Keys to Effective Workouts – Weight Loss, Muscle Gain and Maintenance

 

When you plan to work out, do you actually have a plan? Are you intentional in your choice of exercises? Do you go to the gym and feel confused about what to do? Do you wish you could do a home workout that would be of maximum benefit? There are different forms of exercise and this certainly means that they each have a different effect on our bodies. In this article we will learn about the best exercises for our specific health goals.
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8 Great Tips to Improving Digestion Now

person eating soupDo you suffer from indigestion, stomach ache, gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, acid reflux, or other digestive disorders? Do you avoid restaurants or eating with friends? Are you looking for natural, simple solutions to improve digestion? Here are eight great tips! Continue reading

Which Diet is Best? Atkins, South Beach, or Mediterranean Diet

lose weightA few tried-and-true diets in the market today include: the Atkins Diet, the South Beach Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet. All of these weight-loss diets have had great popularity throughout the years and have contributed to tremendous weight loss among its followers. In this case, the question stands, which diet is simply the best weight loss plan today? Continue reading

Demystifying Acupuncture – Part 1: Yin and Yang — The Wisdom of Your Body

 

Yin Yang

Yin Yang

The Ancient Practice of Acupuncture
The ancient practice of acupuncture is deeply rooted in the mysticism of eastern philosophy and spirituality. Much of the power of this healing system does in fact stem from the elegant intertwining of art and poetry with anatomical fact and medical science. Many of the concepts used to explain how acupuncture works, such as the dynamic interplay of the “feminine” and “masculine” forces of Yin and Yang, or the movement of vital energy known as Qi (pronounce “chee”), can be difficult to comprehend at first. However, with a little time and patience it is possible to delve below the surface and discover a deeper understanding of acupuncture in practice. In a series of articles we will discuss acupuncture from several perspectives to gain insight into how it can help each of us attain and maintain optimal health, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

The Two Primary Forces in Nature
One of the most fundamental concepts in ancient Chinese philosophy is the balance of Yin and Yang, the two primary forces found in nature and within our bodies as well. Originally, these two terms referred to the shady (Yin) and sunny (Yang) sides of a hill. The classic symbol for Yin and Yang is the familiar circle comprised of half black and half white, separated by a sinuous line, with each half containing a small dot of the opposite color (the black side contains a small white dot and visa-versa). Essentially, Yin and Yang are two sides of the same thing, and such are equal yet opposite. For example, Yin represents nighttime, cold, rest, water, while Yang represents daytime, heat, activity, fire. The key point here is that Yin and Yang are not absolute states, but rather represent a relationship between different states of being. Just as nighttime turns into daytime, and back again, Yin turns into Yang and returns to Yin in an ongoing, endless cycle. This process occurs in our bodies as well: we eat food (substance, or Yin), which we digest and assimilate (activity, or Yang) to build muscles, bone, nerves and other tissues (Yin) that enable us to perform activities such as thinking, walking, talking (Yang).

Restoring the Inherent Physiological Balance of Yin and Yang
When the twin forces of Yin and Yang are in balance, then nature follows its course and we experience good health. One of the fundamental applications of acupuncture is to help restore and maintain the inherent balance of Yin and Yang so that all aspects of our body/mind/spirit continue to operate at an optimal level. As you are most likely aware from your own experience, the body has an intrinsic ability to restore the balance of Yin and Yang. Returning to the previous example, when our stomach is empty (lack of Yin), eventually it starts to rumble (Yang) and we, becoming hungry, go search for food (Yin). Once we eat, the Yang (activity) of the stomach is satisfied as it digests and moves the food down to the intestines for absorption. As another example, when we exercise and generate heat (a Yang phenomenon), our body cools itself by mobilizing water (Yin, through perspiration). One of the principles evident in this last example is that Yin and Yang also consume each other; in this case, the Yang heat consumes the Yin fluids. Assuming we eventually drink more fluid, the balance is restored and our body functions normally, maintaining the Yin/Yang balance.

