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Five ways to boost your metabolism

In your 20s, you ate whatever you wanted. Now it seems like you can barely look at food without putting on a few pounds. What's going on? In a word: metabolism.

Metabolism is what converts calories into energy for your body to function. While part of it is controlled by your age, gender, and genetic makeup, you can influence how fast your body burns calories.

Here are five ways to make it happen:

  1. Build muscle mass.
    Strength training packs on muscle and burns calories.
  2. Get your heart rate up.
    Daily aerobic activity revs up your internal systems.
  3. Don't forget the D.
    The vitamin D you get from the sun or supplements has been shown to boost metabolism and reduce body fat.
  4. Pack on the protein.
    Nuts, poultry, and the like take more work to digest, so eating them can increase your metabolic rate. Plus they tend to fill you up quickly, which could help you eat less at a sitting.
  5. Eat meals at the same time each day.
    Skipping meals can put your system in starvation mode, and your body can respond by storing calories as fat.