The easiest and most immediate way to rev up your slow metabolism—the rate at which your body burns calories—is to exercise. By strengthening your heart and lungs with low-impact exercise, you build muscles that will have higher energy needs (to burn calories and increase your metabolism).
You can start with walking for 10 minutes before or after every meal. These short bouts of exercise add up. Take the stairs whenever it is safe to do so. Exercise does not have to be dull; enlist a friend and talk about the day’s events—you may find the 10 minutes quickly becomes 20 minutes, or even an hour.
Eat Several Smaller Meals
Many of us were told to eat “three square meals a day.” If you feel you are gaining weight, or not losing weight even though you cut back on calories, divide your total daily calories into five or even six small meals.
This might be a small bowl of cereal for breakfast, fruit and a half cup of yogurt. Two hours later, snack on string cheese, a small apple or a one quarter cup of unsalted, roasted almonds or walnuts, and four to six unsalted whole wheat crackers.
Lunch can be a small salad, and half the normal portion of what you’d eat of fish or chicken. Two or three hours later, two ounces of sugar-free, salt-free granola or a decaff cup of coffee or tea and soy milk as a pick-me-up will keep you fueled until dinner. Your evening meal can be stir-fried vegetables, brown rice and tofu or a steak, new potatoes and a non-fat frozen yogurt. A late-night snack might be half a cup of grapes or a low-fat pineapple popsicle or crackers with almond butter.
Eating several small meals allows your body to digest more efficiently and store fewer extra calories as fat.
Too often, we overeat when we are tired, bored or thirsty. Before eating, check in with yourself. Eat when you need to, but if you are really just thirsty, drink and wait 10 minutes to see if you are actually hungry.
Sleep at Least Seven Hours Daily
Sleep deprivation is common and can create weight gain if we eat instead of getting adequate sleep. As best you can, get at least seven hours of sleep a day. Consider it your beauty sleep—non-negotiable. No need to explain that to anyone!
Adhere to the tips above, and get your slow metabolism moving quicker than ever before!