The Mental, Emotional, and Psychological Function of Yin and Yang 
Thus far we have explored a few examples of Yin and Yang in terms of normal, healthy physiological function. We can also discuss these forces in terms of mental/emotional/psychological activity. As noted previously, thinking in general is considered more Yang in nature, while sleeping or some forms of quiet meditation would be more Yin in nature, although as one can see everything happens on a continuum, with Yang phenomena being defined relative to a more Yin phenomena. In the above example, thinking and meditating both involve mental activity, with the former being relatively more “active” than the latter. Certain emotional states show more Yang or Yin characteristics as well. We can all remember times of intense anger, which can be a very Yang, outward-directed emotional state, as compared to sadness or perhaps depression, where our spirit deflates or submerges, moving in an inward or Yin orientation. In a healthy person the Yin and Yang return to a balanced state, which doesn’t mean that the person never feels emotions, but rather that they avoid painful or dangerous extremes, much like a swing that moves in a gentle arc instead of careening from the highs of one emotion to the lows of its opposite.

Treating Yin and Yang Imbalance
With this background information on the nature of Yin and Yang as we experience it in human form in the context of normal health, the next matter is to explore situations where the Yin and Yang forces become imbalanced, creating disease, and to examine how acupuncture can help remedy these dis-harmonies and restore good health. As a first example, consider a person who is overweight; although weight gain may be caused by many factors, in general we can deduce a state of excess Yin. Some ways to approach this matter include: decreasing the consumption of Yin (eating less overall or perhaps eating smaller meals several times a day), promoting the discharge of the excessive Yin (through increased sweating, urination, bowel movements) and increasing the consumption of Yin (by increasing Yang, such as through increased exercise). As you can see from this example, some of the ways to correct the Yin/Yang imbalance involve changes in behavior, such as changing one’s diet or increasing the level of exercise. In general, for almost all imbalances or “diseases,” the first level of intervention should include lifestyle and behavior adjustments. Of course, in many situations other approaches are necessary to correct the Yin/Yang imbalance more fully. Going back to this example of weight reduction, the next level of intervention might include acupuncture treatment, along with further lifestyle counseling and nutritional and/or herbal supplementation. Here we will focus on how acupuncture can be employed to help correct this (and other) Yin/Yang imbalances.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture

Acupuncture Treatment for Yin and Yang Imbalance
In the above example our goal is to restore the Yin/Yang imbalance by moving and consuming the excess Yin, as well as limiting the generation of additional “excess” Yin. In terms of acupuncture treatment, our selection of treatment points depends on the specific circumstances of the patient in question. If the problem involves an excessive appetite (excessive intake of Yin), we would treat points that reduce appetite, including points on the ear that send messages to the hypothalamus (a control center in the brain) to control cravings. The appetite problem itself might stem from erratic blood sugar (glucose) levels, so in addition to reducing the patient’s dietary intake of simple sugars (refined breads, sweets/candies), we would treat points that help regulate blood sugar, such as points relating to the liver and pancreas. At the same time we would want to determine if the patient is eating excessively due to stress, anxiety, depression or some other mental-emotional imbalance. In that case we will focus the treatment to include points that assist in alleviating these conditions along with appetite control in general. Under conditions of excessive, chronic stress, the adrenal glands can become weak and under-produce hormones relating to water metabolism and stress adaptation. In this circumstance the body starts to move fat deposits into the abdomen, and the patient may appear overweight. The treatment here would need to include points to support the healthy function of the adrenal glands in addition to the other points mentioned above.

Determining a Change of Lifestyle and Plan for Future
After addressing appetite control/food intake, the next objective is to move and eliminate the excess weight/Yin already present. As before, here we need to determine what factors are involved in the inability to decrease the excess Yin. In some cases, the patient may have problems with elimination, such as constipation, that in itself will result in increased weight. Thus the logical treatment is to enhance elimination with acupuncture treatment, perhaps in concert with dietary intake of fiber-rich foods, extra fiber itself, or even gentle laxatives when necessary. Note that constipation can be due to a lack of Yin (such as intestinal dryness) or a lack of Yang (such as weakness in the intestinal musculature), such that our treatment principle changes a little accordingly, even though we are still seeking to eliminate Yin through the bowel movements. We previously discussed utilizing exercise to “burn” the excess Yin by increasing Yang (heat). We can also utilize acupuncture treatment to improve metabolism, such as by enhancing the function of the thyroid gland. In fact, part of our diagnosis should include checking the function of this gland, as a weak thyroid gland (a very Yang organ, since it is involved with metabolism) can lead to weight gain and coldness (another sign of too much Yin).

