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1. Play footsie… with yourself

1. Play footsie… with yourself
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Are you a toe-tapper? A pencil twirler? A leg shaker? Don’t stifle it—all these little movements can bolster your metabolism.

Fidgeters can burn up to 500 calories a day without even thinking about it.

That adds up to losing nearly half a kilo a week.

Just make sure your fidget isn’t humming or otherwise making noise, as that may make your co-workers kill you, which would not be good for your metabolism at all!

Not a fidgeter? Take a look at these four simple lifestyle hacks that help you burn fat fast.

2. Down a cup or two of coffee

2. Down a cup or two of coffee
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Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant and your daily java can rev your metabolism five to eight percent, helping you burn an extra 98 to 174 calories a day, says Julie Lohre, a certified personal trainer, nutrition specialist, and American Ninja Warrior.

Drinking your cup of coffee before your workout can also help you stay more focused on your exercise, which can also boost your metabolism, she adds.

Everyone prefers coffee differently. Some people take it with cream, some with sugar. But when it comes to the brew, there are scientific best practices.

3. Slap on a nasal strip before bedtime

3. Slap on a nasal strip before bedtime
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When it comes to your metabolism, sleep is the reset button.

So if yours is constantly interrupted by snoring or sleep apnea then you’re missing out on some of the calorie-burning benefits, Dr. Gandhi says.

The fix to bad sleep may be as simple as using a breathing strip on your nose at night or adjusting your sleeping position.

Few things are as coveted as good sleep. Drawing upon recent scientific research, these tips will help guarantee you wakeful days and blissful nights.

4. Curl up on the couch with your favourite flick

4. Curl up on the couch with your favourite flick
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Wait – being a couch potato can help your metabolism? If you’re totally relaxed, then yes.

Stress increases the level of the hormone cortisol, which can cause metabolic dysfunction if it’s constantly elevated, explains Bindiya Gandhi, MD, an integrative and functional medicine specialist.

The cure is to do something that will help you completely de-stress.

Taking a long bath, walking outside, and reading a book are all great options to chill out, but if your favourite method is watching a movie that’s cool too, as long as that’s not all you do.

The following ten movies were selected as classics by you, the reader. Do you think you have seen them all?

5. Make your nightcap a cup of chamomile tea

5. Make your nightcap a cup of chamomile tea
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Even just one or two alcoholic drinks a day can disrupt your metabolism, increasing your risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders, Dr. Gandhi says.

Skip the booze altogether or save it for special occasions and learn to wind down at the end of the day with a different beverage.

Herbal teas are soothing, no-calorie options that won’t keep you up at night.

Different teas have very distinct characteristics, which can affect not only how they are drunk, but at what time of day.

6. Watch the sunrise

6. Watch the sunrise
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Getting a little sunlight on your face every morning boosts both your body and your mood, says Ken Ceder, executive director of Science of Light, a nonprofit focused on the benefits of natural light.

To get your daily dose, you need to spend at least 15 minutes every morning outdoors, in the sunlight, without sunscreen or sunglasses on.

Simply taking in the sunrise can help you lose weight and increase your metabolism naturally, he says. If the sun isn’t cooperating, consider using a light box.

Stuck in a weight-loss plateau? These surprising factors may be preventing you from reaching your goal weight.

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7. Squat down to pick things up

7. Squat down to pick things up
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Doing “composite movements”—any movement that uses more than one muscle group—can elevate your metabolism for 24 to 48 hours, says Ron Erlich, BDS, a board member of the Australasian College of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine and author of A Life Less Stressed.

Compare that to going for a run, which may burn more calories but only raises your metabolism for a few hours afterward, he says.

You don’t have to be a gym rat to benefit.

Many of these compound movements can be a part of your everyday life – think of chores, gardening, and even putting away the groceries.

Often the first things to pop into your mind right after thinking about exercices are the excuses you can kid yourself into believing are valid reasons for NOT exercising.

Here are the top three, and how to work your way past them.

    8. Fruit, not cupcakes

    8. Fruit, not cupcakes
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    Simple carbohydrates, like the kind found in junk food, are metabolism killers, Erlich says.

    The sugars elevate your blood sugar and make you resistant to insulin, he explains.

    This doesn’t mean you can never have a cupcake or some chips again, but next time you crave something sweet, try satisfying yourself with a piece of fruit first.

    Bonus: Fruit comes with fibre, a proven metabolic booster. Simple, plain old fruit is best, with no additives.

    Think you’re eating healthy when you down that bowl of salad with honey mustard dressing and munch on veggie chips? Think again.

    9. Enjoy a grass-fed steak with butter

    9. Enjoy a grass-fed steak with butter
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    Fat is not the enemy when it comes to weight loss.

    In fact, eating the right kinds of fats – including butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and fat from pasture-fed and -finished animals – can increase your metabolism, Erlich says.

    Healthy fats help regulate important hormones, including testosterone, and help you feel full longer so you don’t binge on junk food, he adds.

    All diets need some fat, but it’s important to choose healthy fats and to moderate how much of them you consume.

    Use these easy tips to reduce the amount of fat in your cooking and prepare healthier meals.

    10. Facetime a friend in real life

    10. Facetime a friend in real life
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    “In today’s ‘attention economy,’ it is easy to get lost in the online world of social media and take your real-life, face-to-face relationships for granted,” Erlich says.

    Face-to-face time with friends and family has a ton of mental- and physical-health benefits and can tack on years to your life.

    But what do you do when a fizzling friendship can’t be fixed? Take our advice on how to break up with friends.

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    Please be advised that due to the current lockdown in the Philippines, Reader’s Digest magazine May issue will not be available at its regular on-sale date to our subscribers or through our retail channels in that region. We hope to have the issues available in early June, but this is dependent on when the lockdown restrictions are lifted. We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience. Thank you and stay safe!
    – The Reader’s Digest team