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A Diet for People With a Slow Metabolism

If you want to burn calories faster to accelerate your weight loss, it’s important that you eat regular meals and snacks, avoid fad diets, include lean protein and complex carbohydrates on your daily menu and exercise in your daily routine. It also helps to decrease stress, improve sleep habits and drink water.

The Importance of Breakfast

Your metabolism wants to keep your body in perfect digestive balance. Eating signals your metabolism to work harder and fasting urges it to slow down. If you eat breakfast, you put your metabolism into gear and, if you eat every three hours or so, you keep it revved up. Sugar and refined carbohydrates give your metabolism mixed signals because they create sudden spikes and drops in your blood sugar level. It’s better for your health and your waistline to keep foods such as doughnuts, mashed potatoes and biscuits to a minimum, according to Leslie Beck, a Canadian nutritionist.

Metabolism-Boosting Foods

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Certain foods, including low-fat dairy products, kidney beans and salmon, may boost your metabolism. Numerous studies link calcium intake to weight loss and obesity prevention. Among them is a study conducted by Lisa Pichon that tested the effects on weight of 10 different high protein diets. According to Pichon’s article in the May 2008 “British Medical Journal,” diets high in calcium-rich whey protein provided the greatest weight reduction in rats. Another study that tested the effects of varying amounts of calcium in diets found that higher levels promoted greater weight loss, according to the findings presented at an Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego, California. Michael Zemel of the University of Tennessee said people who consumed 1,000mg of calcium by eating three servings of yogurt lost 61 percent more body fat than people who consumed 500mg of calcium.

Legumes and Fish Boost Metabolism

Complex carbohydrates, particularly legumes, both help to lower blood sugar and rev metabolism, according to Beck. She also says that fatty fish helps to speed calorie burning, and several studies support her view. Among them is a study published in 2009 in the “British Journal of Nutrition.” Lead author S. Navascarretero said that oily fish proved better than red meat in improving the metabolisms of women in his study. Beck says that the Omega-3 oils in fish such as salmon produce the boost.

Importance of Exercise

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It’s also important to get moving. Today, Americans burn 120 to 140 fewer calories per day than they did 50 years ago, mainly because of the sedentary nature of their jobs, according to Amanda Gardener, health reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can also burn 300 to 450 calories by walking on your lunch hour, an activity that helps you lose a pound a week. Aerobic activity provides immediate metabolic improvement. Weight resistance exercises, which build lean muscle, increase your metabolism in the long-term because muscle burns more calories than fat.

Additional Boosts

Stress raises your cortisol levels, which can lower your blood sugar and throw your metabolism off-kilter. Activities such as yoga and watching comedies can decrease stress and, as a result, your blood sugar and metabolism. Sleep also improves your metabolism by regulating hormones that affect appetite. When you don’t get enough sleep, you may be inappropriately hungry, especially for sugar and refined carbohydrates. Sleep keeps your appetite under control, according to Jennifer Sygo, a registered dietitian who writes for Canada’s “National Post.” A simple metabolism-boosting trick is to drink water, which was proved to boost metabolism by 30 percent in a study conducted by Michael Boschman and published in 2003 in “The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.”