When your metabolism is functioning as it should, your body is efficiently burning calories to help you maintain your activities of daily living. If you want to lose weight then you will want to be burning calories at a slight deficit meaning your body is burning more calories from activity than what you’re consuming.
However, with time and age as common factors, your metabolism may get sluggish over time due to yo-yo dieting, eating low nutrient, high calorie food, stress, and illness which can cause excessive weight gain.
What is metabolism
Before we get into the discussion about ways to rev up yours so it runs efficiently let’s define what it is.
Metabolism: The sum of the physical and chemical processes in an organism by which its material substance is produced, maintained and destroyed and by which energy is made available.
Exercise Metabolism: The sum of all body processes under the stress of exercise.
Substrates, commonly referred to as macronutrients (macros) are broken down food converted into energy. They consist of carbohydrates (carbs), fats and protein.
Here’s how substrates are utilized by your metabolism. Carbohydrates is what your body will tap into first for energy.
Carbs turn into glucose for energy and if not used gets stored in your cells as glycogen. Excessive amounts of storage can result in weight gain and body spread.
Once the body exhausts its source of carbs for energy, its next preferred source of energy are fats otherwise known as triglycerides. Again, if they are not used for energy, they get stored in fat cells which can result in weight gain and a widening girth.
The great thing about fats is it exists in an inexhaustible supply which is great for endurance activity such as long-distance running.
The final source of energy for your body to access is protein but it’s the least desirable because when your body uses protein for energy that equates to muscle loss and loss of muscle can further slow down your metabolism
So now that you know what metabolism is and what it uses to convert to energy let’s talk about solutions to keep your metabolism revved up to support your weight-loss goals.
There are many solutions you can employ to keep your metabolism efficiently burning calories to support your weight loss goals.
You will also experience higher energy levels with an efficiently-burning metabolism.
Increase your protein intake
Consuming 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight not only helps you feel fuller longer but helps you build muscle which burns more calories at rest than fat.
The consumption of protein can help you increase your metabolic rate by up to 30%, providing a prolonged satiety sensation preventing you from eating more than it is necessary. So, if you are looking for a healthy way to reduce your overall calorie intake, add more protein to each of your meals.
An adequate intake of water can help you lose weight and increase your metabolism. We are talking about actual water and NOT energy drinks packed with sugar and artificial ingredients.
Plain water does not contain any calories, and it can speed up your metabolism, allowing you to shed those extra pounds by burning calories as you consume it since it has zero calories.
It seems that cold water is most beneficial for the activation of the metabolism, as the body will consume more energy for homeostasis (keeping body temperature constant).
Also, drinking a tall glass of water (8 oz or 16 oz) 30 minutes before your meals can help you eat less because you will feel fuller sooner.
Drink green tea
Unsweetened Green tea is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients and is low in calories, which is perfect for those who are battling weight gain. Because it is so low in calories, your body will burn more calories consuming it than the calories it contains.
It is important to drink green tea plain, without sugar or cream as they are empty calories and can possibly contribute to weight gain.
If possible, prepare green tea from loose leaves and strain the tea after several minutes.
Regular physical exercise
Regular physical exercise is a tried and true way to boost your metabolism but you have to pay attention to the kind of training you engage in.
For example, if you want to burn the highest possible amount of calories during and after your exercise routine, lifting heavy weights is an optimal choice.
High-intensity interval training or HIIT is another great way to rev up your metabolism to burn the most amount of calories from exercise.
It allows you to burn a high amount of calories within a short period during the exercise as well as afterwards into the next day
Stay consistent with these forms of training and your body will be a calorie burning machine.
5 Get more fatty acids in your diet
Fatty fish, such as tuna, mackerel or salmon, is rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. These have been known to help stabilize blood sugar levels and have anti-inflammatory properties.
As a bonus fatty acids can reduce the body’s resistance to leptin (the satiety hormone).
Eat your breakfast
Are you looking for quick ways to lose weight? Well, eating your breakfast every day can help. During the night, while you are sleeping, your metabolism slows down.
