Monday, December 20, 2010

How to increase metabolism and lose weight faster--without dieting

Learning how to increase metabolism can lead to weight loss up to five times faster.

By using effective weight management strategies, people can avoid health effects of obesity and being overweight; they can lead to chronic diseases as well as premature death. Obese individuals have a greater risk of having cancer, diabetes, stroke and other health problems.

Dieting and long workouts are not required to improve metabolism. Dieting usually doesn’t lead to lasting weight loss, especially when it involves starvation, because it slows down metabolism.

Inactivity also leads to a slower metabolism and weight gain.  Some people participate in lower levels of activity, but this usually does not lead to any significant effect on weight loss. High level activity can boost metabolism and lead to faster weight loss.

According to a new study by Arlene Hankinson, M.D. and her team, maintaining high levels of activity was associated with smaller gains in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared with low activity levels. Lower levels of activity had little effect on preventing weight gain. High level activity was the only kind that made a significant difference on weight gain prevention in the study. High-level activities included basketball, running, an exercise class and brisk walking.

This study was published in the December issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.

What they did: A prospective longitudinal study of habitual activity of 3554 men and women aged 18 to 30 years at baseline was done. Habitual activity was defined as maintaining high, moderate and low activity levels. Follow-up of participants was done for 20 years. The relationship between habitual activity levels and changes in body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference was evaluated for over 20 years.

Results from the study suggest that people will gain significantly less weight by middle age -- especially women -- if they engage in high activity levels through young adulthood. Weight gain in participants of the study was evaluated for over 20 years.

What is the biggest roadblock for most people trying to increase their metabolism?

Most people are too busy and time-starved to participate in long workouts.

What’s the solution?

Here’s the good news for people who are too busy to carve out a 30-minute block of time to work out:  Exercise research studies have shown that shorter workouts can boost metabolism higher and lead to greater fat burning compared to longer workouts. The secret is interval exercise.

Researchers at Australia's University of New South Wales and the Garvan Institute found that interval exercise burn three times as much fat as running twice as long at a moderately hard, steady pace.

They studied 45 overweight women over 15 weeks. They went through a 20-minute cycling regime in which they sprinted on a stationary bike for eight seconds followed by 12 seconds of cycling lightly. They lost three times more weight as other women who exercised at a continuous, regular pace for 40 minutes.
Results from this study can also be applied to swimming, rowing, running and walking.
Many Americans are overweight or obese and they’re not able to participate in high-level activities. Walking is an ideal workout for most people. Even overweight and obese individuals can participate in a walking exercise program.

The problem is that walking for 60 minutes, seven times a week does not result in much fat loss for most people. The solution for a lot of overweight people is interval walking.

Starting even with just 10 minutes a day and increasing to 30 minutes of interval walking can boost metabolism and increase weight loss.

A study done at the University of Virginia showed that women who did three shorter, fast-paced walks a week ( in addition to two longer, moderate-paced walks) lost 5 times more belly that those who strolled at a moderate speed 5 days a week -- without dieting!

Multiple studies show that shorter workouts, such as interval walking or cycling, can increase metabolism and lead to weight loss faster -- even without dieting.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, many cities have walking trails. Local parks, beaches, lakes and even shopping malls can be great for walking.


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