By Jenny Everett, SELF magazine
After a weekend of fun and -- we admit it -- a bit of gluttony, we're on the hunt for ways to jump-start our metabolism.
Related: 20 superfoods for weight loss
Sure, we've heard that you should eat spicy foods and run intervals, but we wanted a few more proven strategies to add to our post-2 a.m. pizza repertoire.
Here are 4 metabolism-boosting strategies we're psyched to use this week:
1. Ditch the Treadmill: Trade in your treadmill jogs for this approach from Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at Quincy College in Quincy, Mass. Choose 8 strength moves and do 12 to 16 reps of each (taking 2 seconds to raise, and 2 seconds to lower the weight), without resting between moves. Repeat once. You're done in 20 minutes, but you'll jack up your resting metabolic rate by up to 9 percent for three days.
Related: 10 Ways to Lose Weight Like a Guy
2. Eat Breakfast Within 90 Minutes of Waking: When you cut way back on calories, your body automatically puts the brakes on your metabolism. Your body thinks it's starving, so it slows down the metabolic process to conserve the carbs and fats it has on board. The best approach, according to registered dietician Stephanie Clarke, a contributing editor at SELF and co-founder of C&J Nutrition: Eat breakfast ASAP when you wake up in the morning (within 90 minutes of waking) and eat enough (at least 1200 calories) throughout the day, preferably waiting no more than 4 hours between meals or healthy snacks.
3. Make It a Spinach Frittata: OK, so it might have been a stretch when mom told you spinach will make you Popeye-strong, but this leafy green is packed with B vitamins and magnesium. "The great thing about B vitamins and magnesium is getting enough means that your metabolism will be more likely to work at its best, since these two nutrients are key players in the metabolic process," says Clarke. For breakfast, try this amazing frittata with spinach, mushrooms and ham
Related: Diet-Friendly Thanksgiving Side Dishes
4. Don't Skimp on Protein: Clarke recommends including protein at meals and with snacks. "It takes energy to metabolize food, whether it's protein, fat or carbohydrate," she says. "But it takes slightly more calories to metabolize protein."
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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio