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Here are five tips to kicking your calorie-burning metabolic rate into high gear!

1) Eat more to burn more. Common mistakes dieters make are skipping meals or fasting, which actually slows down your metabolism and thus your body's efforts to burn calories. When you don't fuel your body with food, it goes into survival mode, clinging to the essential nutrients it needs and storing energy as fat. Instead, eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with 2-3 healthy snacks to keep your metabolism going all day long. Try snacks like sliced veggie sticks or a handful of almonds for a midday energy boosts.

2) Drink water throughout the day because just as food affects your metabolic rate, so does staying hydrated! If you're dehydrated, your body focuses on retaining water rather than burning calories.

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3) Pay attention to calorie intake as you age. What they say is true – your metabolism slows down by about 5% every 10 years. Be sure to adjust your calories and exercise to accommodate for this natural change. Keep a food journal, tracking your calories and weight to monitor your body's metabolism.

4) Start with breakfast every morning. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day because it starts the metabolic process after a long night of sleeping and fasting. Try a whole grain cereal with low amounts of sugar like oatmeal, topped with nutrient-rich blueberries.

5) Strength-train to build muscle. Working out with weights 2-3 times a week to increase your muscle strength can help your metabolism because muscle burns more calories than fat.

Your metabolism is influenced by a lot of factors, including your gender, age, and weight. Manage your body's calorie-burning capabilities by making use of these five tips, eating balanced meals, watching calorie intake, and exercising regularly. As always, consult with your personal physician before starting any new diet or fitness regimen.

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