If you're like me, you've been on every fad diet and experienced the yo-yo weight loss/gain, with the inevitable energy and vitality loss. I've tried everything from protein bars to no-carb to starvation to have a svelte figure, not realizing that my dieting efforts were costing me muscle mass and destroying my metabolism!
Now a mother in my 30's, my goal has changed to just feel great, look great, and be healthy. It was high time that I stopped buying into all the marketing hype and just figure out simple, economical, and effective ways of answering my question: how to increase your metabolism for sustained energy and health. The solution is all about permanent healthy eating habits.
Myth #1: I'll just not eat and I will lose weight!
Fact: Your body goes into survival mode. Metabolism slows down in anticipated starvation. Back in pre-historic and even pre-industrial days, food could be scarce for days or even months out of the year. Humans have survived through the ages by adapting their metabolisms to this consequence. So for us that means when we skip meals, we unwittingly "trick" our body into thinking that food is scarce and that it must conserve energy by slowing down metabolism and saving every calorie as fat.
Fix!: Increase your metabolism by eating regular meals and small, low calorie snacks so your cave-man genes think, "Hey, there's food everywhere! Let's speed things up so we are able to collect even more food!"
Myth #2: Being healthy requires dietary discipline that I just don't have.
Fact: A healthy lifestyle is not about restricting yourself, it's about taking care of yourself! Taking care of yourself should feel good to your body, mind, and spirit.
Fix!: Increase your metabolism by making small gradual changes that you can stick to! If an eating plan requires a lot of effort, and changes your daily schedule completely, then chances are you're not going to stick to it. Make one small change to your current eating habits at a time. No fad or cookie-cutter diet is going to work for you long term - you have to tailor a healthy menu and exercise plan to fit your schedule for LIFE.
Myth #3: Exercise is work. Exercise hurts!
Fact: Just like your eating plan, exercise should be tailored to you! It should not hurt. Working out should be challenging, but you should feel refreshed and energized when you've accomplished it.
Fix!: Increase your metabolism by working in at least one brisk walk, treadmill session, jog, yoga, basketball, or whatever you like to do into your day. The key is keeping it fun and enjoyable. Don't make it "work" or you won't stick to it. I personally hate tedious workout tapes, but jogging and competitive sports are right up my alley! It's all about developing healthy habits that are easy to stick to. Walk with your spouse around the neighborhood and talk about your day. Take your furry friend for a walk - he'll always be happy to go with you! I also like to go on missions. Walk to the grocery store to "hunt" your dinner. Walk to a local cafe for dinner one night.
Metabolism Meal Plan
You don't need expensive diet food packages or special health-food to increase your metabolism. If you eat throughout the day, you will find that you won't have nearly the difficulty with portion control. And best of all, your metabolism will be off the charts! What's imperative is that you eat something. If you're trying to lose weight, keep the calorie count under 300, and always choose whole, minimally processed foods.
The idea is for breakfast-skippers to get into the habit of eating in the morning to boost metabolism. I am truly shocked to find out how many people I know who just make a cup of coffee their breakfast AND lunch! Make changes slowly, and see if you don't immediately have a huge boost in energy and an overall better sense of well-being.