Energy Essentials

If you’re feeling leveled by lethargy lately, fight back by boosting your metabolism — defined by the National Institutes of Health as “all the physical and chemical processes in the body that convert or use energy.” To improve your stamina and general health, avoid trendy vitamins and supplements and drinks that claim to perform metabolism miracles. Instead opt for these time-tested tips to keep your body’s engine humming:

Exercise: Strength training 2 or 3 times a week will build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat. Add 30–60 minutes of regular cardiovascular exercise — such as jogging, elliptical, or fast walking — to see results.

Don’t starve yourself: Research indicates that skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually slow down your metabolism.

Eat more often: Many dieters are finding success by spreading out their calories and eating several smaller meals about every 3–4 hours.

Stay hydrated: Keep that water flowing and avoid dehydration, which produces the same unwanted metabolic effect as starvation.

Try green tea. It can raise your metabolism while providing an antioxidant and caffeine infusion.

Avoid sugar: Soft drinks, alcohol, and processed foods can all contribute to weight gain. Aim for healthier calories from produce, whole grains, lean protein, and low–fat dairy.

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