Photo Credit Mark Kuroda
It’s an inevitable part of life: You get older and whelp, your metabolism gets slower. While you don’t have much control over the overall speed of your metabolism, you absolutely can control how many calories you burn through the frequency and intensity of your physical activity and making more intentional lifestyle choices.
Here are some of the best ways to boost your calorie burn and stay in good shape throughout your adult life:
Easy Ways to Burn More Calories:
- Regular Aerobic Exercise
Walking, hiking, bicycling, and swimming are some of the best ways to burn calories. As a general rule of thumb, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. If you can’t set aside time for a long workout, try 10-minute chunks of high-intensity activity throughout your day. Mini workouts and bouts of exercise mixed into your day will keep your metabolism running and give your body (and brain!) an energy boost.
- Lifestyle Activities
Look for ways to walk and move around a few minutes more each day than the day before. Taking the stairs more often and parking your car farther away from the store are simple tricks to burn more calories. Even activities such as walking your dog, gardening, washing your car, and intense housework add up and can contribute to weight loss, energy, and overall fitness. A wearable device like a pedomoter can help you keep track of how much you move. I love my Fitbit because it motivates me to take more steps and tells me how many hours throughout my day I’ve been active.
- Strength Training/Weight-Bearing Exercise
Did you know that your body constantly burns calories, even when you’re doing nothing? However, resting metabolic rate is significantly higher in people with more lean muscle mass. That’s because muscle, unlike fat, is metabolically active. Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) controls how many calories your body burns while you rest. As you gain more muscle, you increase your BMR, along with how much you can eat and still stay lean. The more lean muscle on your body, the less body fat you will store, the more calories you will burn 24-7, and the harder it will be to gain weight. This “afterburn” effect is the metabolism boost needed to maintain a healthy weight over time and maximize your calorie burn. Read more about why you want to start strength training for your weight and fitness goals here.
- Drinking Water
Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism can slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened, natural beverage (like organic tea) before every meal and snack.
Also, snack on organic, raw fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water, rather than salty, dry, or dehydrated snacks that rob moisture from your digestive tract during processing.
- Natural Energy Boosters
Green tea or oolong tea offer the combined benefits of natural caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up your metabolism for a couple of hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17 percent more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short time.
Also, superfoods such as maca powder, tribulus terrestris, and chia seeds have an innate capacity to increase energy and testosterone levels, thereby helping you work out and build muscle mass with more intensity and stamina.
- Spicy Foods
Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. The effect is somewhat temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits can add up quickly. For a quick boost, spice up your pasta dishes, rice bowls, chili, and soups with crushed red pepper flakes, chipotle, or cayenne!
- Smaller Portions
The simple skill of knowing how much to eat is an important key to weight loss and weight maintenance. Studies have shown that eating light, smaller meals throughout the day has a positive effect on metabolism. Eating large portions of food per sitting can overtax your digestive system, thereby creating less efficiency for elimination and also depleting your energy stores.
Conversely, eating smaller portions more often can support consistent weight loss. Try having a healthy snack every three to four hours to keep your metabolism cranking. Click here to read my “Smart Size Portion Guide” for more suggestions on how to make your portions work for your weight goals.
- Protein-Rich Foods
Your body burns many more calories as it digests protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some of your carbohydrate intake with protein-rich foods can actually boost your metabolism at mealtime. The key is to select alkaline, plant-based proteins that are highly assimilable, which are much healthier for your body. When you consume highly acidic, animal-based proteins, they come complete with high levels of cholesterol, artery-clogging fats, and, over time, result in a net loss of alkaline minerals in your body, most notably calcium.
The reality is losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight takes constant awareness and effort. The most solid and reliable foundation for weight maintainance continues to be anchored in consistent physical activity, a positive, unstoppable mind-set, and a shift toward a healthy, clean, plant-based diet. You don’t have to be a slave to burning calories – you can choose to make staying in shape an intentional choice that brings energy, power, and longevity to your life.
Our knowledge is continually expanding about all of the mechanisms that impact human appetite, food selection, and how your body processes and burns food. The best way to find out what works for you is to engage in conscious experimentation with different foods, exercises, natural supplements, and mindfulness techniques until you crack the code on what works best for you.
And remember—what works for your individual body type, metabolism, and genetic structure is unique to you. It’s not about comparing yourself to anyone else or their progress. It’s about setting structured, achievable goals for yourself, experimenting with what works, asking for support from people you trust, and making a daily choice to be positively relentless in creating your ideal body and level of lifelong well-being.
This process is a marathon, not a sprint. Persistence and determination will get you results. Choose to focus on your daily progress, not perfection, and you’ll be on track for long-term success!
Simple and powerful, follow these basic tips and your weight will balance at a happy, healthy place for your body and your life. What is your #1 tip for boosting your calorie burn and maintaining a healthy weight? Leave your weight words of wisdom as a comment below, excited to hear how you stay balanced and well.
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Till next time, keep moving my friends,
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