Happy July 4th! Boost your Metabolism, and be like Captain America!

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Happy 4th of July! We are inspired by Captain America this week! And since I learned from 'Captain America: the First Avenger' that his metabolism is four times faster than normal, that is what we are aiming for this week 🙂 No need to join the army (unless you're in it, of course), be in secret military experiments or save the world: that can always come later.

And why is it good to boost your metabolism? To eat more food without getting fat, instead of eating half a lettuce leaf and putting weight on.

How did it go? Read the results here: 'So, did I boost my metabolism, like Captain America?'

So, trawling the internet for ways to boost your metabolic rate if you're not a superhero seems to come up with a consensus (mostly) on these things:

  1. Don't cut calories by too much (hah!) Use this calculator to find your resting metabolic rate. That's how many calories you need if you sit around reading things on the internet all day, and you need to eat at least that much to keep your metabolic rate up.
     
  2. Exercise. Move around more in general, but strength training, interval training and short bursts of exercise are all particularly recommended for boosting metabolism.Here are some useful links about that:
    Exercise training tips from WebMD
    Interval training tips
    Dr Oz's Fit in Five, a five minute workouts series developed by Celebrity personal trainer Joel Harper. Exercising in short bursts wakes up the muscles, causing them to suddenly demand calories, and burn them fast.And apparently, the metabolic rate stays higher for a few hours after a workout, and the less fit you are, the stronger this effect is. See, I planned it this way all along 🙂
     
  3. Get enough sleep (8 hours a night). Well that would be nice wouldn't it. Sadly, a lack of sleep can alter the metabolism by disturbing the hormones leptin and ghrelin to decrease the number of calories the body burns at rest. Researchers at Stanford University found that people who slept for less than 7.5 hours per night experienced an increase in body mass index.
     
  4. Eat every 2-3 hrs (meaning high fibre veggies + protein). Eating also stimulates the metabolism for a couple of hours and reassures the body it doesn't need to store food because it's available. According to WebMD, there is research from Georgia State University that shows that people who eat every 2 to 3 hours have less body fat and faster metabolisms than those who eat only 2 or 3 meals per day.Here is a sample snack schedule from Dr Oz:

    6-8 a.m.: Breakfast - nutritious and as soon as possible after waking up
    10 a.m.: Snack
    12-2 p.m.: Lunch
    3-5 p.m.: Snack
    5-7 p.m.: Dinner
    Don’t eat after 8 p.m.
     

  5. Eating / drinking green tea, caffeine and chillies may have a small effect. According to WebMD, "A compound in green tea called ECGC has been shown to elevate metabolism by a small amount... but it’s not enough to make a difference in weight. Capsaicin, the chemical in hot peppers that gives them their heat, boosts metabolism, too, but again, it’s not a significant enough change to have a weight loss benefit. Caffeine may or may not aid in weight loss -- as a central nervous system stimulant, it absolutely does increase metabolism, she says, but studies on its weight effects have had mixed results." Well, they may be small and dubious effects, but I'll take them!
     
  6. Eat oily fish. According to research from the University of Western Ontario, EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids that are found in fish oil may boost metabolism by as much as 400 calories a day.
     
  7. Cut out trans fats to avoid insulin resistance and inflammation, both of which slow metabolism and can cause weight gain.
     
  8. Turn down heating and air conditioning: let your body do more of the work in regulating your temperature instead. According to research from the University of Alabama, both people and animals eat less when they are hot or cold than they do in neutral temperatures.
     
  9. Don't drink too much alcohol. Two alcoholic drinks a day can slow fat burning by 73 percent, according to killjoy researchers from the University of California at Berkeley. Drinking makes the liver convert alcohol into acetate and use that as fuel instead of your fat stores.
     
  10. But do drink iced drinks, to give your body the extra work of warming them up.
     
  11. Take zinc, which can be found either as a 15mg supplement or as part of a multivitamin. It reduces hunger by increasing the hormone leptin, which lets your body know when you're full.
     

I'll be following Dr Oz's 7 Day Miracle Plan to Boost Your Metabolism, to get them all covered.

This Week's Other Challenges

  • Make a Captain America shield frisbee: a nice challenge for kids to play with on 4th July!
  • Figure out some healthy grilling and barbecue options, for 4th of July and the rest of the summer
  • ...and of course, watch the movie! 🙂



Captain America Official Trailer, shared via Marvel Entertainment on YouTube

Links

Dr Oz's Fit in Five
Exercise training tips from WebMD
Interval training tips
Resting metabolic rate calculator
Womens Health: 5 Ways to Boost your metabolism all day long
18 Metabolism boosting foods
Dr Oz's 7 Day Miracle Plan to Boost Your Metabolism


Comments?

What do you do to boost your metabolism? Read and post your comments - click here...


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5 Responses to Happy July 4th! Boost your Metabolism, and be like Captain America!

  1. I love your article, not only this one but also others because they are always logical and easy to understand. I really appreciate it.

  2. These tips are amazing! Most I have never heard of and am really excited to try! Going to by Zinc right now!! haha

  3. Great tips! They are all fool proof and simple. Now a days people make dieting too complicated. I read your results post as well and really appreciate your honesty. I sometimes gain weight following certain diets as well.

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