Little-Known Secrets for Increasing Your Metabolism

Lifting weights
if you aren't strength training, and you are eating the same number of calories as you did when you were younger, then you will gain weight automatically. (Flickr )

In the past, I went to the American College of Sports Medicine conference and attended a workshop called 'The Great Burn: How to Maximize Your Metabolism.' I've got some tips to share with you.

But first, what is metabolism? Think of a running car engine. Just as a car burns a certain amount of gas on idle, so your body burns a certain number of calories at rest. Calories are simply measurements of energy.

Your resting metabolism is the number of calories you burn just to stay alive—organs like your heart, liver and brain all need calories to run.

Since your body is at rest most of the day, it's wise to maximize your calorie burn during those times. The more calories you burn, the more pounds of fat you will shed.

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So here are those little-known tips to increase your resting metabolism:

1. Drink green tea with lemon: Green tea has a component in it called "catechins" which can increase your ability to burn fat and calories. It can also lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, less than 20 percent of catechins in green tea survive digestion for the body's use. However, if you add lemon juice, that boosts the catechin absorption rate 13 times more than drinking green tea alone.

If you don't like the taste of lemon, then add orange, lime or grapefruit juice. It's the vitamin C in citrus that does the trick. Two cups of green tea per day are recommended. Sweeten your tea with a natural no-calorie sweetener like Stevia or Truvia.

2. Eat spicy food: Red peppers contain a substance called Capsaicin, which is the heating component found in cayenne pepper, chili pepper and red pepper flakes. So sprinkle some red pepper flakes to flavor your food or use cayenne pepper in tomato soup or juice to give it a kick.

3. Use caffeine with caution: If caffeine does not make you jittery, then drinking up to two cups of coffee each day should give you a metabolism boost. Don't overdo this one; overdosing on caffeine can contribute to heart irregularities. Go easy on the sugar and cream, too—the extra calories they add would cancel out the extra calories you burn.

4. Lift your weights: Your metabolism drops two to three percent each decade after age 20. After that age, you typically become less physically active and start losing lean muscle. Muscle burns five to ten times the number of calories than fat does at rest, so if you aren't strength training, and you are eating the same number of calories as you did when you were younger, you will automatically gain weight.

So pick up some weights or resistance bands and start strength training to preserve your muscles. Order the Take Back Your Temple eBook for an easy routine to get started right away.

5. Eat more protein: When you eat protein, only 80 percent of the calories are available for the body's use. The other calories were burned off just doing the work of breaking down the protein for digestion. Compare that to 95 percent of calories available from carbohydrates and fats. So eat lean protein with every meal and snack—examples include chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, eggs and meat substitutes.

While none of these tips alone causes a huge metabolism boost, the combined effects along with consistent exercise, strength training and solid nutrition will turn your body into a more efficient fat-burner.

Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify of God's healing power to end binge eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.

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