As we age our metabolism unfortunately slows down. That's the plain ugly truth.
But what is metabolism? Simply put, metabolism is the process of breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to yield the energy your body needs to maintain itself.
The rate of your metabolism depends on the interaction between the number of calories you consume, the number of calories you burn while eating and exercising, and the calories you burn based on your individual genetic makeup.
That being said we like to equate metabolism with weight loss. Although we can't turn back the clock -- and believe me I have tried -- there are some really great things we can do to rev up our metabolism!
In Praise of Strength Training
The payoff for all your sweating: Muscle works more efficiently than fat. Strength-training can help boost metabolism by as much as 10 percent in 12 weeks by rebuilding muscle. Even better... each extra pound of muscle you carry can burn up to 50 additional calories just to maintain itself -- and it does so without any extra effort on your part!
Eat Frequently Not Tremendously
Research out of Georgia State University shows that people who eat every 3 to 4 hours have less body fat and faster metabolisms than those who eat only 2 or 3 meals per day.
What's that mean exactly? It doesn't mean munching mindlessly. You need to make healthy choices that include lean proteins, fiber and iron-enriched foods like wholesome vegetables. We're not talking family style portions here. These are smaller more proactive meals vs. large meals that are overindulgent. Think about what you are eating before randomly eating it and make it have a point.
Water, Water Everywhere
<img src="http://i30.tinypic.com/i21q3p.jpg" _cke_saved_src="http://i30.tinypic.com/i21q3p.jpg" right"="" style="margin: 5px;" border=" align=">The body needs lots of water to function properly. If you do not provide enough water the body goes into starvation mode and hoards what it has. This defensive process slows your metabolism.</p><p>So what are the recommended amounts for water intake? It's based on your weight as well as things like activity levels and possible medical conditions. A good rule of thumb: Divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water a day. Using this equation, a person who weighs 150 pounds would need at least 75 ounces of water daily.<br> <br><strong><font color="#993300" size="4">Feel Free to Move About The Cabin</font></strong></p><p>Never sit when you can stand and never stand when you can walk.</p><p>Making movement choices throughout the day can help burn extra calories and get your metabolism out of a slump. So stop heading in the other direction of the stairs and start heading toward them.</p><p><strong><font color="#993300" size="4">The Surefire Cure For a Sluggish Metabolism...</font></strong></p><p>Sorry... it doesn't exist. If it did one of my clients would have found it. While there are certain foods that can make a temporary minor impact, no food is the cure-all.</p><p>Some items of note that have had positive results are beverages that include caffeine. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, so your daily java jolts can rev your metabolism 5-8% which translates into about 98 to 174 calories a day.</p><p>A cup of brewed tea can raise your metabolism by 12%, according to one Japanese study. Researchers believe the antioxidant catechins in tea provide the boost.</p><p>Genetic predisposition only equates to about 5% of our metabolism rate. That leaves a whopping 95% we have control over. Take charge and get your metabolism revving!</p><p>Be well & stay well.</p><p><em>Alicia is an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer and a Weight & Lifestyle Management consultant. The owner of Evolution Personal Training Inc. in New York is also the author of Oscar & Otis, Fat Fighters. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.oscarandotis.com" _cke_saved_href="http://www.oscarandotis.com" target="_blank">OscarandOtis.com</a>.</em> </p><p></p>