Do you always feel tired or suffer from poor gut health? It is quite possible that these are symptoms pointing towards sluggish metabolism. A slow metabolism can cause chronic fatigue, unexplained weight gain and other health issues.
Here are some ways in which you can boost your metabolism:
- Increase your protein intake: The body takes more time to digest protein than carbs or fat. A high protein diet boosts metabolism as it keeps you appetite satiated for long by reducing your hunger hormones. So by replacing fat and carbs with protein, your body is able to increase the levels of satiety hormones.
- Increase daily water intake: Drinking plenty of water everyday will help your metabolism significantly. Apart from this, try switching sugary drinks with regular water or lemon water to improve your metabolism.
- Omega-3 is health gold: Omega-3 are fatty acids that help regulate metabolism, reduce inflammation and balance blood sugar. You can easily make your diet omega-3 rich by incorporating fish like salmon, herring and tuna. If don’t like or eat fish, there are omega-3 supplements readily available.
- Vitamin B rich foods: The B vitamins B1, B2 and B6 play a key role in your metabolism rate. Some common food items rich in vitamin B are bananas, dark & leafy vegetables, peas, peanut butter, eggs, brown rice, barley, millet, legumes, citrus fruits and avocados.
- Don’t skip breakfast: With our fast-paced life, most of us are guilty of skipping breakfast. This does affect your metabolism rate. Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast can do wonders for your energy levels. A hearty breakfast of whole-grain foods, berries, nuts, eggs and other nutritious foods will wake up your body and get your metabolism going.
- Smaller but frequent meals: Instead of having only two or three big meals during the day, try opting for five or six smaller meals. It will curb your hunger as soon it develops and will allow you to consume far less calories. Smaller and frequent meals makes your blood sugar levels steady and keep your metabolism running as opposed to overindulging and spiking insulin levels.
- Organic food Vs Inorganic food: The pesticides present in fruits and vegetables expose your thyroid to toxins. Since thyroid determines how fast your body’s metabolism runs, interference with it can block your metabolism. While organic fruits, vegetables and grains without pesticides keep your metabolism optimal. So introduce organic produce to your diet for better metabolism
- Replace carbs with healthy alternatives: Instead of snacking on carb heavy items, eat fruits, vegetables and whole grain snacks rich in fiber, This will keep you full and satisfied without increasing your calorie intake. Improving the quality of your diet will boost your metabolism.
- Drink green tea: Green is tea has plenty of antioxidants called catechin, which assists in burning extra calories and subsequently cranking up your metabolism. So the next time you crave a sugary drink, try and drink a cup of green tea instead.
- High-Intensity Interval Training: High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT) has proven to improve metabolism rate. As opposed to steady cardio exercises such as swimming or cycling, a HIIT workout routine involves alternative period of high-intensity and lower-intensity workouts. Barry’s Bootcamp and SoulCycle are some popular fitness companies that offer a variety of high-intensity workouts.
- Take frequent breaks: Continuously being glued to your screen without taking breaks will not only cause eye strain and back pains but will have a negative impact on your body’s metabolism. Sitting down for long intervals will slow down your metabolism rate, so take frequent breaks. Get up, stretch or go for a small walk. You can also get a standing desk or a treadmill to remain constantly active and keep up your metabolism.
- Plenty of sleep: Studies from Harvard Medical School have shown a correlation between sleep and weight gain. It showed that if you get less than 7 hours of sleep every night, you are three times more likely to gain weight than if you get at least 7 hours. Lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity and has negative effects on your metabolism. It has also shown to increase the level of hunger hormones and reduce fullness hormones. So it is essential to get a good night’s sleep to keep up your energy levels and metabolic rate.
- Diet but carefully: Dieting should never equate to starvation. Skipping meals or drastically reducing portion size can have a negative impact on your metabolism. Consuming less calories than required will slow down your metabolism, doing more harm than good. Not only this, if you are not full, your body will stop burning fat to conserve energy. It is vital to eat enough calories to at least match your resting metabolic rate.
- Try out resistance training and cardio exercises: Just like high-intensity workouts, doing intense cardio for at least 30 minutes everyday will show improvement in your metabolism rate. Resistance and strength training helps increase your body’s muscle mass. Since muscle mass has a higher metabolic rate, it requires more energy to preserve and increases your resting metabolic rate. Incorporating training with weight lifting and resistance bands 2-3 times a week to build muscle will noticeably improve your metabolism.
- Spicy food can be good: Spicy foods such as jalapeno and cayenne peppers contain capsaicin that can boost your metabolism. The capsaicin increases the uncoupling protein found in the muscles. This causes the mitochondria of the cells to produce more heat which increases the metabolic rate. Hot peppers also increase certain hormones (like adrenaline) that stimulates metabolism and promotes calorie burns.
- Cut down trans fats: Trans fats mess up your body’s biochemistry and slowing down its ability to burn fat. Trans fats bind to fat and liver cells and slows down the body’s metabolism.Also, trans fats can cause inflammation and insulin resistance leading to weight gain and sluggish metabolism. So cut out food with trans fats from your diet.
- Reduce Stress: Stress affects hormone levels and can make our body produce more cortisol than usual. Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates appetite and abnormal cortisol levels can disrupt your metabolic rate. Keeping your stress under control with a proper sleeping schedule, better work management and a nutritious diet will have a positive impact on your body’s metabolism.
- Caffeine but in moderation: Consuming a couple of cups of coffee can speed up your metabolism. However, it is important to realise that this is a temporary solution and not a long-term fix.
- Substitute saturated fats with healthier options: For cooking purposes, replace saturated fats with coconut oil that is relatively high in medium-chain fats. Using coconut oil instead of long-chain fats like butter can improve your metabolism. Another great alternative is olive oil.
- Excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC): A strenuous workout measurably increases your body’s oxygen intake. While your body is still recovering from the workout, it will burn more calories than it normally would while resting. The positive impact of exercise on metabolic rate extends further than just when you are exercising. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
An increased metabolism rate means higher energy levels. As we grow older, our metabolism will gradually slow down. Therefore, it is important to promptly introduce these small but highly impactful lifestyle changes that will improve your metabolism.