Everybody wants to know what the secret is to real, permanent, and healthy weight loss. They will spend a lifetime, and often a fortune on pills and powders, useless late night infomercial gut busting devices, all in an attempt to learn “The Secret.”
OK, The Hound will tell you “The Secret” — there is no secret! In fact the answer is painfully obvious, but healthy weight loss doesn’t have to be painful, in fact far from it!
First up, let’s talk about the word you are probably most familiar with when it comes to packing on, and then trying to take off, those extra pounds: Metabolism. Simply put metabolism is the rate at which the body uses up the calories you consume to produce the energy your body needs for bodily functions (metabolic processes) and physical activity.
Your metabolism is affected by lifestyle factors such as: your fat to muscle ratio, how and what you eat, your stress and actively level, as well as genetic factors.
Now, I am sure you have all heard about this or that diet product that will “boost your metabolism.” True, there are supplements that can help you do so, but here it comes – you want the Big Secret to increasing your body’s ability to metabolize fat? Eat Right and Exercise. There you have, it we are done with this article!
Just kidding, if it were that simple, there would not be a multi-billion dollar diet industry, and the need for The Health Hound to keep an eye on them. Seriously, how to raise your metabolism is no secret, we all know healthy eating and getting enough exercise are key. “The Secret” is in how to do that with simple lifestyle changes that are easy to do, and easy to stick with. Here are Eight Ways to Boost Your Metabolism, Lose Weight, and Improve your Overall Health and Well Being.
1. Think Addition, not Subtraction – A big mistake that dieters make is getting themselves all bent out of shape about what foods they love that they need to cut out or “subtract” from their diet. This kind of denial is the reason why most diets fail. Stop thinking about what you have to subtract from your diet, and instead think about the healthier, and often tasty choices to ADD to you diet. Add things like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crisp snow peas to snack time. ADD a few of your favorite fruits into your lunch bag and onto your breakfast cereal; ADD your favorite veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.
2. Forget About Exercising – WHAT! Did I just say that? But didn’t I just say that exercise is key? Yes, it is. But the concept of “exercise” or “working out” is what keeps a lot of people from doing it. So forget about calling it exercise, or making time for a specific “work out” and just “Move it – Move it” like the song says. Add more physical activity into your everyday life. Walk the dog, (or walk someone else’s dog if you don’t have one, take it form me, dogs love walks!), walk to the corner store instead of driving, park as far away as you can from the entrance to the mall, use the stairs, skip the car wash and wash your car by hand, chase your kids around the yard. You get the picture, increasing your physical activity in fun ways is just as effective as hitting the gym, in waking your sleeping metabolism.
3. Avoid Sugar – Yes, I know I said not to think so much about what to cut out, but if you really want to lose weight, you do have to cut down on the sweets. Sugar, especially white granulated sugar, and the sugars in processed and junk foods, make your body store fat.
4. Don’t Skip Out on Breakfast – You have heard it many times, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true, not eating breakfast slows the metabolism. But, a stop at the drive-thru of Krsipy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts does not constitute “breakfast.” Start your day off right with fruit, whole grain cereals, or whole grain toast. A bit of cheese, and a hard-boiled egg are also fine, as are sardines, tuna, or salmon. If you must have your breakfast on the go, mix-up a delicious smoothie of fruits and yogurt.
5. Lighten the Load – Again, instead of denying yourself the foods you love, find ways to “lighten them up” a bit. A pizza tastes just as good if you make it with low-fat cheese, on a whole-grain crust, topped with soy pepperoni.
6. Water, Water, Water – You cannot expect to lose weight without proper hydration. Also downing a glass of water before you eat is a great way to eat less.
7. Reduce Stress – Lowering stress and anxiety helps lower your blood pressure, improves the immune system, can reduce back and joint pain, and increases fitness overall. It is also a fact that stress increases the levels of cortisol, a hormone that lowers metabolism, and of course many of us overeat in response to stress. Make an effort to reduce stress. Try yoga, tai-chi, or meditation, these will not only help you get less stressed out, they will improve your fitness in many ways.
8. Healthy Supplementation – While there are no magic pills, there are supplements such as RealDose, that have been proven to boost metabolism, and are a healthy adjunct to lifestyle changes. Read the Hound’s Reviews for safe and effective nutritional supplements you can trust, and which to avoid.
The idea here is not to just do these tips once or twice, and check them off like some kind of checklist. Follow them, make them part of your everyday life, and you will find yourself well on the way to a healthier slimmer you.
If you want to take your weight loss a step further, check out this awesome (free) video from the makers of RealDose. This video shows you 3 sneaky hormones that are making you fat and how you can stop them.