4 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism & Prevent Weight Gain During The Holidays

African American woman lifting dumbbell weightAccording to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will pack on one to six pounds over the holidays. Other experts believe the bigger challenge for most people is the weight gain between New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving. But everyone can agree that the holiday season brings many more opportunities to over indulge.

If you take in more calories than you burn your body will eventually convert those extra calories to fat. However, there are steps you can take to burn more calories all day long. Burning more calories throughout the day will allow you to indulge in your favorite holiday treats—within reason of course. The goal? No added pounds.

What is metabolism?

Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts the food you eat and drink into energy. The amount of energy or calories your body uses to support all your bodily functions like breathing, blood circulation, maintaining body temperature, eating, digesting, absorbing, and storing food is known as your basal metabolic rate. Your height, weight, lean muscle mass, age, genetics, and gender determine your metabolic rate. Younger individuals have faster metabolic rates than older people, and women tend to have lower metabolic rates than men.

Can you really boost your metabolism?

Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at the Boston Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts says yes, “Your metabolic speed is determined, in large part, by the amount of lean muscle mass that you have. In other words, the more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate will be. Which is important, as you increase your metabolism, you’ll burn more calories all the time, not just when you’re exercising.”

The following tips will help you boost your metabolic rate and compensate for the extra calories that come along with the holidays.

1. Fiber up. Foods rich in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes will take more energy for your body to break down, digest and utilize, compared to foods with little or no fiber. These fiber-rich foods can also help stave off hunger and satisfy until your next meal or snack. A easy way to increase your fiber intake throughout the day is to aim for a fruit or vegetable serving with every meal and snack.