To make matters worse, slashing your calorie intake too drastically (under your body weight times 10 — so less than 1,300 calories for a 130 pound woman) can slow your metabolism even more. “When your body thinks the food supply is dangerously low, it goes into starvation mode and slows metabolism to preserve calories,” says Kathie Swift, RD, nutrition director at Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires, Lenox, MA.
To rev up your metabolism and burn off fat: Use — don’t lose — your muscle. Do some type of aerobic activity for 30 to 60 minutes at least four times a week. No time? Break up your workouts into shorter bouts throughout the day.
Be sure you choose an activity you enjoy, so you’ll be motivated enough to stick with it. Another important component is to develop more calorie-burning muscle. To find out how, see “Turn Up Your ‘Fat Burner” later in this article.