15 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

Even before you start exercising, you can use plenty of tricks to eliminate visceral fat, improve your flab-burning metabolic process, and start losing weight fast.

And for more great ways to and lose weight and stay slim for good, pick up a copy of The Men's Health Diet today! It combines the latest findings in exercise and nutrition with practical how-to advice that will transform your body into a fat-burning machine.

Don't Diet!

The Men's Health Diet isn't about eating less, it's about eating more—more nutrition-dense food, to crowd out the empty calories and keep you full all day. That's important, because restricting food will kill your metabolism. It makes your body think, "I'm starving here!" And your body responds by slowing your metabolic rate in order to hold on to existing energy stores. What's worse, if the food shortage (meaning your crash diet) continues, you'll begin burning muscle tissue, which just gives your enemy, visceral fat, a greater advantage.

Go to Bed Earlier

A study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that of each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.

Eat More Protein

Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. In a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, "The Underappreciated Role of Muscle in Health and Disease," researchers argued that the present recommended daily allowance of protein, 0.36 grams per pound of body weight, was established using obsolete data and is woefully inadequate for an individual doing resistance training. Researchers now recommend an amount between 0.8 and 1 gram per pound of body weight. Add a serving, like 3 oz. of lean meat, 2 tablespoons of nuts, or 8 oz. of low-fat yogurt, to every meal and snack. Plus, research showed that protein can up post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent.

Go Organic When You Can

Canadian researchers reported that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experienced a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lost weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. In other words, pesticides make it harder to lose pounds. Other research hints that pesticides can trigger weight gain. Of course, it's not always easy to find—or to afford—a whole bunch of organic produce. So you need to know when organic counts, and when it's not that important. Organic onions, avocados, grapefruit? Not necessary. But choose organic when buying celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale or collard greens, cherries, potatoes, and imported grapes; they tend to have the highest levels of pesticides. A simple rule of thumb: If you can eat the skin, go organic.

Get Up, Stand Up

Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your health and your waistline as your fitness routine. In one study researchers discovered that inactivity (4 hours or more) causes a near shutdown in an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism. To keep this enzyme active and increase your fat burning, break up long periods of downtime by standing up—for example, while talking on the phone.

Drink Cold Water

German researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that's 48 oz.) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—enough to shed 5 pounds in a year. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature. Though the extra calories you burn drinking a single glass don't amount to much, making it a habit can add up to pounds lost with essentially zero additional effort .

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