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Amsterdam Amstel
13-09-2016 / 11:00

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increase your metabolism

burn energy faster

It’s not just about calories, nutritional value is also so important. Our body needs nutrients so that our body and the various processes can perform at an optimum level. One of these processes is the metabolism, or the burning of energy (calories) that you receive. The faster the metabolism, the quicker you burn energy, which helps in losing weight. If you use a lot of energy, your body will start to use up fat reserves, resulting in these reserves becoming smaller. But how do you increase your metabolism?

Tips for a good metabolism
Your metabolism is influenced by various factors, such as age, sex, hormone balance and genetics. You are also able to increase it yourself, firstly by eating healthy and therefore receiving more nutrients. However, not just what you eat but how you eat (and exercise) can help. Watch out for the following points.

Use a minimum amount of processed foods and eat more fibre
Try and eat mostly natural and unprocessed foods. The body needs a lot of energy to digest unprocessed and fibre rich products and so uses extra calories. On top of that, these products are much better for your health than the processed varieties.

Examples of unprocessed products are: vegetables, fruit, legumes, raw nuts, wholemeal/spelt bread, brown rice and wholemeal pasta. Unprocessed products are also more nutritious which leaves you longer satisfied.

Examples of processed products are: white bread, white rice and white pasta and all the well known products that increase your weight such as ice-cream, lollies, pudding, vla, chips and biscuits.

Don’t eat too less and always avoid crash diets!
For years people thought that the best way to loose weight was to eat as less as possible. This, though, is old news. Thank goodness because it is unhealthy, not enjoyable and in the long run, not effective. If you don’t eat very much, your body adjusts by slowing down its metabolism. This way you will have to keep eating smaller and smaller portions to lose any weight. When you stop dieting, the body then holds onto everything that you eat. The result is that you gain weight very quickly and are soon back where you started. Another problem with this method is that not only do you burn fat but also muscle tissue. This is not a desired effect as your metabolism slows even more and you lose strength to exercise.

Use herbs
Try to give your meals flavour by using fresh and dried herbs and spices as much as possible. For example: oregano, peppers, basil, coriander, chives, dill, thyme and cumin.

Eat the correct fats
Fats can be divided into saturated and unsaturated fats. The second sort is the sort that you want to consume. These support your body processes in the best possible way. You will find them in: good quality oils, fatty fish, nuts and avo- cados. Avoid products with saturated fats such as cakes, biscuits, chips and fried snacks.

Drink more water
Your metabolism slows down immediately if you body doesn’t receive enough fluids. Drink at least 8 glasses a day to en- courage a good working metabolism.

Sport (at the right moment)
Strength training has proven to be one of the most effective forms of training to increase the metabolism. If you train in the morning, you will increase your metabolism for the rest of the day. See if this works for you. If you prefer to train in the evening, that is also fine. Every bit of exercise helps.

Eat more plantbased protein
Your body uses twice the amount of energy to process protein than it uses to process fats or carbohydrates. Protein is present in nuts, legumes and tofu. There are also protein rich powders available that you can mix with water. This can be a good supplement.

Sleep!
The body finds it difficult to distinguish between hunger and tiredness, which is why you often eat more when you are tired. Lack of sleep can also result in a slower metabolism and it can influence the way our body burns carbohy- drates.

Less alcohol
Alcohol represses the body’s ability to burn fat, so consume alcoholic drinks in moderation.