Sick of hearing skinny people claiming their fast metabolism is the secret to their slim figure? Speed yours up with our easy diet and exercise tips
Sick of hearing skinny people claiming their fast metabolism is the secret to their slim figure? Speed up yours with these easy diet and exercise tips...
Always eat breakfast
Eating first thing in the morning helps stabilise your blood sugar levels and gives your metabolism a kick-start. Having breakfast tells your body you're up and moving about and ready to start burning fat.
TIP: Start the day the right way with one of our healthy breakfast recipes.
Have a cuppa
Want to break down fat at a faster rate? Green tea is said to contain natural properties which encourage the metabolism to work harder.
TIP: If you don't like the bitter taste of green tea, go for a blended tea like green tea and orange blossom.
Drink more water
Staying well hydrated is essential in helping the body flush out toxins and produce energy which increases your metabolism.
TIP: Fill a two litre bottle of water up every morning and keep sipping from it throughout the day until it's all gone.
Turn up the heat!
Hot food and spices like paprika, chillies and curries give your metabolism a real kick. A fiery dinner can make your heart beat faster and even bring you out in a sweat - both signs that your body is working hard.
TIP: Add a pinch of paprika to a cup of hot water and lemon juice to start the day.
Doing exercise that speeds up the heart rate boosts your metabolism. It even stays at this higher rate for three to four hours after you've finished your workout.
TIP: Taking the stairs at work every day will increase your general fitness levels in a matter of weeks.
Eat little and often
Eating small portions of protein, like lean chicken and reduced-fat dairy products, 5-6 times a day keeps your metabolism active and stops you from craving unhealthy food. Therefore reducing the amount of fat you store in all those lumps and bumps!
TIP: If you don't have time to stop for extra meals, a small handful of nuts and seeds will keep your metabolism ticking over in between meals.
Building up muscle increases your resting metabolic rate and reduces your body fat levels. People who are really toned will have a slightly higher metabolism all the time, so they can afford to eat the odd treat without worrying too much about their hips!
TIP: Firm up your wobbly bits without leaving the house
Tuck in to more vitamin B
In order for your body to convert carbohydrates into energy, you really need vitamin B. And it's also needed for a healthy digestive system.
Don't eat sugar
When you eat sugar your body turns it to fat if it's not burnt off quickly. Complex sugars, such as oats, brown rice, brown pasta, brown flour and nuts release energy slowly so your body has more chance to use the carbohydrates as energy.
TIP: Swap the sugar in your tea and on your cereal with a spoonful of honey.
If you're tired because you haven't slept your metabolism won't have had the chance to recharge so it will be slower than normal. Plus your body will crave sweet foods to give it constant bursts of energy. Get a good eight-hour kip so you're ready to start fighting the fat!
: The best temperature for a good night's sleep is 16-18°.
Some fats can actually help you lose weight. One in three of us has brown fat stores - a type of fat which burns energy when the body is cold. Just turning the heating down, or going outside without that jumper, should be enough to kick start a slimmer you.
Don't skimp on the carbs
Good news: eating more pasta, potatoes and bread should speed up your metabolism. Scientists think overdoing it on starchy foods is far better than eating too many cakes or biscuits because our bodies are programmed to burn off carbs much easier than fat.
Stop fighting the urge to wriggle around! It sounds strange but fidgets will burn more calories in a day than those who sit still simply because their bodies are moving more.
Stock up on iron rich foods
Your monthly cycle can really slow down your metabolism. Eating leafy green veg like cabbage or spinach, dark chocolate and red meat will replace the essential iron your body loses during your period to keep everything in tip-top condition.
TIP: Hummus is made from iron-rich sesame. Look for low-fat versions in the supermarket or make your own hummus.
Have just one glass...
A liquid diet won't help you to slim down - and not just because of the calories in alcohol. Sipping just two glasses of your favourite tipple stops the body from burning fat by a whopping 70%. Stick to water instead.
TIP: If you know it's going to be a heavy evening, eat a healthy meal before you go out. You won't be tempted to waste calories on nibbly bits like crisps or peanuts.
Where to next?
- Beat that bloated feeling
- Diet myths, busted!
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