Burn calories and feel more energized with these expert strategies from Dr. Mike Moreno, author of The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging.
Eat breakfast. Your mom always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. She was right…again! I recommend eating within 30 minutes of waking up, to jolt your metabolism out of its “rest” mode and into “burn” mode. If you skip it, you’re basically asking your body to store calories as fat because it’s preparing for the worst-case scenario: no food! Plus, it’s just common sense that you’re more likely to overdo it at your next meal if you let yourself go hungry for too long.
Strike a balance with lean protein. You tend to burn more calories during the digestion of proteins. One study found that the “sweet spot” amount of lean protein (think: chicken breasts, lean turkey, lean beef, tofu, etc.) is one-third of your total daily calories. So if you’re eating 2,000 calories per day, about 650 calories should come from lean protein products.
Maintain a sleep routine. If you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, your metabolism won’t function at its best. Also, have you ever noticed how much hungrier you feel after a restless night? The research isn’t clear yet, but it’s possible that lack of sleep wreaks havoc on appetite-regulating hormones. Try to get the same amount of sleep every night—don’t leave all your sleeping to the weekends!
Drink ice water. In some people, drinking ice cold water may boost your metabolism. The reason: your body goes into a bit of overdrive to heat up its core temperature. The effects aren’t proven to be long-term, but we’ll take what we can get!
Work out late in the day. If you can manage an evening workout without it disrupting your sleep, I say try it. There’s some evidence that it could keep your metabolism from dropping as low at night, which means you’re burning more calories even as you get your shut-eye. But if the PM workouts make you hungry and cause you to snack late at night, be careful to choose higher protein foods and stay away from the carbs.
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