Your metabolism or metabolic rate is the indication of how quickly your body is able to burn fuel for its various functions. Things like hormone secretion, breathing, circulation and effective activities of organs are all functions that require your metabolism to fire up for.
There are many factors that go into just how fast your metabolism burns fuel, and unfortunately, there is not much that one has control over only some of them can be influenced. Factors like genetics, age, the different levels of hormones, your weight and body composition, as well as your activity levels, are all factors in your metabolic rate.
Of these factors, you have a direct influence in terms of weight/size, activity levels, and body composition. And, when to comes to your metabolism – the age-old saying of ‘’you are what you eat’’ has never spoken greater volumes. Here's how to boost metabolism naturally.
1. Bad Lifestyle Habits
If you are putting a dent into the couch every day with a bag of crisps on your belly and the only physical activity being the momentary change of channels or funnelling crisps into your mouth, you can be sure that those activities are having a direct influence on the speed of your metabolism; which is having a direct influence on your body composition and your weight.
So, how exactly do you go about making influential changes to your metabolism naturally? There are a number of ways and they largely require changes to your eating habits and to your lifestyle. Initially, it may feel like the changes are hard to make, as old habits seem harder to break than they actually are. But, it doesn’t take long to see results, and the fruits of your efforts will come to bear in as little as two weeks.
First of all, you need to look at your relationship with the food you eat. If you establish that you use food for comfort, to relieve boredom or to fill up an empty space – you are not alone. And, acknowledging that you use food as your friend in various times of need is half the battle won.
2. Food is Fuel
Food is actually fuel, except somewhere along the way, you have begun treating it like your friend and confidant, which is part of the reason you got so lost. But if you start to relook at food as fuel, you will find it much easier to make better meal choices. So for example, choosing whole grain will be easier than choosing crisps, when you think of food as fuel.
In order to give your lazy metabolism the kick-start that it needs, you need to start teaching your body how to use the fuel you are providing it with. And in order to re-teach your body the right way to use the fuel, you have to look at how much you are eating.
3. Stoke the Metabolism Fire
Small, regular meals or snacks are an excellent way to keep your metabolism even. In fact, your metabolism is just like a fire – if you built a massive bonfire in the morning (toast, eggs, bacon, pancakes, fried mushrooms, and sausages) and didn’t put another piece of wood on it all day (no food intake ), you can expect that fire to have all but gone out by dinner time. This means you will have to start building your fire from scratch.
But if you built a good fire at breakfast (Low GI oats, honey, and fruit), then added a bit more wood 3 hours later (yogurt and nuts), and a bit more wood at lunchtime (steamed fish and veggies), and some more in the late afternoon (a fruit smoothie), you can be sure that by dinner time, you will only need to add one or two pieces (chicken stir fry), because the fire will still be warm from the little bits of wood you added during the day.
4. Good Food Choices
Some of those food choices are going to provide you with a longer burning flame in your metabolism fire. Things like whole grains, low GI, low fat, raw and whole foods are going to keep you fuller for longer and keep your blood sugar at a constant pace all day; which is very important if you want to boost your metabolism.
Food items like white bread, processed foods, fast food, instant meals, fried and full-fat options are going to make your blood sugar spike dramatically, and crash a short while after, making you feel lethargic, moody and hungry again. But, because your body wasn’t able to use the ‘’fuel’’ that you gave it, it stores it all (converting it to fat) and sends out alerts that you are hungry again.
5. Plan Ahead
One of the biggest ways you can ensure that you choose the right foods to fuel your body during the day and at regular intervals is to make sure that you plan in advance. Plan your meals at least a day in advance, shop ahead of time and pack snacks and meal items in a cool box to take to work or with you if you are not going to be at home for lunch.
If you arrive at work without having had breakfast and with nothing to eat, you have already sabotaged your day’s eating plan before you have started. By late morning, your hunger pangs and the mouth-watering aromas from the bakery downstairs will have you feasting on as many freshly-baked croissants you can carry.
6. Get Moving
Your metabolism will respond rapidly to the concept of regular fuel and good food choices, but you also need to balance it out with some exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to get off the couch and run a half marathon or join a gym and pay expensive joining fees.
In fact, all anyone needs to do in order to get fit and stay healthy for the rest of their lives is to do 30 minutes of exercise, 3 times a week. And if you can trawl the mall for an entire day wielding heavy shopping bags, you could very easy dust your trainers off and head out into the sunshine and walk around the block with a friend for 30 minutes.
In fact, dog walkers are considered to be some of the fittest people out there. Walking gets your heart rate up, gets those endorphins exploding through your body, fires up that metabolism, and burns off the calories imbibed in that extra glass of chardonnay.
Walking is a great way to for busy people to get just half an hour to themselves; something that is very important to moms with kids and jobs and pressure. Not only will you be able to boost your metabolism, but you will also have half an hour out of the messy house to walk with a friend just to chat and clear your mind, leaving you feeling great, revitalised, full of energy and ready to tackle dinner and homework, as well as the dishes.
7. Simple Steps
Boosting your metabolism naturally is as simple as eating well, drinking lots of water, getting lots of sleep and making healthy lifestyle choices like not smoking and drinking very little alcohol.