It’s almost spring, and bathing suit season is right around the corner. But it’s also the time of year when your New Year’s Resolutions may have slipped a bit. Here are a few simple strategies to boost your metabolism, amp up your diet, and cut calories you might not even miss.
1. Sit Less
Research consistently links the number of hours you spend sitting each day with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, not to mention the likelihood of being overweight. That’s why Kaiser Permanente Physician Elizabeth Dawes Kim, MD, suggests moving around as much as possible during the day and taking time for these do-anywhere core exercises.
2. Boost Your Metabolism
This may sound like a tall task, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your body is burning calories at the most efficient rate. One way to get started is to test your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which measures the amount of energy your body is using when still, says Kaiser Permanente Health Coach Aleah Mainzer. This provides you valuable information you can use to boost your activity level and caloric burn.
3. Eat More Greens
There’s no simpler way to reboot your daily diet than to add leafy greens to a meal or two, says Kaiser Permanente Physician and Culinary Medicine expert Linda Shiue, MD. “I tell my patients that tossing a handful of greens into their breakfast scramble or stew at dinner is one of the easiest ways to eat healthier,” says Dr. Shiue, who teaches monthly healthy cooking classes through the Thrive Kitchen. In fact, her April class, Spring Vegetables, features creative ways to increase your veggie intake.
4. Walk Faster
Another way to boost your metabolism and fit some cardio into your busy day is to integrate intervals of speed walking or even running into your daily walks. Research shows that when you push your heart rate up to 50 to 70 percent of its maximum rate, even for a couple of minutes, you greatly increase your calorie burn rate. Even better, interval training boosts your metabolism for 24 hours after your workout!
5. Cut Out Added Sugar
Delicious as those sweet treats are, they’re empty calories. One easy fix: cut out soda. Another, of course is cutting down on white flour carbs like baked goods and snack foods. But if giving up your afternoon cookie sounds too hard, an easier target may be changing your breakfast routine.