When you raise your metabolism, your body efficiently burns extra calories. This means you're less likely to store fat on your thighs, your belly or any other part of your body. Take smart, specific actions to raise your metabolism and you'll be able to achieve your leanest body with the least amount of work. Before long, your friends might become jealous -- what, with you wearing the smallest, sexiest pants and happily scooping up the extra tiramisu that everyone else is too scared to eat.
Eat every few hours throughout the day to keep your metabolism elevated. When you go for too long without food, your body goes into starvation mode and conserves calories in case food becomes scarce. Breakfast is especially important since you naturally fast every night when you sleep. Have some protein and carbs, such as almond milk with whole-grain toast within an hour after waking up and do the same two to four hours later. Continue to eat organic fruits, veggies, beans, grains and lean meats throughout the day. To make sure you're not overindulging, only eat when you're physiologically hungry and stop when you're full.
Do interval training, which can increase your metabolism for one and a half to 24 hours after exercise, according to sports physiologist Dr. Michael Bracko. Choose any cardiovascular exercise such as running, cycling or the elliptical machine and warm up for five minutes. Go all out for one minute, then return to a moderately challenging pace for two minutes. Repeat the cycle for 20 minutes and cool down for five minutes at the end. Do this workout three times each week to increase your cardiovascular fitness and regularly, consistently raise your metabolism.
Lift weights three times each week. Resistance training increases the amount of lean muscle mass you have -- and the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. In each session, do lunges or squats for your legs, seated rows and lat pulldowns for your back and chest presses and planks for your chest muscles. Do lateral raises for your shoulders, biceps curls, triceps extensions and crunches for your abs. Choose a weight that allows you to do no more than 10 to 15 repetitions with perfect form. The muscle you build will keep your metabolism elevated 24 hours a day, every day, even when you're sitting on the couch.
- Interval training is an intense activity. Make sure you’re cleared for exercise before starting and stop immediately if you feel dizzy or ill while huffing and puffing.
Suzanne Reilley is a fitness professional with a BS in exercise science and more than four years of experience as a full-time ACSM-certified personal trainer. She has been featured in DailyCandy and "The Washington Post," and has taught at Rancho La Puerta, rated Top Destination Spa by "Travel + Leisure."