Fire Up Your Metabolism!
Don’t let these mistakes zap you of the best fitness results!
When you hit the gym or get fired up for a great workout at home, I’m sure your intent is to make every minute count and get the most out of your fitness time. Whether you realize it or not, there are some common mistakes that can sabotage that post workout metabolic burn. Want to know the common offenders?
Mistake #1: You’re stuck in a workout rut
If you think hopping on the treadmill day in and day out is the best way to burn calories and shed some pounds, think again. Not only will you be bored, your muscles will be bored too. Don't just step on the treadmill at a low speed and walk forever. Your body needs a bit more!
The Fix: Switch up your workout to keep your body guessing your next move. If you incorporate higher paced intervals, it will get your metabolism going and get that fat burning. So, instead of walking for sixty minutes at three miles per hour, switch up the pace so that your body is moving quickly for short bursts followed by a few minutes at a slower pace.
Mistake #2: Taking off the weight
Many women think if they incorporate strength training by lifting weights, they’ll see their body bulk up instead of slim down. Some women are afraid to do any kind of strength or resistance training. What many don't realize is weight training will actually boost your metabolism.
The Fix: Get more iron, not in your diet but in your hands! By incorporating a strength training workout into your routine at least twice a week, you are picking up the ultimate flab melter. Why? Muscle burns calories even when your body is at rest.
Mistake #3: Being Under Water
Most people don’t realize that the body is made up of 75% water. Not getting enough water and becoming dehydrated will actually slow down your metabolism. When you don’t stay hydrated, you burn less energy and you end up feeling lethargic. And, if you’re the type to turn to coffee or energy drinks, that can create an even bigger dilemma since those drinks tend to make you crave higher levels of carbohydrates.
The Fix: Plain and simple, you just need 8 to 12 cups of water a day.
Mistake #4: The Calorie Battle
Many are still under the impression that if you want to lose weight, you have to restrict calories. Some fall into the calorie trap and decide that instead of changing portion size at meal time, they’ll skip meals altogether. When you stop eating or get your calories to low levels, your metabolism shuts down completely. It sends the signal that you are not getting the proper nutrition you need. So, instead of burning calories, your body holds onto them.
The Fix: Try eating 5 or even 6 mini meals throughout the day to keep that energy pumping. If your body gets into a routine like that, it is going to continually burn and your metabolism is going to be working harder to burn fat. If you skip a mini-meal, make sure it is never breakfast, which actually wakes up your metabolism. Breakfast is always the most important meal because you end up burning that meal throughout the entire day.
Mistake #5: Hooked on “Fat Burning” Mode
Many workout machines these days have different programmable workouts. You click a button and before you know it, you’re in fat burn mode. It’s based on the premise that at a lower intensity, your body will grab your fat stores for fuel. What most don’t realize is, these programs work you at a lower heart rate and lower rate of intensity to simply burn fat. What does this really mean? You’re not actually burning as many calories and revving your metabolism as much.
The Fix: If you are looking to burn more calories and beef up your metabolism, kick it up a notch and go for the cardio.
Mistake #6: You are what you eat
It goes without saying that if you want to see results at the gym, you have to back it up with some good solid nutrition. You can’t spend an hour working out only to splurge on a large pizza and beer afterward. Eating right gives your body the best possible “fuel” for the best possible workouts.
The Fix: Right now one of the biggest crazes is the theory of “clean eating.” It’s a low-carb, high protein diet that pushes all fresh foods. Carbohydrates are coming from vegetables instead of breads, pasta or rice. The formula is easy to follow – choose fresh foods and balance that with short, high intensity workouts.