- Get an adequate amount of sleep. Studies have reported that inadequate sleep and more stress are correlated with increased visceral fat.
- Eat better, not less. Get in the habit of eating more nutritionally dense foods to keep you full longer, instead of eating less and feeling hungry. Restricting food will actually make you feel hungrier, which causes your metabolic rate to decrease and potentially cause you to burn muscle tissue.
- Consume more protein. Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscles, so add one serving to every meal and snack. Moreover, protein can increase post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35%.
- Sit less. Sitting at work and home for long periods of time can play a big role in hurting your health and increasing your waistline. Inactivity for four hours or more causes the enzymes that control fat and cholesterol metabolism to nearly shut down. Keep enzyme activity high by standing up every so often even while you are still working. A standing desk is an easy way to improve your activity level. Having one that is adjustable to sitting allows you to change positions as your work demands require.
- Drink cold water. Drinking six cups of water daily can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories per day. This is the equivalent of about five pounds per year. It is thought that this caloric burning results from your body’s effort to heat the cold water to body temperature.
- Eat spicy foods. Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating chopped red or green chili peppers, boosts your body’s production of heat, resulting in a temporary metabolism spike.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast is important to jump start your metabolism and keep your energy level high all day. People who skip breakfast are actually four and one-half times more likely to be obese. Breakfast will jump start your metabolism and keep your energy level hold high all day. With your metabolism boosted, you will actually burn more calories.
- Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine is a stimulant that can raise your metabolism 5-8%, which is the equivalent of about 98-174 calories per day.
- Eat more fiber. We all know that fiber is good for our bowel health, but also helps us feel fuller longer. Additionally, fiber can increase your fat burn by as much as 30%. Those who eat the most fiber gain the least weight over time. Fiber can come in the form of whole fruits and vegetables or whole grains.
Dr. Thomas Schuler is a world-renowned, double board certified spine surgeon; trained in both neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery of the spine. He founded Virginia Spine Institute in 1992 and is a recognized international leader in the treatment of neck and lower back conditions. Dr. Schuler is noted among the 100 best spine surgeons in America, and serves as President of the National Spine Health Foundation as well as Chairman of its Medical and Scientific Board. Learn more about Dr. Schuler.