Pump Up Your Metabolism

Q: I've tried every diet under the sun in my life, and I'm really afraid I've ruined my metabolism. I seem to gain weight no matter what I eat now! Is there any way to fix this?

This is such a good question — I'm so glad you asked! Many people suffer from the backlash that can result from years of yo-yo diets. What happens is this: When people let their calorie levels drop too low, their body's survival mechanism kicks in, lowering their metabolic set point (or basal metabolic rate). When they go off that crash diet and begin to eat normally again, they gain back any weight lost — plus. And what follows that? Yup, another crash diet.

The cycle is often very frustrating, but it CAN be reversed with time, consistency, and patience. What you'll need to do is the exact opposite of what we call shocking the metabolism; you have to allow your body time to adapt to a new metabolic set point — by being consistent, you'll force your body to adapt.

Now, here's the other part of the equation: The absolute best way to pump up your metabolism is to EXERCISE. You'll be burning calories not only during your workout but also up to 48 hours after — all the while increasing lean muscle tissue, which speeds the metabolism over the long term. Aim for five hours of exercise a week if possible, but no fewer than three hours a week.

Get more fitness tips from Jillian Michaels.

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