Metabolism Boosters

Surefire strategies to increase the calories you burn

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Every function of every organ in the body relies on the energy provided by the metabolism of calories. How much energy you need on any given day depends on what you are doing, what you ate and the state of your health. The basic metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the minimal amount of calories you need to live. Some people need only 1200 calories, while professional athletes need 2000.

People with a high metabolism burn more calories than people with a low metabolism. Intense exercise requires more energy than resting on the couch; and you burn more calories digesting good food then when you are downing empty calories in junk.

The goal is to have the calories you eat match the calories you burn or it gets stored as fat. Knowing your threshold can help you figure out how many calories you need to keep your energy needs in balance and your body at an ideal weight.

So how do you know how much energy you need?  

Unless you have access to a calorimeter that accurately measures your BMR, you will only be able to estimate your energy needs. However, by performing certain exercises and eating certain foods with a high thermogenic potential, you can easily increase the amount of calories you burn.

Here are a few simple and surprising strategies to help boost your metabolism.

Exercise Less Intensity
Turns out that when the body needs energy during intense exercise it goes for the more easily metabolized foodstuff first: carbohydrates. Carbs are quickly turned into energy and require less energy to metabolize. So to burn the fat, you need to perform exercise more often and less intensely. Sure, intense exercise can burn calories and build muscle mass that will burn energy more efficiently. But it is the steady fire that will help to improve metabolism. The best strategy is to alternate brief intense exercise with slow and steady moderate exercise.

Drink Coffee and Tea and See
Coffee is a stimulant that contains caffeine. It can help you stay awake but also boost energy expenditure and speed up metabolism. So don't be afraid to drink a cup of Joe.

Green tea has compounds called phenols that have great thermogenic properties beyond that explained by its caffeine content. Give the green light to green tea and drink it hot or cold to promote energy expenditure.

Spice it with Heat
Some plants contain the bioactive ingredient capsaicin, which not only makes them spicy hot, but also doubles energy expenditure for 3 hours after a meal. Plants belonging to this family are a hot ticket for boosting metabolism. Include red peppers, cayenne, jalapenos, habaneros, and tabasco to recipes. It may also work to decrease appetite centers in the brain by boosting the release of certain neurotransmitters.

Ginger is also another good add. It not only aids in digestion but increases body temperature and metabolic rates as much as 20 percent after eating. Slice fresh ginger and stir-fry it with vegetables for an energy invigorating meal.