Thursday, September 6, 2007

Yes, it's not too late to increase your metabolism.

Patients frequently think they are stuck, their body is not burning anymore. Ever since they past 30 years old, their body is not the same. They think that this is the way it is, can't do anything about it. Thankfully, this is not the case, you can increase your metabolism even after living a sedentary lifestyle.

The two ways to make your body burn more calories:
1. Increase your muscle mass by doing some push-ups before you go to sleep, doing Therabands (resistive bands) which you can do at your office/at a hotel/at home, easily, or do some weight lifting. The key to increase muscle is to do 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions with 3 body parts for a minimum of 2 times per week. Always do your bigger body part first, e.g., back before chest before shoulder before biceps, then triceps. To know if you are lifting the appropriate weight, make sure you feel it after 10 reps, if you can do the exercise easily after 12 reps, it's definitely time to increase the weight.

Increasing your muscle, makes your body more of a calorie burner, even while you are sleeping you will burn more calories, the more muscle you have on you. One pound of muscle burns 17 times more calories than a pound of fat, that's my motivator to do some resistance training.

2. Eat every 4 hours, try to not go longer than 5 hours max. If you wait longer than 5 hours, your metabolism will slow down. Just the act of eating increases your metabolism. It's called the systemic dynamic action of eating, digesting, absorbing, and storing takes energy, thus, eating smaller quantities more often will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Keep in mind, in order to get a metabolic benefit from your eating time, it needs to be at least 150 calories, so those lite 80 calorie yogurts are not going to cut it. Have a balanced snack, e.g., an apple and 2 Tbsp. nuts (~12 nuts) or ~8 Ak-mak (whole-wheat) crackers with 1 ounce low fat cheese.

Also, key note, to help prevent the nighttime eating frenzy, eat the majority of your calories throughout the day, this will help you feel more satisfied. Our satiety hormones, that tell us whether we are full or not, do not work as effectively at night, so if we were so busy during the day that we skipped lunch or waited 6 hours until we finally ate, we are setting ourselves up for eating everything in site and having an insatiable hunger. The majority of my patients have the hardest time at night with controlling what they eat, due to this natural hormonal state and typical hectic work life. Now with the insight on what is physically going on, may you feel satisfied, energized and burn calories effectively throughout your day.

Your Livitician, Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

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