Remember those carefree days when you could slam four beers, a plate of dry ribs, and a bunch of fries in one go and not feel like Homer Simpson?
A lot of us guys experience waist inflation in our 30s and beyond, but even past 30 your body is still on your side; you just have to know how to shake it from hibernation.
Here are 3 ways to boost your metabolism and burn fat without even trying:
Start your day with water – Metabolism is what happens when your body breaks down food into energy to strengthen and repair itself. Like a screaming steam engine, sometimes all it needs is some H20 to get rolling. Grab for a large glass of water when you first wake up – even before coffee – and aim to drink four glasses daily.
Change your breakfast – Nix the sugary cereals and opt for protein-rich foods for men like eggs at breakfast. A good breakfast gives your body the kick in the pants it needs to burn fat all day, and stops you from wolfing down a mid-morning doughnut.
Eat more like Popeye – Eat more vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and red cabbage (all rich with minerals and vitamins) will help nourish your muscles like none other. Your body burns energy to feed your muscles, so the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will run. If you really want to go for it, check out some guy-friendly kale recipes here.
Can’t remember the last time you had a proper lunch break? You’re not alone. According to recent research, only one in five North Americans step away from their desks for a midday meal. We stay in the office to be more productive, of course, but it turns out that skipping a regular time-out can have the opposite effect: Studies show, the longer we stay at work without changing our surroundings from time to time, the more our creativity suffers.
So before we get to the break-boosting tips, here’s the most important takeaway of all: Be sure to take a break away from your desk, even if it’s only for a few minutes. How you spend those few minutes away can have a positive effect on your mood, even beyond a fresh jolt of creativity.
Here are three great ways to boost your break-time:
1. Take a stroll to get lunch
If there’s a restaurant, cafe or grocery store a few blocks from your office, walk there for lunch or coffee. Eat your meal and drink your coffee, then walk back. Even a few minutes of light exercise like this can work wonders on your mood and physical health. Kick it up a notch by taking the stairs instead of the elevator. And to improve your mood even more: Eat a healthier lunch by replacing fries for a salad with your burger, and by 2pm, you won’t feel like taking a nap!
2. Find a calm green space to breathe
Head to a calm green space near your office with your lunch in hand. (Here are some easy, tasty and healthy ideas for brown-bagging it.) Take a seat on a bench or a patch of grass, close your eyes and do some deep breathing: Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose — your belly, not your chest, should rise — and then do the same when you exhale. Do this once and you’ll feel better. Do it a few more times and stress and tension will melt away.
3. Get social with a buddy or co-worker
Invite a co-worker or a friend who lives or works near your office to tag along. Relaxing, laughing, and talking about last night’s game with your buddies will cheer you up, and help you shrug off the stresses of everyday life.
So go ahead and take that well deserved break! As you can see, there are way more benefits to doing this than just eating your lunch.
“Taking ‘naps’ sounds so childish, I prefer to call them ‘horizontal life pauses.’” – Will Ferrell
Naps aren’t always associated with kicking butt, but they should be. Studies have shown that a short daytime snooze, between 20 and 30 minutes in length, boosts alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.
A NASA study found that a 40-minute nap improved pilot and astronaut performance by 34% and alertness by 100%. The takeaway: Whether you’re flying the space shuttle or shopping for a space heater, naps help you up your game. Just ask legendary guys such as Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Napoleon, Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. All of them kicked butt — in one way or another — and all of them were dedicated nappers.
Want to make the most of a short, rejuvenating lie-down? Make sure:
Your sleep environment is a comfortable temperature. A sweaty or chilly snooze won’t last long.
The amount of noise and lighting levels have an impact on the quality of your nap. This will vary for each and every one of us, but simply closing your blinds and turning off the TV can improve the quality of your Zs.
Don’t nap too late or too early in the day. Mid- to late-afternoon has been shown to be the optimal nap time.
Tip: If you’re lacking sleep, a nap could help reduce your blood pressure and risk of heart attack.
So maybe Edison’s famous quote about genius should be amended to include “1% inspiration, 50% perspiration…and 49% naps.”
Shankar A, Koh WP, Yuan JM, Lee HP, Yu MC. Sleep duration and coronary heart disease mortality among Chinese adults in Singapore: a population-based cohort study. Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 15;168(12):1367-73. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn281. Epub 2008 Oct 23.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18952563