Halloween has just passed, which means the holidays are just around the corner. Along with the holidays come office happy hours, holiday parties, and family get togethers, and along with the parties come high calorie meals and snacks. Most of us choose to indulge a little bit more the month of December, but that doesn’t mean our waistlines have to pay for it.
If you’re already thinking about a plan of attack for maintaining your weight before New Years hits, it might be as simple as keeping your metabolism up and running on high gear through the season.
- Incorporate metabolic conditioning into your workouts. Instead of running or walking at a steady pace for 45 minutes as your cardio, add in shorter bouts intervals using your own body weight. Research shows incorporating high intensity intervals into your cardio routine can burn just as many calories in a shorter amount of time. Additionally, it increases your metabolism for hours afterward! Think burpees, squat jumps, sled pulls, and plyometric lunges. Just make sure to add it in slowly, and check with your doctor before changing up your exercise program.
- Pick up the weights. Adding strength training to your exercise program can help you build lean muscle mass, add (the good kind of!) curves, and burn calories. It also has one big bonus: cranking up the metabolism! Adding one pound of lean muscle mass to the body can help you burn up to 50 extra calories per day. Additionally, a person burns more calories after the workout than he or she does doing just cardio.
- Get your vitamins. Make sure to get in all of the essential vitamins and minerals, as they affect the metabolism. Vitamin D, B12, Folate, magnesium, riboflavin, and biotin, and more, all affect metabolism.
- Eat protein with every meal. It takes the body longer to digest protein than it does simple carbohydrates. This is why a person feels fuller after eating a meal with protein, rather than just carbohydrates or fat. However, did you know the body also has to work a little harder to break down protein? This results in a fuller and satisfied appetite, with a higher metabolism.
- Move more! Try to move more in your daily activities of life (ADL.) Those who have a job that requires them to be seated at a desk eight hours a day burn hundreds less calories each day than those who have a more physically demanding job. Since it might not be an option to switch careers, make sure to get up and walk throughout the day to keep the metabolism burning high. Set an alarm on your calendar every hour, and get up and walk around the building for 5 minutes, stretch, or walk the stairs.
- Snack on berries. Berries, like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, contain cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G,) a phytochemical that research studies say can increase both adiponectin and leptin, which can suppress the appetite and enhance fat metabolism.
While these tips will help keep your metabolic rate high, it’s also worth noting that moderation in key. If you choose to treat yourself, perhaps grandma’s famous pumpkin pie would be a better choice than snacking on those red and green m-n-m’s, that are available year round (in other colors, too! ;)) Pick and choose what you really want to indulge in, and savor that moment.