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Weight management is a life-long approach to a healthy lifestyle. It includes a balance of healthy diet and physical exercise.

Rising obesity rates are a major concern in North America. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Managing one’s weight is one factor in preventing such chronic disease.

Boosting metabolism is the holy grail of weight watchers everywhere, but how fast your body burns calories depends on several things. Men tend to burn more calories than women, even while resting. And for most people, metabolism slows steadily after age 40. Although you can't control your age, gender, or genetics, there are other ways to improve your metabolism:

  • Build Muscle

Your body constantly burns calories, even when you're doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. After a session of strength training, muscles are activated all over your body, raising your average daily metabolic rate. Aerobic exercise may not build big muscles, but it can rev up your metabolism in the hours after a workout.

  • Fuel Up With Water

Your body needs water to process calories. If you are even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water or other unsweetened beverage before every meal and snack. Also, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water.

  • Snack Smart

Eating more often can help you lose and maintain desired weight. Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day.

  • Spice Up Your Meals

Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Cooking foods with a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate.

  • Power Up With Protein

Your body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost metabolism at mealtime.

  • Recharge With Green Tea

Drinking green tea or oolong tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple of hours.

  • Avoid Crash Diets

Crash diets -- those involving eating fewer than 1,200 (if you're a woman) or 1,800 (if you're a man) calories a day -- are bad for anyone hoping to quicken their metabolism. Although these diets may help you drop pounds, that comes at the expense of good nutrition. Plus, it backfires, since you can lose muscle, which in turn slows your metabolism. The final result is your body burns fewer calories and gains weight faster than before the diet.

 

 

 

 

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