Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Sarah-Jane Bedwell, Registered Dietitian conducted her "Rev Up Your Metabolism" class, January 22 at Ingredients. Along with recipes she shared the following eight ways to naturally speed up our metabolism: (I have included some comments.)

1. Eat Breakfast: If you eat a substantial and balanced breakfast, this will help increase your energy, control your appetite, and speed up your metabolism. Make sure your breakfast has both complex carbs and protein.

I do eat a breakfast every morning; but I am afraid that is doesn't include both carbs and protein. I am a cereal eater; but seeing that I enjoy breakfast I think this will be easy for me to follow.

2. Eat More Frequently: Never east less than 1200 calories per day. Every time that you east, your body experiences the thermic effect of food, which causes an increased metabolism. Eating something small every 3-4 hours can keep your metabolism raised.

I am not sure about this, what do you eat? When I am at the store I have hard remembering to eat lunch and when I do it is a protein bar (usually) of some sort or another. I am on an Atkins kick right now. A piece of fruit, yogart, almonds and even a spoonful of peanut butter were a few of the suggestions during class.

3. Do Cardio and Resistance Exercise: Exercise is one of the most important factors when it comes to increasing your metabolism. Do intense cardio exercise for 30 minutes or more per day, and your metabolism can stay spiked for up to 2 hours afterwards. Break up your exercise into 2 segments for even more benefits. Do resistance exercise 2-3 times per week to increase your muscle mass and therefore increase you resting metabolic rate to burn more calories 24/7!

Oh, boy the dreaded exercise. Yes I know I should exercise and yes, I feel so much better when I do; but.........

4. Get Plenty of Sleep: If you get less that 7 hours of sleep, you are more than 3 times likely to gain weight each year than if you get at least 7 hours. Energy and activity level is lower when you are tired, which means your metabolic rate decreases as well.

I don't remember the last time I slept through night, let alone got at least 7 hours. Sarah-Jane did tell us that eating a banana or walnuts before bed may help and many of the ladies offered their solutions. And I do know that #3 would help, too.

5. Use Caffeine in Moderation: 1-2 cups of coffee per day (or other caffeinated, calories-free beverage) has shown to be helpful in speeding up your metabolism.

People who know me know that I drink a pot or more of coffee a day!! Do you think if I cut back I would have an easier time with #4?? I did try cutting back by making my coffee half leaded and half no lead; but by 3 in the afternoon I was dragging and had the beginnings of a headache. I know, I know those are withdrawals. I am back to full lead but trying to stop earlier in afternoon.

6. Eat Spicy Foods: Hot peppers (such as jalapeno and cayenne peppers) increase the body's release of certain hormones (adrenaline), which stimulates the metabolism and increases calorie burn. This is due to capsasin, which is found in the peppers and increases uncoupling proteins found in the muscle. This causes the mitochondria to produce more heat; therefore, increasing the metabolic rate. Dried mustard and chili powder has been shown in some studies to cause the same effect.

Now this is an easy one. I acquired a taste for spicy food when were stationed in El Paso, 18 years ago and have cooked with various spices ever since. Sometimes I do get dishes too hot that Mitchell and Calla Rae have trouble eating them.

7. Drink Green Tea: Studies have shown green tea drinkers burn an extra 70-100 calories per day due to the catechins in the tea. Drink at least 2 cups of freshly brewed, unsweetened green tea per day to get these benefits.

What no caffeine! I am going to try drinking green tea. That may help me get through the afternoon. Now Sarah-Jane did say not to buy the green tea in bottles because it loses what you need to rev up your metabolism, so I will look into heating water at the store for my tea. I have had green tea and did like it; but again no caffeine!

8. Move More (All of the Time): The more you move the more calories you burn and the higher you metabolic rate will stay. Studies show that fidgeters have higher metabolic rates that those who sit still. It is especially important to move more toward the end of the day (evening) when metabolism can slow down.

I am not sure how you become a fidgeter :-); but I do know that I can move more often. At home I am always going up and down stairs so I am sure that helps somewhat. I do try to park further from the entrance when I go somewhere and if available I do take the stairs instead of the elevator.

For more tips and recipes you can log on to www.nashvillenutritionexpert.com. Ms. Bedwell is available for speaking engagements, as a consultant and as a nutrition coach and can be reached at 615.975.5634.