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Metabolic rate – we hear this term all of the time but what does it mean?

Energy metabolism is the process of converting the energy we get from food into the energy we use for normal bodily functions such as keeping warm and moving around. Metabolic rate is essentially the speed at which we use this energy and burn calories or, in other words, the rate at which our body’s motor is running.

The higher our metabolic rate, the more efficient we will be at burning calories and keeping healthy. The good news is that there are several ways that you can really ‘rev up’ your metabolism and boost the amount of calories you burn each day. The more efficient you are at burning calories the more energy you will have and the easier it will be for you to drop any extra pounds.

So get your motor running with these tips:
Always eat breakfast as food, especially at the beginning of the day, fuels metabolism. Skipping breakfast sends the message to your brain that you are ‘in starvation mode’ as you may not have eaten for 8 hours or more so, as a protective mechanism, your metabolism slows right down.

Never eat less than 1200 calories per day. Fewer calories are not enough to support your basal metabolism (calories needed to maintain fundamental body functions such as heart beat, breathing etc) and, as a result, many of your bodily processes may slow down. This in turn may lead to, amongst other things, low energy levels, digestive problems and headaches.

Eat regular meals with small healthy snacks in between. This will keep your blood sugar even and help to maintain your energy levels and metabolic rate throughout the day.

Carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and wholegrains such as brown bread, pasta and rice, fuel your metabolism so eat these on a daily basis. Eating a piece of protein with every meal and snack will also help maintain blood sugar levels and energy levels.

Avoid foods such as white rice, pasta and bread and all sugary and processed foods as these are ‘energy drainers’ and will slow down your metabolism.

Avoid alcohol as this depresses your metabolism.

Do some kind of aerobic exercise – walking, jogging swimming, cycling, aerobic dancing etc. on a daily basis and preferably in the morning. Our bodies were designed to be active on a daily basis and, when we are, our metabolism soars.

Tone your muscles with weight training 3 days per week, as toned muscles send your metabolism ‘through the roof’.

Look for situations to be active – use the stairs rather than the lift, walk whenever possible etc. So get started today. As your metabolism soars, your energy levels will greatly increase as will your general health.

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