7 ways to boost your metabolism

7 ways to boost your metabolism
afitmess
May 5, 2016

Your metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions in your body that are working together to give you energy. It’s a constant process that can change its rate depending on different health factors, eating habits, and lifestyle.

Yes, I got a bit scientific just then.

In simple terms – as it relates to our health – metabolism is the rate at which our body burns calories. And we care about this rate because it directly influences our body’s ability to run efficiently, burn calories, and lose fat.

There are numerous studies out there that discuss the importance of metabolism and how various factors can have an impact on it. It’s important to note that the majority of evidence debunks the idea that the rate we burn calories is something that is out of our control. If your metabolism slows down due to age, illness, or poor eating habits there are a lot of ways to correct it and bring it back up again.

7 ways to boost your metabolism

1.  Clean up your diet – Evidence suggests that your body uses more calories to digest protein (versus carbs and fat) and stores it much differently than other foods. Try lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, or nut butter. And please…don’t skip meals! Eat every 3 hours and have breakfast (<–you breakfast-skippers know who you are!).

 

2.  Caffeinate yourself – Coffee is a stimulant (obviously) which can really give your body a jolt. Like we need one more reason to love that bean, right? If you aren’t a fan of coffee, green tea can have similar effects. Just be mindful you are not overstimulating yourself.

 

3.  Spice it up!  Capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, raises your internal body temperature which speeds up your energy output. I love adding red pepper flakes to sauces and stir-frys.

 

4.  Get enough sleep – I think we all know the importance of quality rest, but it’s still worth mentioning that lack of sleep is directly correlated with a reduction in your body’s ability to burn calories, not to mention it raises your cortisol levels, increases cravings for sugar and carbohydrates, and makes you otherwise an unpleasant person.

 

5.  Lift heavy – This means strength training. Increasing muscle mass is probably one of the best ways to boost your metabolism since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. Plus the metabolic stress that results from weight training raises your resting metabolism. That’s why you can still have elevated levels long after your workout has ended (known as the “after burn”).

 

6.  Add intervals – For the same reasons listed above, interval training is key to keeping your metabolism up. There are plenty of sample workouts out there or you can create your own. For example, perform 20-60 seconds of all out sprints followed by 1 minute rest intervals. Keep your workout short (20 – 25 minutes total).

 

7.  Incorporate Omega-3s – Similar to protein, eating Omega-3s can increase the rate at which your body burns calories. Omgea-3s are essential fatty acids that your body cannot produce on its own. They are found in food sources like salmon, tuna, and sardines. They can also be found in nuts (especially walnuts), flaxseed and fish oil.

 

So there you have it! I’d love to know what else you’d add to this list.

Happy Thursday, friends! Almost made it to Friday!

 

2 Comments

  1. One of my favorite “kill-me-now” workouts is a treadmill interval workout with alternating between 6.5 and 8 for one minute intervals. I like to try to last a full hour at this because 1) it takes up the entire hour of Grey’s Anatomy and 2) I sleep like a baby afterwards. Is there a reason you say to keep interval workouts to 20-25 minutes? Am I setting myself up for failure with my 60 minute interval runs?? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kate! Good question. It depends on what your goals are. I would do long runs like that when I was training for a race or looking to increase my speed (intervals are great for that as you probably know). Nothing better than to just zone out on the treadmill with a show or music! However, studies show if you want to lose fat and increase your metabolism, then you should keep the workouts shorter. Once you start doing extended amounts of cardio then you begin to breakdown muscle tissue. Plus, it raises your cortisol levels which can interfere with your metabolism. Hope that helps!

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