4 Healthy Habits to Boost Metabolism
While ‘metabolism boosting’ claims have become prevalent on our foods, drinks and supplements in recent years, it’s important to first know what your metabolism is. When attempting to boost your metabolism, you should know how to do to it in the healthiest manner possible.
When we talk about a ‘metabolism,’ we’re actually referring to all of the chemical reactions in your body that turn what you eat into energy. Therefore, the faster your metabolism works, the more quickly your food becomes energy to burn – and that leads to less calories that like to hang out around your waist, thighs, “love handles,” and just about anywhere else you don’t want them.
If you think your metabolism is slower than normal, consider the following and read on for tips to increase your metabolism in the healthiest way possible.
Possible Signs of a Slow Metabolism
• It’s difficult for you to lose weight, but you gain weight quickly
• You find that your exercise routine, no matter how intense, isn’t touching the number on your scale
• Increased cellulite
• Dry or cracked heels
• Afternoon sugar cravings
The presence of any or all of the signs above does not automatically signify a slowed metabolism. You should always see a doctor if you have concerns about your weight or hormone balance.
4 Healthy Tips for Increasing Your Metabolism
If you’re focused on increasing the healthy habits in your life, these tips will help speed up your metabolism in a healthy way – leaving you feeling terrific heading into the holiday season:
- Eat healthy on a regular basis.
- “Drats! Why’d you have to say that??? Ugh, just when I was going to enjoy the parties, food and drinks coming up over the next few months.” Well, sorry… wise nutrition is key to boosting your metabolism. You are, after all, what you eat. So it’s time to pre-commit, pre-plan and pre-arrange just how and when you’ll begin eating clean, lean, frequently (about 300 calorie snacking on healthy foods every 3-4 hours turbocharges your metabolism), and regularly (don’t skip a meal—it will slow down your metabolism).
- Add some spicy foods like jalapenos and cayenne pepper to your meals once in awhile, as the capsaicin will help boost your metabolism. Lean protein from turkey and chicken, fish and eggs can boost metabolism through its greater “thermic” effect and smooth out your hunger valleys during the day. By all means, don’t avoid fat! About 1-2 tbsp. of healthy fats from dark chocolate (!), extra virgin coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds and avocados will hustle up your metabolism.
- Yep, those folks who walk around with a water bottle all day are powering their metabolism. The body needs water to burn calories and flush waste, which translates into a healthier metabolism. Eight glasses of water a day is considered standard fare. I also recommend filling those bottles with green tea that contains catechins to help drive the metabolic burn. Fruits and veggies are hydrating, as well.
- “Duh? Really?” Yes! The more active you are, within the reasonable limits of your health and fitness levels, the more your metabolism will speed around the turns of life. Also, the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism will be. Couch potatoes burn calories but get this: every pound of muscle burns about 6 calories per day while each pound of fat only burns about 2 calories per day. Add high intensity interval training (“HIIT”) to your resistance or strength training. The Total Gym is a great tool to burn fat and fire up your metabolism. The higher the intensity of your cardio or strength training, the bigger the metabolic boost. Intervals of 30-60 seconds of all out intensity followed by 60-120 seconds at a recovery speed will burn more energy and turbocharge your metabolism.
- “So, wait… I need to be more active AND sleep better?” Yes, if you want to boost your metabolism and avoid an energy collapse that leaves you longing for those metabolic slowing carbs and sugars. Between 7-9 hours of sleep, depending on your activity level (more sleep for more active people), is the ideal amount of uninterrupted sleep. Healthier sleep = slimmer waistlines. Well, not always, but it’s a good rule of thumb to consider. Wake up more refreshed and ready to boost your metabolism by moving (your dog needs a walk, and your bedside is a great place for some jumping jacks or the #1 exercise, push ups), and then eating a fabulous breakfast. Remember healthy habit #1? Eating will rouse your metabolism first thing in the morning.
There you have the four best ways of boosting metabolism so you can enter the over-eating season with the healthiest habits to turn what you eat into energy, not calories. Eat, drink, stay active and sleep well. After all, it doesn’t sound all that hard, and it will help you stay merry…and healthy.