A healthy metabolism will certainly help our summer slim down plans, as it controls our bodies’ calorie-burning capacity. However, metabolism also encompasses an array of processes vital to our well-being like: converting food into energy, absorbing nutrients into cells, healing injuries and ridding the body of toxins. As you can see, our metabolism is extremely important for looking AND feeling good—so, what can we do to optimize it? Here are four simple things you can do to boost your metabolism and calorie burn:

1. STRENGTH TRAIN. Push those weights, ladies! The more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest (i.e., your Basal Metabolic Rate). Muscle tissue is metabolically active and uses energy even when you are resting. Adipose tissue (i.e., fat) does nothing but make your jeans feel tight.

2. DRINK COFFEE/GREEN TEA. Studies have shown that people who drink coffee/green tea before exercising burn more calories during their workouts, as caffeine boosts your metabolism. That said, be careful of how much you consume. Excessive amounts of caffeine can stress your body and adrenal glands leading to hormone dysfunction.

3. EAT MORE OFTEN. Eating frequent, balanced meals (every 2-3 hours) can speed up your metabolism. Smaller meals containing carbs/proteins/fats can keep your blood sugar/insulin levels more stable and encourage fat burning. I typically aim for 20-25 grams of protein, 15-25 grams of complex carbs and 5 grams of fat for each of my six meals. The proportions vary a bit throughout the day, but this is a general target.

4. CARDIO IT UP. Be sure you’re getting in your cardio. Depending on your goals, do 20-45 minutes 4-5 times a week. Make sure you don’t get in a rut—keep switching up your cardio routines with different exercises and intensity levels! You can try HIIT training, stadiums , StepMill intervals, the arc trainer, plyometrics, Tabatas, etc.

Summer is around the corner, so let’s all give our metabolisms a little boost with these simple baby steps! As you combine strength training, cardio, regular healthy meals and a little green tea/coffee, your body will start making changes. Don’t think of these steps as “dieting.” Just focus on eating healthy and exercising…and have some fun while you are doing it! Stay dedicated, determined and remember…The “Skye’s the LIMIT!!!”