As you can see from the preceding discussion, the deceptively simple concept of Yin and Yang forces in nature can be the foundation for an elegant, holistic approach to restoring health and promoting wellness. The basic process we used to analyze this sample patient with a weight management problem can be used with almost any condition. In this discussion we examined health and disease exclusively through the lens of Yin and Yang theory, while in practice we usually incorporate additional perspectives, including the concept of Qi and the Five Elements, as well as various hands-on systems of assessment such as Hara (abdominal) diagnosis, which are all explained in separate articles of this series. The Yin/Yang theory is the oldest and most wide-reaching of all the concepts in this ages-old medical system, and thus is a perfect start for our continuing journey of exploration and discovery.

 

This article was written by Daniel Bagdadi, L.Ac., M.S.  For more information about the Alliance,contact us or visit Our Mission page on this blog.

 

 

Farewell, Candy, Cookies, and Cheese Puffs! 2014 Federal School Snack Restrictions

FEDERAL RESTRICTION ON SCHOOL SNACKS
What snack foods can children eat at school?  The Agriculture Department has announced Thursday, June 27, 2013, that there will be restrictions on what types of snacks schools can sell. Students will no longer be able to fill up on trans fats that are found in greasy pizzas, high-fat chips and snacks, and sugars found in ice cream treats, cookies, juice drinks, high-calorie sodas, snack cakes and sports drinks, and salty pretzels or chips.

School Snack Restrictions

The federal government announced school snack restrictions on June 27, 2013 for the 2014-15 school year.

The governments new standards for healthier snack  foods in schools would apply to all the “a la carte” lines in the school cafeterias, vending machines, snack bars or any other food sold at school and on the school campus grounds.  It would not apply to fundraisers, after school  class parties or foods brought from home to the school.

WHICH SNACKS ARE ACCEPTABLE AND WHICH ARE NOT?
According to the federal guidelines, acceptable snack items include:

  1. Baked potato chips
  2. Granola bars
  3. Cereal bars
  4. Trail mix
  5. Dried fruits
  6. Fruit cups
  7. Yogurt
  8. Sugarless gum
  9. Whole grain-rich muffins
  10. 100 percent fruit juice drinks
  11. Diet soda (high schools)
  12. Flavored water (high schools)
  13. Diet sports drinks (high schools)
  14. Unsweetened or diet iced teas (high schools)
  15. Baked lower-fat french fries
  16. Healthier pizzas with whole grain crust
  17. Lean hamburgers with whole wheat buns

Snack food that are not acceptable include:

  1. Candy
  2. Snack cakes
  3. Most cookies
  4. Pretzels
  5. High-calorie sodas
  6. High-calorie sports drinks
  7. Juice drinks that are not 100 % juice
  8. Most ice cream and ice cream treats
  9. High-fat chips and snacks
  10. Greasy pizza
  11. Deep-fried, high-fat foods

WHEN DOES THIS TAKE EFFECT?
The federal snack rules will take effect during the 2014-2015 school year, but schools can start earlier to put these restrictions into effect. Many schools already have been making improvements. Thirty-nine states have a snack food policy.

In 2010 Congress passed the law championed by first lady Michelle Obama as a part of her efforts to stop childhood obesity, requiring the Agriculture Department to make changes in the rules describing acceptable school offered snacks. Several companies in the food industry worked with Congress three years ago on the child nutrition law.

