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Feeding Your Metabolism!
Beth M. Ley, Ph.D.

One of the most frustrating parts about trying to lose weight is the feeling like, "I am hardly eating anything, am starving all the time, and I am not losing any weight!" Some of this has to do with your metabolism... the rate at which your body is burning calories. The problem with cutting back on calories is that your body will actually adjust to this and your metabolism slows down... yes...making it even harder for you to lose those pounds. So here are some tips to help:

1. EAT! Do not go longer than 5 hours without eating anything (except at night when you are sleeping). This is important because if you don't eat all day, when you finally do you will probably be so hungry it will be hard to stop eating when you should. ALSO, all this time... not eating all day, your metabolism was slowing down. So by the time you do eat, your metabolism is at an all time low.

2. Feed Your Metabolism! Every time you do eat, your metabolism actually increases. The key then is to eat small amounts of nutrient dense foods, 3-4 times daily. For example: Meal #1 = a small grapefruit or apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter, low fat cream cheese or ¼ cup of nuts. Meal #2 = a small bowl of bean soup or chili. Meal #3 = grilled salmon with a spinach salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, green onion, etc. Instead of the salad you could exchange steamed broccoli. Meal #4 = small bowl of plain Greek yogurt with raspberries and a tablespoon of ground flax seeds. Sweeten with stevia if you like.

3. Protein. Never eat a meal without it... or enough of it. This makes a breakfast of Cherries pretty much out of the question. There is NOT enough protein EVEN with a ½ cup of milk to maintain balanced blood sugars until you eat again in 4 hours. A meal of processed carbohydrates (most ready-to-eat cereals, cookies, donuts, pastries, pancakes, waffles, popcorn, most granola bars, toast and jam) will spike your blood sugars causing your body to store away all those sugar calories away as FAT. Every time you eat make sure you are eating natural lean sources of protein like turkey, bison, chicken, fish, low-fat dairy, nuts or beans.

4. Exercise! You really MUST exercise if you want to lose weight because keeping the body moving forces it to keep burning calories (even when you are cutting back). Park on the far end of the parking lot, take the stairs, bike instead of drive, go running with the dog, get some dance-for-weightloss-DVDs, get some dumbbell weights... and then use them!

5. Cheat! There are plenty of natural substances to help keep your metabolism up throughout the day. Coffee (black or with stevia - thankfully, it comes in chocolate flavor!), Green tea, Cayenne pepper, Guarana, Coleus-Forskohlii (a non stimulant metabolic enhancer). Just be careful with some of these which can raise blood pressure if you over do it.