Rev Up Your Summer Body: The Metabolism Edition


It’s almost summer again, so the pressure’s on to shed your semester weight and kick-start that summer body.  But almost summer means almost finals and that means less time to work out.  So how do you do both?  Here’s the secret: boosting your metabolism can help you burn calories even when you’re just hanging out.

The enzymes in your body naturally break down and digest food every time you eat and turn it into energy.  The faster your metabolism, the harder it’s working to burn the calories all day, every day. We’re helping you glide into summer with these 10 easy, natural ways to rev up your metabolism for those days when we just can’t find time for the gym.

1.      DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST:  Your metabolism slows down while you sleep so it is essential to wake it back up.  Breakfast truly is the most important meal because it sets you up to burn fat for the rest of the day.  Eating protein early in the morning is a great, hearty way to wake it up.

2.      PROTEIN- FRIEND NOT FOE:  High-protein diets are controversial but the body uses more energy to break down protein than to digest carbohydrates or fatty acids.  In other words, with the right amount of protein in your diet, your body can actually burn up to 200 more calories a day.

3.      GREEN TEA AND COFFEE:  Caffeine speeds up your heart rate the same way green tea speeds up your brain and nervous system.  New studies even say that green tea can kill up to 50 more calories during the day.  Speeding up your body speeds up your calorie burn so pick one and go for it!

4.      MOVE YOUR MUSCLES:  Bodies with lean muscle mass burn calories fast even when you’re resting.  It’s not hard for us girls to find a little strength training in our day.  Start taking the stairs and notice a spike in metabolism that will keep you burning 24/7.

5.      WATER, WATER, WATER:  Hydrating constantly throughout the day keeps your metabolism running the way it’s supposed to.  The trick is ice water; just getting the water from cold to body temperature works your body harder than you think.

6.      MORE IS LESS:  The idea is not to eat too little.  Not putting enough calories into your body during the day actually reduces your metabolic rate by up to 45 percent.  Not eating enough puts your body in starvation mode so it will hold on to however many calories it can.  Eat small high-protein, low-calorie meals several times a day instead for steady weight loss.

7.      KEEP IT HOT:  You can kick your metabolism in to high gear for the few hours after you eat by adding a little spice to your meals.  The Capsaicin in spices can speed up the metabolic rate by up to 25 percent during these hours, so spice makes everything nice.

8.      ANY CARDIO COUNTS:  Walk it off.  Walking after eating has shown to boost your metabolism.  Your new speedy metabolism will burn more calories while engaging in any physical activity.  So walk to class after your protein-filled lunch and start seeing results. 

9.      SLEEP IT OFF:  Even though it slows it down, sleep doesn’t mean that your metabolism turns off.  Sleeping less than the recommended seven or eight hours a night regulates energy and appetite.  Enough sleep keeps your metabolism even and reduces your daily cravings.

10.   THE HIDDEN TRUTH:  A change of scenery and fidgeting while sitting around keeps away the calories.  Even though you may not realize, your body uses 60 percent of its calories every day just by being alive.  It’s called your resting metabolism, so stop feeling bad about not burning the rest because you skipped the gym one day.  Shaking your foot or tapping your pencil still counts as movement.  A change in your routine is also said to keep off calories because it gives your body and mind a new perspective.  Change your route tomorrow and see how you feel!

Proper nutrition, activity and lean muscle mass are the essential ingredients needed to achieve the maximum burn all day long.  But don’t stress out if you find yourself too busy for all three.  Giving your body the right fuel to burn efficiently now will ultimately result in a higher calorie burn when you get back into a regular cardio routine.  Rev up your metabolism for the two-week final stretch and there is no doubt that your body will thank you later.