beginning a pilot study in 25 older adults with pre-diabetes to see if carnitine supplements might work similarly in people who lack enough.
Next up: With University of Vermont researchers, she’s testing how metabolic changes correlate with health measures in a study of people who alternate between a carefully controlled Mediterranean diet and higher-fat diets.
“The longterm hope is you could use this in making our way toward personalized medicine,” Muoio says.
___
EDITOR’s NOTE — Lauran Neergaard covers health and medical issues for The Associated Press in Washington.

Wikio

More Metabolism, More Muscle


by Mike Roussell

At the most basic level, when you begin your quest for more muscle, it’s important to be in a caloric surplus, as succinctly described by 6-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates: “If you’re maintaining your weight, then you’re burning roughly the number of calories you take in on a daily basis. If you’re gaining weight, then, obviously, you’re burning less; if you’re losing weight, then you’re burning more.”

It’s important to keep in mind that the goal is to build as much muscle as possible. Getting fat is easy: anyone can do it, and most people do. Getting huge and staying lean is the holy grail of bodybuilding: that’s where you’re headed.

Don’t just haphazardly increase your caloric intake. Bump up your calories by 300-500 calories per day for a couple weeks, preferably in the peri-workout window, and see what happens. Are you growing? How has your body composition changed? If you’re putting on muscle and not very much fat, then keep increasing your calories. Once your fat gains start to increase, then you’ve found your muscle building “sweet spot.”

Most people would stop there, but you’re not most people. Your mantra needs to become “More metabolism, more muscle.” Increasing your food intake (or “overfeeding” as scientists call it) will cause your metabolism to increase. You can also cause your metabolism to increase through increasing your training. Once you’ve reached your caloric sweet spot, it’s time to manipulate your training variables.

Strength and conditioning research shows that increased training frequency trumps all other variables in regards to size and strength. If your schedule allows it, increase your training through increased frequency, and watch to see how your body responds. If you increase the rate in which you were gaining muscle, stick with your new routine, and give your calories another bump up.

Wikio

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