ARE THERE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HIGH SCHOOL AND ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SNACKS?
Differences exist between high school and elementary or middle school regulations on appropriate snacks.  Low-calorie sports drinks such as Gatorade’s G2, and diet drinks will be allowed in high school.  However, elementary and middle schools will only be permitted to sell water, carbonated water, 100 percent fruit juice, 100 percent vegetable juice,  nonfat flavored milk, and low fat and fat-free milk.

30 Ways to Lose Weight Fast and Permanently

How can you lose weight fast and keep it off?  The majority of people in the United States are overweight, but how do you eat healthy, stay physically fit, and lose weight permanently? There are plenty of weight-loss diets out there, but what really works?

30 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

How do you lose weight? Everybody knows losing weight means cutting and burning calories, but here are 30 lifestyle changes to keep it off.

Everyone knows that the secret is cutting calories and burning calories but it also takes a change of lifestyle.  Losing weight and staying fit is not something that you can accomplish  sitting in front of the TV eating popcorn every night, but you can be successful if you are determined, disciplined and follow a plan to achieve your goal. Here are 30 great tips for changing your routine, in order to lose weight and keep it off permanently.

Exercise Pushup

Every weight-loss program should include physical fitness. Find a way to engage in physical fitness that is fun for you!

  1. Exercise 30 to 60 minutes every day, or if you are on a tight schedule, exercise several times during the day — for example, three 10-minute exercise sessions.
  2. Eat small meals often. Rather than eating one large meal and skipping meals, eat three healthy meals during the day, especially breakfast. Studies show that skipping meals causes can lead to overeating or snacking unhealthy foods later in the day.
  3. Eat fruits and vegetables. If your main entree is grilled, skinless chicken, and make the fruits and vegetables the largest portions on your plate and cut down on other foods.
  4. Weigh yourself every day. If you are conscious of your weight and the progress you are making, you are more likely to be successful.

    Writing

    Keep track of what you eat and how much exercise you are doing and soon you will be aware of the cause of  weight loss or weight gain.

  5. Keep a journal, or food diary with you at all times.  Purchase a small notebook that is easy to carry in a suit pocket or purse. Practice being conscious of what you eat and recognizing particular situations or times of day when you are more likely to eat unhealthy foods. A food diary can help you make life changes.
  6. Remove unhealthy snacks from the house. This would include all fried foods, packaged snack items such as chips, pretzels, greasy pizza, buttery popcorn, etc, and sugary treats such as sugary sodas, candy bars, snack cakes, caramel corn, cookies, and ice creams or frozen treats. These foods are high in trans fats and have been found to trigger and increase the risk of many health problems and diseases.
  7. Store healthy snacks. After removing all unhealthy snacks from your home, be sure to fill your cupboard and refrigerator with healthy snacks.  The best snacks are organic fruits, vegetables, whole grain crackers, 100% juices, low-fat dairy products such as low-fat yogurt.
  8. Keep active with friends or family members, and plan physical activities together.  Have a physical fitness buddy to go bike riding with, play soccer, tennis, go to the gym, go dancing, etc. Choose activities several days a week that keep you moving rather than video-games or or movies.

    Cooking at home

    Cooking food at home is fun, helps to burn calories (rather than sitting around at a restaurant) and lessens the chance of making unwise choices. Be sure to have healthy foods in your refrigerator and eliminate packaged, high-fat or trans fat foods.

  9. Eat at home often rather than eating out at restaurants or fast food chains. When you eat at home you can control what food is available and eliminate unhealthy choices. Many restaurants typically provide more food than needed. If you have to eat at a restaurant, decide how much food you will eat and ask for a take-home box before eating. Box up the extra portions of food before eating your portion.
  10. Don’t use serving bowls. When preparing your food, put it on the plate instead of putting serving bowls on the table. Always serve yourself a little bit less than what you expect to eat. Bring the prepared plate to the table. Put away extra food that is left in the pot or pan before sitting down at the table.
  11. Fill up healthy. Always fill up on healthy foods throughout the day that are low in calories, such as celery, or fruit, so that when you are invited to eat a dessert or snack you won’t be as tempted or hungry.
  12. Make active choices to accomplish everyday chores.  Instead of going through a drive-through pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions, walk inside the store. Use a bike to visit a friend, instead of a car. Get down on your hands and knees and pull the weeds or scrub the floor, instead of using garden extension tools or a long-handled easy-clean mop. Walk the dog regularly.
  13. Never eat in front of TV.  Television viewing strongly affects how much and what people eat. People tend to continue to eat while watching.
  14. Vary your activities regularly in order to avoid exercise burnout. Walk, swim, dance, and engage in sports.
  15. Never eat from containers such as an ice cream carton, a Tupperware container, a package of cookies, or a bag of chips.  Instead, put the portion on your plate, and then put the container of food away. When you can see how much you’ve eaten on your plate you are less likely to eat more.
  16. De-stress before eating.  Engage in relaxation techniques before eating because stress causes people to eat more. Praying or saying grace before eating is not unwise. It helps to relax, surrender and let go of worries and eliminate stress. Other options are deep breathing exercises, meditation, stretching exercises, reading something amusing or humorous,  listening to relaxing music, and even chatting with friends and family about uplifting or inspirational thoughts or experiences.

    High fiber foods

    Starting the day with high fiber foods helps to reduce weight. What is high fiber? Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as oatmeal.

  17. Start with high-fiber or bran foods, such as oatmeal or high-fiber breads or bran cereals.  Studies show that people that start the morning with a high-fiber diet are less likely to gain weight.
  18. Buy a pedometer and add an extra 2,000 steps a day. On average, sedentary people take only 2,000 to 3,000 steps a day.
  19. Walk 30-minutes a day. Walk to the store, walk down the street and give a basket of fruit to a neighbor. Walk the dog. Studies show that those who regularly engage in walking are more healthy and physically fit.
  20. Plan a week’s groceries. To prevent impulse buying, always plan a week ahead and make a detailed grocery list.  Never go grocery shopping when you are hungry and have skipped a meal.  Last-minute trips to the grocery store can result in buying snack foods or tempting foods on display in the bakery, snack aisle, or deli section, that are not on your healthy foods list.
  21. Have a craving plan. If you feel hungry and are feeling a craving for an unhealthy food, then do something active.  Drink a full glass of water, call a friend, write in your journal, paint a picture, clean the house, engage in sports, read a book, or do something that does not trigger thoughts of eating. Keeping your mind and body active will help to eliminate cravings.
  22. Reward yourself. If you have lost weight, reward yourself with nonfood rewards, such as going on that vacation you’ve dreamed of, buying new clothes, getting a new haircut or purchasing something for your home. Spend time listening to your heart and finding out how to truly love yourself.
  23. Find an on-line buddy. Studies show that online weight-loss partnering results in more successfully achieving weight-loss goals.

    Couple wearing blue

    Studies on the effects of color and color therapy show that blue can be an appetite suppressant whereas red tends to increases the appetite.

  24. Choose blue.  Wear the color blue more often and decorate your home with it. The color blue is an appetite suppressant, whereas the colors red, yellow, and orange have been found to increase the appetite.
  25. Use small plates. Get rid of large dinner plates and buy small plates. You are more likely to pile on the food if your plates are over-sized.
  26. Throw out large clothes. When you have lost weight, give away or throw out clothes that are too large for you. Keep only the clothes that fit or are “snug” on you. If you always keep large, over-sized clothes you will be less likely to lose weight.
  27. Use a mirror. If you eat in a dining room area, keep a mirror hanging on the wall opposite where you sit.  If you watch yourself in the mirror while eating, you are less likely to overeat.
  28. Read labels. When buying foods in the grocery store, read the labels.  Do not buy foods that are high in trans fats or are high in cholesterol, salt, or sugar.  Do not buy foods that have added corn syrup, food coloring, or food additives.
  29. Season smartly. Use salsa to season foods or spices such as curry, turmeric, pepper, basil, etc., instead of heavy, high-fat sauces such as gravy or butter.
  30. Increase calcium. Calcium in low-fat dairy foods triggers a hormonal response that inhibits the body’s production of fat cells and breaks down fat.

