Five ways to fire-up your metabolism

Whisper it – beach bod season is officially in the offing. And if the prospect of slipping on last year’s bikini currently fills you with dread, fear not; there’s plenty of time to get in tip-top shape. But rather than slave away in the gym (boring), or limit yourself to meals consisting of lettuce and celery and little else (as if), why not fire-up your metabolism with these five easy tips…

Be a breakfast devotee

We’ve long been told it’s the most important meal of the day – and mammy was right for a reason: kicking off your day nutritiously is vital if you want to stay slim. Opt for the likes eggs on wholemeal toast, porridge made with water or a dairy-free milk (coconut, almond or soya), home-made smoothies, or smoked salmon and grilled tomato.

Don’t skip your caffeine hit

The jury’s long been out on the health benefits of your cuppa. Thankfully for sleepy-heads everywhere, heaps of recent studies say a – moderate – coffee habit definitely does lots more good than bad. It contains riboflavin and potassium, and – even better – it raises your metabolic rate, helping you to burn fat.

Fire up your food

Chillies contain capsaicin which naturally helps to convert the food we eat to heat. Not only that – but chillies reduce your appetite and encourage you to eat less too. If that wasn’t enough, the fieriness adds heaps of flavour to food, meaning you’ll be less likely to resort to unnecessary oils or fats during cooking.

Stay hydrated

Feeling peckish? You might actually be thirsty. That and dehydration slows down your metabolism significantly. Keep it active by drinking 2-3 litres of water daily, with extra brownie points if it’s chilled or iced: your body will be forced to warm up the cold water, burning a few extra calories in the process.

Eat more protein

You might think that green salad and soup is as good as it gets in dietary terms, but without a decent source of protein – think lean meats, eggs, avocados, nuts and fish – you’re not doing your body many favours. Protein helps you maintain lean muscle and keeps you fuller for longer. It also makes your digestive system work harder, fuelling a lightning-quick metabolis