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Monday, March 13, 2017

15 Ways to Increase Metabolism Naturally


Often, when you hear the word “metabolism” you think of dieting and weight loss. Those who are trying to lose weight are trying to boost their metabolism. But maintaining a healthy metabolism, while helpful in dieting, is not just to lose weight. Your metabolism, when at a healthy rate, can benefit your immune system, help you think, and ensure all body systems are working properly. 

Primarily, your metabolism is determined by genetic factors that you obviously cannot change, such as body type, age, and gender. But do not be discouraged, there are many different lifestyle changes you can make and practice that will help you boost your metabolism and increase your energy.

1. Sleep, sleep, sleep

While it seems obvious, one cannot overstate the importance of a good night's sleep to recharge the brain and give your body adequate time to rest. Getting enough sleep helps to maintain normal hormone levels, increases mental functioning, and is linked to reducing stress levels. Getting seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night is ideal.

2. Eat!

If you are trying to lose weight, it seems like a large reduction in calories would be smart. However, you shouldn’t drastically reduce your caloric intake. Crash diets are not a consistent or effective way to lose weight or increase your metabolism. 

Your body needs energy. If you are depriving your systems of this energy, they will not function properly. Eat! If you eat enough, you will be more active, feel less fatigue, and you will get stronger and increase muscle mass more quickly. Let your focus be on certain types of food that fuel your energy levels, not eating less food.

3. Eat this!

It’s all about the protein. Protein packed foods such as almonds, beans, chia seeds, and lean chicken and turkey release the hormone glucagon, which cues fat cells to release fat into the blood. So when you eat protein, more fat is burned.

Have some garlic! Garlic is a food that acts as a thermogenic in the body, which means that your body is at a slightly higher temperature and chemical reactions happen faster, thus your body can metabolize calories faster.

Apple cider vinegar also a metabolism booster and is different than other foods recommended to increase your metabolism because it helps to produce more hydrochloric acid in your stomach. This means your stomach breaks down and digests food faster, thus aiding in better absorption.

Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes can boost your immune system and help metabolize fat faster.

Leafy greens, such as spinach, are an excellent source of fiber as well as iron. Iron helps to raise your metabolism by producing hemoglobin, which is a protein in your blood. Hemoglobin helps your blood bind to oxygen, and oxygen is vital to many metabolic processes in the body. If you have low iron, you have a lower functioning metabolism. But boost your iron, and you boost your metabolism as well! 

Spice it up with peppers. By eating peppers and spicy foods, your body’s internal temperature is raised with a compound called capsaicin. Spices help with lipid oxidation (the process of burning fat for energy) and can also act as an appetite suppressant.

4. Eat all day!

Studies have shown that eating small meals throughout the day helps to maintain consistent blood sugar and insulin levels thus preventing spikes that lead to weight gain. Choose grazing over fasting and binging. Try dividing your daily caloric intake by six and enjoying six small meals a day.

5. Breakfast!

Eating a breakfast that is full of nutrients as soon as you get up in the morning actually “wakes up” your metabolism, helping you get started and keeps you going throughout the day. Pack it with protein, whole grains, a cup of coffee or tea, and you’re off to a great start.

6. Drink!

There are certain drinks that have been linked to boosted metabolism, such as green tea. Green tea also acts as a thermogenic, has antioxidant compounds and low levels of caffeine, and is all natural. It has also been linked to lower systolic blood pressure, lower BMI (body mass index), and weight loss.

 Water! Not just for hydration, just drinking a glass of water alone can increase your resting metabolic rate. It also keeps all your body processes functioning properly. A good idea is to get a bottle and make it a habit to fill it up throughout the day.

7. Get plenty of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and help to balance blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and amp up metabolism. Salmon, herring, and tuna fish are all rich in omega-3’s. Or, take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acid supplements a day.

8. Avoid: Trans fat and processed foods

If you’ve heard you should have a certain amount of fat in your diet, you’re right. But not all fat is created equal. Natural fatty acids in animal fat and oil from plants are metabolized differently than trans fats. Trans fats have a different structure, and this structure is metabolized much more slowly by the body. 

The same goes for processed foods. (Most trans fats are found in processed foods.) The body recognizes trans fats and highly processed foods as toxins. Basically, this stresses your body out and increases production of stress hormones, which can lead to a hormone imbalance, inflammation, and digestive distress.

9. Choose Organic

As with processed foods, the toxins found in pesticides can inhibit your body’s energy and slow your metabolism down. Organic foods also have more vitamins and minerals, which are helpful to body functions and a healthy metabolism. You don’t have to go “all in” on organic food, but when you can, choose organic– especially when picking out fresh fruits and vegetables.

10. Here comes the sun

Vitamin D, found in sunlight, is a very effective metabolism kick starter. It has been found that the more vitamin D a person receives, the lower the chance for metabolic syndromes. So wear sunscreen of course, but get out and enjoy the sunshine. Live in a climate without much sun? There are vitamin D supplements available.

11. Lower your room temperature

After all that time in the sun, you may need to get inside and cool off, and studies have shown that a lower room temperature does speed up metabolism over time. This may seem surprising considering the emphasis on thermogenesis, but a burst of cool kickstarts your body into generating body heat and in turn increases fat burning. Don’t like the cold? Try lowering your thermostat at night, when you won’t really notice the difference.

12. Simply put–exercise.

Exercise is the most effective way to increase your metabolism naturally. Cells in your muscles need a lot of energy, and this means they burn a lot of calories. Even while resting, they are burning more energy than fat cells. 

As you age, exercise is even more important because your muscle mass decreases with age. This can slow your metabolism down, but exercising can combat that decrease. Exercise also reduces stress which (see below) slows down your metabolism.

13. Strength-training

Build calorie burning muscle with consistent strength training by lifting weights or doing resistance exercises. This will increase your resting metabolism and build lean muscle mass, which uses more calories than body fat does. Increasing muscle means increasing the amount of metabolic work your body needs to do every day just to keep going.

14. High Intensity Interval Training

When you exercise, amp up your normal routine with intense 30 second intervals, and then return to your normal pace. These bursts will help you consume more oxygen and cause your cells to work harder. You can level up your intensity by increasing speed or incline.

15. Reduce Stress

Depression, anxiety, and stress are major contributors to lower metabolism and decreased energy. Many aspects of life that cause stress, while they cannot be eliminated, can be dealt with in a healthy way. Avoiding unnecessary situations that cause stress and adding relaxing de-stress activities to your life can help combat this low-energy metabolism reducer.

Let’s Do This!

Are you ready to naturally increase your metabolism? These simple lifestyle changes will cause your metabolic processes to work better and you will reap benefits such as more energy, less risk for illness, and weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, or just want to give your body and brain a lift, try these metabolism boosters. You’ll be glad you did!

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