The beginning of the year is a great time to start fresh with your health, but how can you maintain the new you all year long? Boosting your metabolism is one of the best things you can do and, while we’re all born with a metabolic level, there are things you can do to give that level a boost. With the temptations of the holidays behind us, now’s a great time to start working these metabolism boosters into your everyday life!
I promise, adding weight training into your life will not make you look like Mr. Universe! Muscles burn more calories at rest than any other tissue in the body, so the more muscle mass you have, the more efficient your resting metabolic rate! Also, while wisdom may come with age, so does muscle loss. Studies show that generally, people lose about .5% of their muscle mass each year after age 35, which accelerates after age 60. Build up lean muscle mass with strength and resistance training to combat this!
Many people cut meals from their day thinking they’ll lose weight, when it can actually sabotage their plan! Your metabolism likes it when you eat smaller meals throughout the day because it can process them more efficiently than large, heavy meals. Try combining 3 light meals with 2 healthy snacks. A healthy snack is especially important after a high intensity workout.
If you’re worried that you won’t have time to exercise, HIIT is for you! HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training, a method of exercise that is all about short, intense workouts that last about 20 minutes. HIIT has been shown to burn more fat in 20 minutes a day than spending hours on a treadmill. I recommend incorporating HIIT into your fitness regime twice a week to “shock” your body and amp up your metabolism.
Find ways to add exercise into your everyday routine by doing your 20s for the day: As soon as you wake up, hit the floor and do 20 push-ups. While you’re waiting for your microwave to ping, work on 20 calf raises, 20 lunges and 20 counter push-ups. If you’re at a desk all day, take ten minutes every two hours to walk around and do a set of your 20s. You’ll burn hundreds of extra calories during the day and be more focused on the job. Also, studies show that exercising before you eat makes you less likely to eat unhealthy foods, so try a set of 20s before you make a food decision.
Recording your fitness and food choices keeps you accountable, and makes you less likely to overeat. Record everything you eat for a week, taking note of calories and nutrition, and you’ll see where you can make improvements. Writing down your food and exercise is a completely objective way to see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong in your plan, and gives you the ability to adjust accordingly. If you don’t know what you’re doing, how can you get better at it? Stay hydrated.
I love the recipe for Driscoll’s Fresh Berry Sparkling Mint water, which is no-calorie sparkling water infused with raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and mint. It’s a great low calorie pick-me-up.
I always tell my clients that consistency is key to any healthy lifestyle. To maintain consistency, you have to make sure that your exercise and dietary efforts become a part of your everyday life. Keep up these habits for six weeks and they’ll become a part of your everyday routine - healthy choices will be second nature. Have a happy and healthy new year!