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Boosting Your Metabolism: Secret to Weight-Loss Success

Boosting Your Metabolism: Secret to Weight-Loss Success

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By    |   Friday, 20 January 2017 02:56 PM

The simple, sad truth is that diets don’t work. Studies show that up to 95 percent of people who lose weight on a diet plan put it all back on, and often more, within five years.

Although dieters often blame themselves for their failures, researcher Dr. Traci Mann, Ph.D., says that the deck is stacked against them for three biological reasons. One is neurological.

When you are hungry, you begin to perceive food differently, so it looks more appetizing and is harder to resist. The second is that dieting triggers hormonal changes that make it harder for you to feel full.

But the biggest reason diets fail may be metabolic. To lose weight you have to take in fewer calories than you expend. However, your body doesn’t interpret this as a good thing but rather starvation. So it slows down your metabolism to conserve calories.

“When your body finds a way to run itself on fewer calories, there tends to be more leftover,” Mann, who runs The Mann Lab, a Health and Eating Laboratory at the University of Minnesota, told the Washington Post.

“And those (extra calories) get stored as fat, which is exactly what you don't want to happen.”

Thus the diet fails, and often discouraged people will cope by turning to comfort foods, winding up in worse shape than before they started dieting.

So one key to losing weight and keeping it off is to focus on boosting your metabolism. Experts say there are a few things you can you can do to achieve that:

Increase your protein intake: Your body has to work a little harder to digest protein, as opposed to fat and carbohydrates, and that in itself burns more calories. Protein also helps build lean muscle mass, which is more metabolically active than fat.

Experts recommend getting up to 30 percent of your daily calories from protein-rich foods, and you’ll reap the most metabolic bang from it if you spread out your protein consumption evenly over the course of your daily meals.

Fast one day a week: While restricting calories over an extended period of time will slow your metabolism, doing it for a day or two will actually increase it. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology showed a “significant” increase in resting metabolic rate after 24 to 48 hours of fasting.

And since the deprivation is temporary, other studies show this type of intermittent fasting is easier for some people to stick to than long-term restrictive diets. After all, you only have to be self-disciplined one day a week rather than every day.

Get some exercise: You not only burn more calories while you’re working out, but your metabolism will keep percolating along for hours afterward.

The phenomenon is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), and works best with high-intensity interval training. Experts recommend getting both aerobic and resistance exercises with a little stretching thrown in.

Chill out: Studies show that people who are stressed burn fewer calories than others. That’s because stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline increase insulin resistance while decreasing testosterone and thyroid hormone levels, all of which slow metabolism.

Exercise, meditation and controlled breathing are three ways to help control stress. You may also want to try taking stress-busting adaptogenic herbs, such as ginseng, ashwaganda, rhodiola and astragalus.

Sleep well: A wealth of scientific evidence links a lack of shut-eye to metabolic disorders.

“Sleep deprivation, sleep disordered breathing, and circadian misalignment are believed to cause metabolic dysregulation through myriad pathways involving sympathetic overstimulation, hormonal imbalance, and subclinical inflammation,” say researchers, who conducted a meta-analysis of 139 studies, in the International Journal of Endocrinology.

Experts recommend at least seven hours of quality sleep each night.


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Up to 95 percent of people who lose weight on a diet plan put it all back on, and often more, within five years. But the biggest reason diets fail has less to do with willpower — or lack thereof — than with metabolic changes, the latest studies show.
weight, loss, metabolism, boost, obesity
Friday, 20 January 2017 02:56 PM
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