(iv) Munch Healthy Snacks – If you can’t avoid 2-3 large meals, the next best thing is to munch a carrot or an apple or anything healthy and nutritious between meals. Other good snacking options include oatcakes with low fat soft cheese, a handful of unsalted whole nuts, vegetable sticks, low-fat or fat-free yoghurt and berries. Snacking can actually help you lose weight. Snacking prevents you from becoming too hungry. The hungrier you are, the less control you have over what and how much you eat. Also it will keep your energy/sugar levels stable and your metabolism stoked.
(v) Keep Hydrated – Your metabolism needs plenty of water to function properly. Drink 2½-3 litres of water/liquid (more in hot weather and if you exercise) at regular intervals through the day. Staying well-hydrated is essential to flushing the body of toxic waste products that are released during metabolic processes.
(vi) Eat Light Last Meal at least 2-3 hours prior to hitting the Bed – Basically our activity is lower than what it was in the morning, so is metabolism and the digestion capacity of the stomach. Therefore, eating a heavy meal late at night is a sure shot recipe for weight gain because the body stores more unburnt calories as fat during sleep. In the night, body cells are naturally not very sensitive to energy or nutrients, so if you overload your stomach, most of it will get wasted or converted to fat. Overloaded stomach will also disrupt the sleep pattern.
(vii) Eat Spicy Food – There is evidence to show that spices especially chillies, can raise the metabolic rate by upto 50% for upto 3 hours after you have eaten a spicy meal.
(viii) Increase Thermogenic Effect of Food – About 10% of the calories we consume each day are used up in metabolising and digesting what we have eaten. So consume more complex carbohydrates like wholegrains and cereals and high-fibre fruits and vegetables which burn more calories than simple carbohydrates.
(ix) Build Muscle Mass – Metabolism slows as we age by as much as 2% a year. But we can counterbalance nature by increasing and strengthening our muscle mass. Muscle tissue largely determines our metabolic rate. It is the single most important predictor of how well we metabolise our food, how well we burn calories and body fat. Our muscle tissue uses 16-22% of our daily calories just to exist. Staying fit and keeping our metabolism active involves a two-pronged strategy – burning off existing unwanted fat as well as checking its accumulation. It is most wise to invest calories in building muscle and toning up the body. So smarten up and increase the muscle mass in the body with moderate strength training exercises. Toned muscles send metabolism through the roof and it stays pumped up for many hours after the finish of the workout. For every ½ kg of muscle, the body uses upto 60 extra calories a day on average. This is because muscle is metabolically more active and burns more calories than fat and other body tissues even when we are not moving.