Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism



Pick Protein
"Protein is the building block of muscle," says Roberta Anding, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). "The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you expend."


But Not Too Much Protein at Once


Your muscles can use only 30 grams of protein at any time, a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association notes. Any more than that gets stored as fat. Aim for a minimum of 46 g of protein per day. A sample menu:
Breakfast: 6 ounces lowfat yogurt with 1/2 cup berries and a medium skim latte (23 g)
Lunch: Spinach salad with 2 oz chicken and 1/3 cup black beans, served with pita with 2 tbsp hummus (30 g)
Dinner: Asian stir-fry with 1/3 cup each tofu, snow peas, red bell peppers, bok choy, bean sprouts and 3/4 cup brown rice, sprinkled with 2 tbsp slivered almonds (23 g)
Soothe Your Stress
It's impossible to live in a worry-free bubble, but constant anxiety can cause your adrenal gland to pump out too much cortisol. High levels of the stress hormone change how your metabolism stores fat, sending flab to the belly, where it affects vital organs (and your bikini confidence).
Clock Your Snooze
As few as two sleepless nights can mess with your metabolism—increasing levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, and decreasing levels of the hormone leptin, which tells you to stop munching—a study in Endocrine Development shows. Research also notes that sleep debt causes insulin resistance, interfering with how your metabolism processes fat and leading to weight gain.
The Right Amount of Sleep
Seven to eight hours of sleep per night is considered the sweet spot, says Richard D. Simon Jr., M.D., of Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, Washington. The Up by Jawbone ($99) can help you track your zzz's. The bracelet uses motion sensors to monitor movement, calculating your calorie burn and how well you sleep.

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