RESOURCES

 

 


_________________________________

 

Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer:  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

 

 

 

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories!

15 Ways to Boost Metabolism and Burn Calories

WHY do some people have more energy than others?  WHY do we need to “boost” our metabolism?  How do we know if our metabolism is “good” or “bad?

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is a chemical reaction in the body that helps us to sustain life.

WHAT IS METABOLISM? Metabolism is a chemical process that occurs within an organism that helps it to maintain and sustain life. The word metabolism comes from the Greek: μεταβολή metabolē,  which means”change” or Greek: μεταβολισμός metabolismos, “out-throw.”   Metabolism is usually divided into two categories:

  1. Catabolism breaks down organic matter and collects energy using cellular respiration
  2. Anabolism utilizes energy to create components of cells such as proteins and nucleic acids.

The chemical reactions of metabolism are organized into metabolic pathways, in which one chemical is changed through a process of steps.  This process is completed through the action of another chemical, by a sequence of enzymes.

WHY DOES METABOLIC RATE VARY? Every time we eat or drink, our metabolism converts all the calories from the food into energy. Our size, gender, and age play a large factor into determining our metabolic rate. For most people, metabolism seems to slow down after age 40. Men tend to have a higher metabolic rate than women. In addition to these factors, there are some things that we can do to independently control our rate of metabolism.

WHAT IS HYPOTHYROIDISM AND HYPERTHYROIDISM?
The faster our metabolism, the more calories we burn off.   People with hypothyroidism have an under-active thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is slower.  People who have hyperthyroidism have an overactive thyroid gland and have a metabolic rate that is faster.   Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are not common.  Only 3% of the population have hypothyroidism and about .3% of the population have hyperthyroidism.

FIFTEEN WAYS TO HELP US BURN OFF CALORIES AND INCREASE METABOLISM

  1. Drink plenty of water – 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 full glass of water  before every meal and snack.
  2. Get plenty of sleep – Researchers have found a connection between lack of sleep and a lower metabolic rate. Those who get more sleep have a higher metabolic rate.
  3. Drink green tea – Green tea contains caffeine and catechin  polyphenols, which increase thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process your body uses to burn energy. Green tea is high in antioxidants, calorie-free, and a compound in green tea (ECGC) has been shown to elevate metabolism.  The metabolism increase lasts for about two hours. Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may allow the body to burn 17% more calories.  Green tea is safe for most  people, but some may not be able to add caffeine to their diet due to its effect on the heart. Caffeine can also cause insomnia. It is recommended that people consult a trusted health care professional, regarding the use of green tea, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    Calorie Burning With Drinks

    The more calories the more energy or metabolism is needed to burn off the calories and keep weight down.

  4. Eat small  healthy snacks frequently – Studies show that people who eat small, healthy snacks (such as fruit, nuts, etc.) every 3 or 4 hours, tend to burn more calories than those who eat three large meals a day.
  5.  Add spices to your diet –  Spices such as red peppers, jalapenos, chili peppers and Cayenne pepper contain capsaicin, and studies show it increases metabolism. In a small study on Japanese women published in the British Journal of Nutritionresearchers found red pepper caused the body to heat up and increase the metabolism after a meal.  Another study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, reported that male athletes who added red pepper to high-carbohydrate meals raised both their resting and active metabolic rates 30 minutes after the meal.  However, there are no “fat-burning” foods, and  there is no conclusive evidence regarding an increased metabolic rate significant enough to result in weight loss.
  6.  Replace carbohydrates with proteins – The body burns more calories with protein than carbohydrates. Replace carbohydrates with healthy protein such as tuna, salmon, nuts, tofu, beans, and eggs. EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found only in fish oil, may boost your metabolism — by about 400 calories per day, researchers from the University of Western Ontario report.
  7. Engage in muscle-building exercises – Every pound of muscle uses 6 calories per day. The more muscle, the higher the metabolic rate. Lift weights. Pump iron.  Muscle burns 73 more calories per kilogram per day than fat. Every muscle cell that you gain constantly burns calories for you, even while you are resting or sleeping.

