8 Proven Ways To Boost Your Metabolism
Fitness expert, Wayne Westcott, Ph.D. says, “As we age, our metabolisms slow down, mainly because we lose five or six pounds of muscle each decade starting in the mid-20s.” This means that each decade, your body reacts differently to what you eat and how you move.
However, that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and take it. The first thing you have to do is own up to the fact that you will never look in your 40s as you did in your 20s. And that should never be a bad thing.
And while it may seem that giving in to slow metabolism is just easier since how fast you burn calories depends on various factors, like your genetics, age, and gender, there are still things you can do to keep your metabolism up and running even after your 40s.
Read on to find out how.
1. Don’t skip breakfast
To give your metabolism a quick jump-start in the morning, make sure you never skip the most important meal of the day. This is especially true if you have protein for breakfast. The body breaks down protein slower than it does fats or carbohydrates. That leaves you feeling full for a longer time. Also, if you have a protein-rich breakfast, your body will use more energy to digest the nutrients in protein, more so that it does with foods that are high in carbs or fat. This process is referred to as thermogenesis, where the body burns off calories to help digest the foods you’ve eaten.
In addition, maintaining a diet that’s high in protein preserves the lean body mass, which is another way to help burn fat and boost metabolism.
Numerous studies have been carried out on the importance of drinking 8 or more glasses of water per day. However, when it comes to burning calories, even if you don’t feel in the least bit dehydrated, that alone can make your metabolism slow down measurably because your body starts to conserve the water it has in the cells and organs. Therefore, the more water you drink, the faster your metabolism works.
Drink before each meal and between snacks. Try to carry a water bottle around with you to act as a constant reminder. Also, munch on fruits and vegetables since they already contain high levels of water.
3. Choose foods high in fiber
Eating fiber-rich foods helps keep you full longer because they move slowly through the digestive tract. They’re not easy to digest, so the body burns off extra calories to help with the digestive process. The best amount to eat is 25g per day, which comes to about three servings of fruits and vegetables each.
4. Eat smart, not less
The funny thing about our bodies is that the less you eat of something, the more your body craves it. Moreover, the less you eat in general, the less fat and calories you burn, which means your metabolism slows down considerably. The trick to eat the right amount of calories to keep you lean and fit, while boosting your metabolism at the same time, is to measure your basal metabolic rate. This is how much calories you’d burn at your most restful state.
The best way to divide this amount throughout your day would be to eat 6 small meals each day. To make sure each meal won’t exceed your usual daily caloric amount, divide the total number of calories by 6, and you’re ready to go, this typically means eating a small meal every 3-4 hours to maintain blood sugar levels and this way your metabolism gets to work overtime.
5. Avoid trans fat
This damaging type of fat binds itself to fat and liver cells and slows down your metabolism, making losing weight virtually impossible. Trans fat also increases your risk of type-2 diabetes, along with chronic diseases and inflammations in the body. Foods that are high in trans-fat are:
- Microwave popcorn
- Frozen pizza
- Fried fast foods
Women usually need more because of their monthly menstruation cycle and childbirth, and unless you get what you need via foods rich in iron and a reliable multivitamin, you’ll risk being anemic. Plus, you start feeling sluggish, you may find it hard to concentrate, and your metabolism will start to slow down. Also, iron helps transport healthy oxygen cells throughout your body, especially to your muscles, which need it to burn fat for fuel. Foods high in iron are:
- Fortified cereal
- Lean meats
Sadly, we don’t get enough vitamin D and rarely do we eat the daily recommended serving which is 400 IU. One of the most key areas that require vitamin D to maintain good health is our muscle tissue because healthy muscle tissue helps boost metabolism. Good food sources of vitamin D are:
- Fortified milk and cereals
This good-for-you fatty acid can be found in nuts and seeds. It’s also best known for being found in seafood. These fatty acids help decrease the risk of inflammation in the body. They also help regulate insulin and blood sugar levels. They also help recharge your metabolism and give it a boost. The recommended daily dose is roughly 1,000 – 2,000 mg daily. Some foods high in omega-3 are:
- Flaxseed oil
7. Drink tea and coffee
Caffeine in general boosts the central nervous system, which means your metabolism levels increase by almost 10% with each cup. However, moderation is the key, because too much caffeine does the opposite and the central nervous system shuts down completely.
Green tea is full of antioxidants, which help enhance metabolism. It also helps the digestive system by burning calories to digest food, which means more calories are going out than coming in. Translation = weight loss.
Coffee and other types of tea also help boost metabolism and enhance weight loss, especially if they contain additives like cinnamon and dark cocoa, which stimulate the metabolic process and help speed it along.
8. Get active
That doesn’t mean running for long miles or shredding the treadmill for hours at a time. Everyone wants to be fit and shredded, and get the most of their workouts. And wouldn’t it be great if that continued even after we’re done with the workout? Here’s what you should be doing in your workout routines for maximum results:
Just lifting some light-medium weights 2-3 times per week will help boost your metabolism, no matter what age you are. There are several reasons for this:
Muscles use higher amounts of energy, compared to fat, even though they weigh more.
Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) becomes higher in those with more muscle.
Every 1 pound of muscle requires nearly 6 calories per day to maintain its health, and each 1 pound of fat burns off only 2 calories. These pounds pile up over time, taking into account your diet is well-balanced, and your exercise routine is consistent.
After a strength-training workout, your muscles are pumped up which is one of the fastest ways to rev up your metabolism
If you aren’t doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) then you’re missing out on some major metabolism-boosting action. HIIT turns any type of workout into an intense workout that keeps your metabolism running on high for hours after you’ve finished your workout. And this goes for everything, from jumping jacks and mountain climbers to sprinting and crunches.
The trick is to work as hard and fast as you can for 30-seconds, and then take it easy for 10. Repeat for 8 rounds before moving on to another form of exercise.
Sounds simple, right?
The science behind it is that each of your cells contains a powerhouse called mitochondria, which are essential for burning energy. This powerhouse will need increased amounts of oxygen when you use HIIT thus making them work even harder and burn even more calories for longer periods of time.