Boost your Metabolism to Shed Winter Weight

( [email protected] ) Apr 26, 2004 03:59 PM EDT

Between Christmas holidays and a tendency to be drawn to more starchy and filling foods, we tend to pack on a few extra pounds in the winter. With bikini season around the corner, it is time to implement a few foolproof weight loss steps to look and feel your best.

Whether you have 10 pounds or 100 pounds to lose, boosting your metabolism naturally with food, supplements and exercise is the most effective way to reach and maintain your ideal body weight. Simply follow the CP Health tips below and start reaching your weight loss goals today!

Green tea

In addition to its anti-cancer properties and beneficial effects at lowering cholesterol, drinking green tea on a regular basis is very effective for weight loss. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated green tea's effect at increasing a process called thermogenesis--the body's rate of burning calories in the body. In addition, chemicals in green tea called polyphenols, specifically the polyphenols called catechins, can help prevent obesity by inhibiting the movement of glucose into fat cells.

So how much do you need to drink? Studies show that drinking approximately three or four cups per day is effective at producing the metabolic-boosting and fat-burning effects. Green tea capsules that contain polyphenols are also available for safe and effective weight loss results. To design a weight loss supplement plan specifically for you, complete the Truestar Vitamin Profile.

Eat more protein!

The hormone glucagon is released in response to dietary protein, such as egg whites, lowfat cheese, lean meats, chicken, fish and protein powder. Glucagon signals fat cells to release fat into the blood, thereby promoting its use. In other words, more fat is burned and more weight is lost when you eat more protein. When first starting to lose weight, I recommend eating approximately 40% of total calories from protein at every meal and snack. As a rule of thumb, 3 ounces of protein is equivalent to the palm of your hand without thumbs or fingers.

Say good-bye to refined grains

Refined grains, such as breads, pastas, cookies and cakes, cause most people to over-secrete the hormone insulin. Insulin has the opposite effect of glucagon. Of its many functions, insulin is secreted from the pancreas to facilitate the uptake of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. Glucose (a.k.a. blood sugar) is derived from carbohydrates and is the main source of fuel for the body. When too many of the wrong types of carbohydrates are consumed, such as refined white sugar and/or white flour, excess insulin is secreted to deal with the sugar. In short, excess insulin = excess fat. When trying to win the battle of the bulge, it is important to stick to low glycemic index carbohydrates, such as vegetables, most fruits, legumes and slow cooking oats.

You gotta move it to lose it!

There is no way around it--you have to exercise to increase your caloric expenditure. That being said, you do not have to hit the gym hours each day. Actually, more than 40 minutes of high intensity weight training per day can produce negative hormonal effects that can hinder muscle development."

It is also important to switch up your workouts to ensure your body does not reach an adaptation point. With the summer approaching, make the most of the weather by hiking, swimming, playing a racquet sport or biking outdoors.

Water yourself down

Toxic elements such as herbicides, pesticides and other harmful chemicals accumulate in the fat tissue in our body. When losing weight, these chemicals can cause a temporary toxic environment in your body. To counteract the effect, it is critical to drink as much water as possible. Adding lemon juice to your water is also a natural metabolic booster. Select a higher grade of water, such as steam distilled or reverse osmosis, to avoid impurities.