Friday 30 September 2016

Siobhan Byrne: Much-needed boost for the metabolism

Poor cheat meals, coffee and bad snacking can all slow the body down

Siobhan Byrne

Published 24/11/2015 | 02:30

Siobhan Byrne: Constantly eating small amounts of balanced foods every few hours helps rev up the metabolism
Siobhan Byrne: Constantly eating small amounts of balanced foods every few hours helps rev up the metabolism
Plank jacks
Plank jacks 2
Side lunge chop
Side lunge chop 2
Side lunge chop 3
Squat jump
Squat jump 2
Squat jump 3

Over the next two weeks, I will be discussing things that you may be doing, consciously or unconsciously, which can slow down your metabolism.

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Weekend gorging: It's Monday, and if you constantly get to a Monday telling yourself you have to start again with your diet, after gorging all weekend, then maybe you are doing one of the many things that slow down your metabolism. I often speak about cheat meals, a higher calorie meal than your usual meal, which are allowed if you have had a balanced and clean food week with no treats. However, often it is the case that people take these cheat meals for an all-out weekend buffet, helping themselves to endless calories and then spend the next four days not just battling the desire for the sugary foods but also trying to undo the damage from the previous weekend.

Are you filling up on coffee and missing meals?

Coffee may be a great appetite suppressant but you are fooling yourself into thinking that you are helping your metabolism with this unsustainable habit. There is only so long that we can keep that up and then, when you go to eat normally, you may find you cannot control the weight gain. This can be a vicious circle that is easy for women to get trapped in.

You are bad at snacking. There is a reason why most trainers and nutritionists recommend five small meals a day, including two healthy snacks. Constantly eating small amounts of balanced foods every few hours helps rev up the metabolism to burn more calories all day long.

When you do snack, you go for sweet options that have little to no nutritional value. Get to know your snack portion sizes. If you do snack on nutritious snacks, like nuts, be careful not to overindulge, taking in excessive amounts of calories. A small handful of unsalted nuts, like almonds or walnuts, can make a great snack option to really help fire up the metabolism.

Boost metabalism #1

Plank Jacks

1/ Start on your toes and hands, with your arms straight, back flat and your feet together.

2/ Then jump your feet out to the sides without moving the hand position. Immediately jump back to the middle and repeat. Keep your back flat throughout.

Side lunge chop

1/ Start by standing in an upright position with your arms raised overhead, hands clasped.

2/ Then take a step to one side. Leaning forward and lowering your torso slightly forward, bring your arms down to the side of the knee like a chop. Repeat on the other side.

Squat jumps

1/ Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your side.

2/ Squat down towards the ground, pushing your hips back, ensuring that your knees don't go beyond your shoe laces, then jump up in the air and land back into squat position and repeat.

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