Skipping breakfast won’t jumpstart your metabolism and over time, you can end up packing on the pounds.
A healthy breakfast high in protein can jump-start your metabolism and help you stay fuller longer.
However, resist the urge to overeat. Like with your other meals, moderation is the key.
A cup of coffee per day
One of the most effective beverages for boosting your metabolism is coffee. Its rich in caffeine which has been studied to help increase the body’s metabolic rate, similar to the effects of green tea. Coffee stimulates the fat-burning process which is what you want when managing your weight.
Be mindful of the type of coffee you consume. If you want to lose weight, black coffee is the way to go.
By adding sugar, cream, and other sweet ingredients, you will transform a low-calorie drink into a sugar and empty calorie bomb.
Stick with black coffee, as it can help you lose weight and feel energized at the same time.
Sleep for at least 7-8 hours per night
It is essential to sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night and to wake up rested and refreshed. If you are suffering from exhaustion, you will lack the necessary energy needed throughout the day.
You might think not getting enough sleep won’t affect your metabolism however, a recent study has shown, by skipping out on sleep, your entire body isn’t able to properly repair, replenish and rest which can, not only cause you to overeat, but negatively impact your body’s ability to burn calories.
The end result, unnecessary weight gain.
Stand more often
Many of us have sedentary jobs which means we spend a lot of hours sitting throughout the day.
This sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc on our bodies. Prolonged sitting can lead to weight gain, as the metabolic rate slows down and fewer calories are being burned.
If possible, try alternating the periods of sitting with standing. It has been proven that standing, without any additional activity, can help with weight loss and maintenance.
Request a standing desk at work to accomplish this.
It can help boost the amount of calories you burnt throughout the day.
Turn down the heat in your home
Who doesn’t want to come home to a nice warm home after a long day at work or running errands?
An advantage to ensuring the heat isn’t turned up too high, especially when you sleep is, turning down the heat can increase your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories than you would usually be able.
This is because the metabolism is working to keep your core temperature stable and warm.
Enjoy a spicy meal from time to time
If you can tolerate spicy food, you have found one of the key ways to losing weight and keeping your metabolism active. Pepper and chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin which can help suppress your appetite so you eat less and use more energy to digest, stimulating your metabolism.
Take vitamin supplements
You might not be aware of this but a vitamin deficiency can be a contributing factor to a weight gain issue.
B complex vitamins contribute to the breakdown of food, including proteins, carbs, and fats. When a vitamin deficiency occurs, your metabolism will slow down, and weight gain can happen.
People who suffer from vitamin deficiencies typically feel sluggish and tired constantly.
To combat this, consume foods rich in B vitamins, such as broccoli, spinach, beans, melon, and eggs. You can also eat fish and other sources of lean proteins.
Up your fiber intake
A diet deficient in fiber can not only contribute to unnecessary weight gain, but digestion issues. It can cause weight gain but fiber leaves you full so a diet lacking fiber could mean blood sugar spikes, constant hunger and overeating resulting in weight gain from excess calories
A fiber-rich diet, on the other hand, provides a prolonged sense of fullness which reduces the risk of giving in to cravings.
Women who eat foods rich in fiber, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, enjoy a higher metabolic rate and a lower chance of subsequent weight gain because they feel fuller longer and the body can use that food for energy to burn.
Recommended foods rich in fiber include berries of all kinds, as well as dark leafy greens, oatmeal and apples.
Up your iron intake
If your iron levels are low, the muscles will not receive adequate amounts of oxygen and, thus, they will not be able to support the fat-burning process. For women, this is even more problematic due to monthly female cycles.
Consider eating more foods rich in iron, as this can have a positive effect on the body’s metabolism providing additional energy.
Dark leafy greens such as spinach, lean meat, beans, and legumes are great options.
Let’s wrap this up.
These are some of the methods you can activate to help promote a healthy metabolism to support weight loss process. So incorporate them slowly into your daily routine and not only experience higher energy levels but watch the pounds burn away in the process.
Which of these methods do you do already and which ones do you plan to add to your daily routine?