Your metabolism slows down considerably in a fasting state. Considering you possibly have not consumed any calories in the 10-12 hours overnight, breakfast is meant to break this fasting cycle. Eating breakfast helps to rev your metabolism back up, so you begin burning more calories earlier in the day.
• Eat five or six small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones
Eating small, frequent meals and snacks keeps your metabolism elevated throughout the day. If your body is continually working to break down food, you are burning calories. You are also less likely to overeat during a primary meal if your blood sugar is stable from healthy snacking.
• Eat the appropriate amount of calories for your body
Severe calorie restriction can actually stall weight loss. Too few calories will put your body into starvation mode, which means your metabolism is slowing down significantly and is not burning the calories that it normally would.
Weight training, interval, and aerobic exercise are great ways to give your metabolism a boost. Because muscle is metabolically active, it burns more calories at rest than fat does. This means the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism could be!
• Get some sleep
When you are over tired, your body lacks the energy it needs to carry it out its normal functions, like metabolizing food in the most efficient way. If you have trouble sleeping, try cutting out caffeine late in the day, avoid exercising too close to bedtime, and give yourself some quiet time away from the television and computer before you turn out the lights.
For more information on how to speed up your metabolism, contact sports and lifestyle nutritionist Julie Fortenberry, LDN, RD, at 504.457.3100 at The Fitness Principle with Mackie Shilstone at East Jefferson General Hospital, or go to www.ejgh.org/thefitnessprinciple.