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How can someone increase their metabolism?

I am overweight and I'm trying to shed some pounds on the advice of my doctor. How can I help increase my metabolism? Is this important when it comes to losing weight? What's the most important thing?
First of all, congratulations on deciding to try to lose some weight! This is a very important step towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle and protecting yourself from heart disease, diabetes, and other complications later in life. When trying to lose weight, the most important things to do are to exercise regularly and to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Exercise can have some effects on 'metabolism boosting' but, more importantly, it works by helping you to burn excess calories off, resulting in weight loss. It is important to pick an aerobic form of exercise, which is the type of exercise which is best for the heart. A good rule of thumb is that you should perform at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week. You should exercise hard enough that you are sweaty and breathing fast when you finish. Eating a healthy, nutritious diet that meets your caloric needs but does not exceed them is also important. Rather than crash or fad diets, the best approach is actually to sit down with a nutritionist, who can help you come up with a realistic, sustainable diet plan that is tailored to your needs. Talk to your primary care doctor or your dietitian for more information!
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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