How to Increase Your Metabolic Rate
Kicking your metabolism up a notch helps you lose weight on a glycemic index diet or any diet at all. You can create a personalized plan for a metabolism makeover with activities that work for you.
Weight loss is a holistic approach. So while you’re getting your blood sugar under control with your new low-glycemic food choices, you should also begin optimizing your metabolic rate — a real win-win combination for weight loss.
Building up lean body mass is essential for boosting metabolism. Muscle burns up to 90 percent more calories than fat. So the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn in a day. By adding 3 to 5 pounds of lean body mass, you can actually burn 100 to 250 additional calories a day. Not too shabby, huh?
Building lean body mass doesn’t mean you need to do bench presses or look like a body builder. You have a variety of options:
Weight lifting: This is the most obvious and best way to build lean muscle mass. If you use the equipment in a gym, be sure to get some instructions from a personal trainer to ensure you’re using it appropriately to avoid injuries while maximizing your workout. If you prefer to exercise at home, lifting 3- to 5-pound hand weights ten minutes a day can go a long way toward building muscle, increasing your metabolic rate, and burning more calories.
Resistance bands: The benefits of using stretchy, rubbery resistance bands are that they’re small, inexpensive, fairly easy to use, and good for when you’re traveling. You can pick up a set of resistance bands at a sporting goods store or box stores; you can also order them online. Typically resistance bands come with some basic routines you can try. If you want more than that, or if your set of bands doesn’t come with routines, just do a simple Internet search for “resistance band exercises” to find a whole array of activities you can try.
Walking: Not a fan of the gym? Well, walking is also a great way to build lean muscle mass. The trick with walking is to make sure it’s challenging your muscles, so you want to either increase your pace or hit some hills. For a change of pace or to make your walking routine even more challenging, you may want to add a little hiking to your repertoire.
Yoga and Pilates: If you’re out of shape, then either yoga or Pilates may be a perfect starting place for your journey into strength-training activities. Both beginner’s yoga and Pilates challenge your muscles as you hold your own body weight in poses. If you feel that muscle fatigue, then you know the exercise is working for you. However, after you become proficient, you may find it to be less effective for you. At that point, you can try an advanced-level class so you’re continuing to challenge your muscles.
Talk to your doctor before diving into any strength-training exercise routines.