Friday, July 30, 2010

Boost your Metabolism

Our resident Nutritionist, Michelle Skidmore of Food Therapy has some hot tips for boosting your metabolism this month.  Here's what Michelle has to say:

"As busy people, we often forget about our health.  We experience low energy levels, poor immunity, weight gain and stress resulting in a slow metabolism.  Here are a few tips that can easily be incorporated into everyday life to enhance our well being and give our sluggish metabolism a boost!"
  1. Stop dieting! Sure you will see results initially but these diets are restrictive and not sustainable.  Your metabolism slows down as your body tries to conserve energy which means any initial weightloss is regained and then some (sound familiar?!).  A healthy eating plan for life is really the only solution for long term health, well being and weight management.
  2. Eat breakfast. Kick your metabolism into gear first thing in the morning.  Choose a low GI based cereal, fresh fruit and a sprinkle of LSA or chia seeds for a balanced breakfast to set you up for the day.
  3. Eat regularly. Going for long periods without eating allows your metabolism to dip and can also affect your blood sugar levels driving you to the biscuit tin for a quick fix.  Instead aim to eat at regular intervals every 3 - 3.5 hours, 3 main meals and 2 healthy snacks with a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
  4. Balance your blood sugar levels.  The quick fix of coffee, chocolate and white flour products play havoc with your blood sugar levels causing spikes in sugar and the need for insulin.  Over time this results in insulin resistance and leads to weight gain which ironically, reduces our metabolism.  So, it's important to eat regularly and choose low GI foods in their natural state, the less processed foods the better.
  5. Iodine. Have your levels checked and if you are feeling very tired also ask your GP to review your thyroid levels.  Iodine is important for thyroid function which is responsible for maintaining your metabolism.  Iodine can be found in iodised salt, seaweed, seafood, nuts and eggs.
  6. Reduce stress. When we are stressed we produce the hormone cortisol which can trigger food cravings and tell our body to store fat which in turn reduces our metabolism.
  7. Exercise - particularly resistance training.  Increasing your muscle to fat ratio has a positive impact on increasing your metabolism.  More muscle means you will burn calories even when you are doing nothing.
Most importantly eat well, choose a variety of fruit and vegetables, lean meats, poultry and fish, low fat dairy, nuts, eggs and incorporate legumes into your daily diet.  Aim for at least 2 pieces of fruit and 2 cups of vegetables twice a day and steer clear of the white flour, sugary products.

"Good nutrition is the basis of good health"
Michelle Skidmore

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