    Calorie Burning Exercises

    One package of french fries is 610 calories. Substantial physical activity is needed to burn off these calories.

  8. Use short high-intensity intervals in workouts – Maximize the calories you burn  by adding high-intensity intervals into your workout. If you work out for 20 minutes, try exercising moderately for about three minutes (running or riding a bike, for example) and then alternate three minutes with 30 seconds of an all-out effort.  If you are walking steadily, add short bursts of jogging, for example.

    High Fiber Foods

    A high fiber diet helps boost metabolism and burn unwanted calories.

  9. Increase your intake of high-fiber foods – Increasing intake of high-fiber foods like vegetables is one of the best ways to increase your metabolism, says Kristine Clark, PhD, RD, FACSM, assistant professor and director of sports nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. Vegetables are low in calories, yet high in nutrients.
  10. Keep moving – If you work at a desk, schedule breaks to allow yourself to walk, stand and move frequently.  Most people over the age of 40 spend too much time sitting.

    Energy to Walk Run Jog

    Energy needed to walk, run, or jog

  11. Change the temperature.  Studies show that people eat less when they are too cold or too hot.  The body also stops generating heat and burning energy when it is comfortable or neutral. Allow your body to create its own heat and burn calories by keeping that heater turned down and not making things so cozy.  Drinking ice water might burn more calories than room temperature water, because the body must work to heat up the water, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., founder and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center.
  12. Engage in cardiovascular and/or aerobic exercise – Different activities burn different quantities of calories, but the important thing is to raise your heart rate and sustain the activity for approximately thirty minutes.  Try running, biking or swimming. One study found that 45 minutes on the bike sped up metabolic rate for over 12 hours.
  13. Keep laughing! – Scientists have found that laughing for as much as 10 minutes per day, can burn energy and improve health.  Laughter increases the metabolic rate. Maciej Buchowksi, lead professor of a research team at Vanderbilt University, and her team set out to determine the effects of laughing on caloric burn. This heat output could then be translated as an increase in metabolism. After the research study was completed, the team discovered that metabolic rates could be increased by 10 to 40 calories by laughing.

    Warm Up Stretches

    Stretching helps to burn calories.

  14. Increase your iron intake – Iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles. If you test anemic or your muscles don’t get enough O2, your energy is low and and your metabolism is slow. Eat iron-fortified cereals, beans, raisins, and dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, bok choy, and broccoli.
  15. Incorporate stretching exercises into your routine – Is stretching important? When subjects did different dynamic stretching exercises before running, they increased their caloric burn significantly compared with those that did nothing before the exercising.  Those who did the stretching routines increased their average oxygen consumption and flexibility, according to an article published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

RESOURCES
Bahar Gholipour and Live Science, “Cold air may help you lose weight by making your body burn calories to keep warm,” January 27, The Washington Post.

Juliette Kellow, BSc, RD, “Laugh Yourself Slim,” WeightlossResources.co.uk

Shellie Nelson, “Research suggests exposure to cold helps burn calories,” WQAD Channel 8, January 22, 2014.

R. Morgan Griffin,  Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD, “Give Your Body a Boost — With Laughter,” WebMD Feature, Health & Balance Center

Nesheim, Malden. “Is a Calorie a Calorie?”. NOVA. PBS. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.h., Dariush; Tao Hao, M.P.H., Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D. (20 June 2011). “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men”. The New England Jouranl of Medicine 364 (25): 2392–404.
Ebbeling, PhD, Cara; anis F. Swain, MS, RD; Henry A. Feldman, PhD; William W. Wong, PhD; David L. Hachey, PhD; Erica Garcia-Lago, BA; David S. Ludwig, MD, PhD (21 June 2012). “Effects of Dietary Composition on Energy Expenditure During Weight-Loss Maintenance”. The Jouranl of the American Medical Association 307 (23): 2627–2634.

Gann, Carrie. “For Calories, It’s All About Quality Over Quantity, Harvard Study Says”. ABC News. Retrieved 25 April 2013.

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Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.