Contrary to popular belief, you can affect how your body digests the food you eat! A healthy metabolism makes it easier for you to maintain or lose weight, so here are some tricks to help you take your metabolism’s speed up a few notches.
There’s a reason breakfast is called the most important meal of the day! Starting off the day with a healthy breakfast actually gets your metabolism going, giving it the right start to continue burning calories as your day goes on. Our metabolism slows down when we sleep, so if you skip breakfast and only wait until lunch to eat, your body isn’t burning as many calories as it can in a day. In essence, eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism.
Eating foods high in fibre and protein also help with keeping your energy levels up and your cravings low, so opt for foods such as eggs, salad, fruits and yogurt to kickstart your metabolism and begin the day right!
Opt for smaller portions of food throughout the day
Constantly nibbling throughout the day may seem counter-intuitive to losing or maintaining weight, but opting for smaller portions of food multiple times a day in fact helps in keeping your metabolism working 24/7. Rather than loading your body with 2 to 3 big meals a day, inject your daily diet with healthy snacks like nuts or fruit every other hour or so to keep your metabolism working all day.
Although water does not have any magical ability to help you lose weight, staying hydrated nevertheless helps to keep your body functions balanced. Drinking enough water can also help to lessen your cravings throughout the day, aiding in stopping you from unnecessarily bingeing.
If you’d like to drink something other than water, opt for natural coconut water or green tea. Both are full of beneficial antioxidants and low in calories; choose one of these liquid options when you’re craving something flavourful but don’t want to snack.
When in doubt, go for what’s hot
Add some spice into your food to temporarily boost your resting metabolic rate. Research has shown that Capsaicin, a component found in peppers like jalapeño and cayenne, can temporarily stimulate your body to release hormones such as adrenaline, which increases your body’s ability to burn calories. What’s best? Research has also shown that spicy-food-eaters have less food cravings after eating a spicy meal.
Lift some weights
Believe it or not, pumping iron can increase your metabolic rate! As we get older, our resting metabolic rate slows down, but lifting weights can increase this to our benefit. Gaining a healthy amount of muscle can help you to maintain or lose weight because muscle burns more calories than fat: one pound of muscle can burn about three times as many calories as one pound of fat.
For those of you who worry that lifting weights may give you an undesirable amount of muscle, just keep in mind that there is a difference between toning and muscle-building. As long as your strength workouts don’t involve you benching or squatting twice your weight, you’ll very much be within the “toning” zone of weight-lifting.
Get enough rest
Not giving your body enough sleep not only slows down your daily routine, it also slows down your metabolism. Although the ideal amount of rest differs from person to person, research has shown that individuals who had less than four hours of sleep had a harder time processing carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain. Rest and recovery are vital in ensuring that you continue on your fitness journey, so make sure you get some good shut eye at the end of each day to keep your mind and body healthy and well.