If you’re looking to lose weight, then your metabolism can play a huge role in determining just how successful you actually are. The metabolism is like the body’s engine, constantly supplying it with the necessary energy required to complete normal everyday tasks.
The metabolism gets this energy from calories and food we consume, which it then converts into glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy. As far as weight loss is concerned, the more efficient a metabolism is, the more weight you’ll be able to lose. This is because when the body needs energy and there is no food available, it then taps into your fat stores to provide it with the calories that it requires.
The more active you are, the more energy you need, and the more energy you’ll burn, in the form of body fat reserves. If you’re worried your metabolism may be running slowly, then fear not, because there are natural and effective ways in which you can boost it.
- Strength and resistance training – If you’re worried that lifting weights will make you look like the incredible hulk, with veins popping out left right and centre, then stop, because without dedicating your entire life to bodybuilding, as well as possibly relying on some *ahem chemical assistance, you really have nothing to worry about. Weight resistance and strength training will however, help to tone your muscles, and will help you to build a little extra muscle mass. Muscle tissue requires far more energy to maintain than body fat, which is why muscular people require more calories than regular people. In order to keep supplying the muscles with these calories however, the metabolism has to work extra hard, thus increasing its overall efficiency.
- Eat little and often – To really keep your metabolism burning like a furnace, you need to keep feeding it with energy. This may sound silly, but if you starve yourself all day, the metabolism slows down, meaning you burn less calories. The trick is to keep eating every three hours or so, but only eating small healthy meals. Think of the metabolism like a steam engine. To keep it burning as its hottest, you don’t dump an entire vat full of coal onto it in one go, you continuously feed it with shovels full of coal instead. Well, think of the coal as your food, and you get the idea.
- Eat more protein – Protein is thermogenic, which basically means that in order to be properly digested and broken down, the body has to work harder than it would with other food sources. As the body is working harder, it’s therefore using more energy, which means the metabolism burning more calories in order to supply this energy. Salmon and red meat are especially beneficial as they contain minerals such as zinc and iron, and the salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are unbelievably healthy and good for us, for a whole variety of reasons, including the fact that they help to boost and then regulate the metabolism.
How to Kick-Start Your Metabolism
Those that exercise regularly usually are those that take their health seriously. They tend to limit sugar, carbs and cholesterol while eating healthy fats and plenty of produce. This individual, whom more than likely exercise three or more times a week, probably has a fast metabolism that burns calories quickly. For the rest of us, we want to be like them and there is good news—we can be.
One of the ways you can boost your metabolism is by getting extra sleep. For most of us, we may only sleep 6-7 hours a night. In order for our metabolism to run faster, we should try to get around 8-9 hours a night. Think of your metabolism as your body’s engine. What you put into your body is the fuel and when you sleep, your engine’s battery is at recharging. Sleep may act as fuel as well, and when we do not get enough, we may appear groggy, which causes the engine to run slow.
Likewise, eating breakfast will always increase your metabolism. I am not talking about pop tarts or sugary breakfast items here. Try to choose breakfast food that is nutritious such as produce, oatmeal or healthy cereals. For many, this is the most important meal of the day. You are fueling your engine, so to speak, so that your brain will be more active and you will be able to focus on everything you have to do. In addition, it may help prevent those early-afternoon cravings from the vending machines. I like a candy bar as much as anyone does else, but c’mon now; we all know that is empty calories, right?
Drink water and more water. I am guilty of not doing enough of this, but it really is necessary. The reason we get hungry in the early-afternoons is that we are dehydrated from not drinking enough water. In fact, this simple beverage may actually cause us to gain weight if we do not get enough of it. Crazy, isn’t it? I always try to keep some by me when I am at my computer, and I always take water to work. I have given up soda for it, and that is a big step for me.
Furthermore, in order to increase your metabolism, try to distress after a hard day. I know this is not always easy. Life always interjects problems into our relationships, finances and so on, but try to make this a daily commitment. For a few moments, try to sit in a quiet room and meditate or do some yoga exercises. Play a game on your tablet or bury yourself knee-deep in your favorite hobby. It is important to take a break and reflect on the day. Then, take a breath and exhale all that unnecessary stress.
Also, do not forget about your daily diet. Do your best to fill it with lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and dairy products. If you can, try to quit eating all the processed foods that you buy in the grocery store. If you shop the perimeter of the store, then it is going to a much healthier way of living. Your metabolism is going to skyrocket and love you for ditching those starchy, fatty and high cholesterol foods. Your waistline will thank you, as well, as you start to lose weight.
Your metabolism is going to turn around if you make all these changes. You are going to notice that you feel more active and more alert. You are not going to feel as fatigued, and life is going to seem so much better. A high metabolism is really going to benefit you by not only living healthy, but it might make you live longer—and that is always a bonus.