Finding your optimum weight can be as simple as adding habits that will change your metabolism. I often like to tell people to think of their body as a car. Without the right fuel and maintenance, a car will not run properly, and your body won’t run well without the right fuel and maintenance either. Your metabolism is like the engine of a car and needs the right ingredients to keep it running smoothly. Healthy habits that will change your metabolism are one of the first things to do if you’re serious about changing your body. You will feel great, look great and never have to worry with your weight. The best thing is, there’s no diet pills, crazy workouts or restrictions to be had in this list of habits. Implement all 15 of these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a fired-up metabolism to keep you going around the clock!
1. Eat Good Food
One of the most important habits that will change your metabolism is to eat good food. By good food, I don’t mean Haagen Dazs or burgers from your local food joint. I’m talking clean, lean protein, tons of veggies, gluten-free whole grains and root veggies and a little healthy fat. Add in a little fruit and you’ve got the perfect set-up for a healthy metabolism. Our bodies need good, clean food to run at their optimal peak. I know it sounds boring but your metabolism will not function well without a healthy diet. Get one today!
2. Quality Sleep
Just as important as your eating habits are for a good metabolism, so are your sleeping habits. Be sure to get at least 7-8 hours, if not 9 or 10 for those who are extremely active. I find I do best off of 9 hours of sleep, but find an amount that works for you. The best way to tell what your needed sleep levels are is to let yourself naturally drift off and naturally wake up without an alarm. When you consistently go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, you’ve found your needed amount of sleep. Your metabolism needs sleep just as much as food. Without good sleep, your energy will crash, you’ll crave sugar and carbs more because your body is telling you it needs energy. Stock up on sleep and wake up slimmer!
3. Eat Regularly
Whatever you do, don’t skip meals. If you don’t feel hungry for breakfast, have something light, such as nonfat Greek yogurt or a small smoothie. A piece of fruit is also great, but pair it with a few nuts or some yogurt to stabilize your blood sugar. Eating breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and eating every three hours keeps your engine revved and ready to go. During lunch, be sure to get in plenty of lean protein, a little healthy carbs and a teeny dose of healthy fats. For an afternoon snack, choose a little protein, some healthy carbs and a little healthy fat. Do the same at dinner and minimize dessert. If you crave something sweet at night, try eating a piece of fruit or freeze a Greek yogurt for 30 minutes to mimic ice cream and top with some sliced almonds or fruit. Smoothies are also great substitutions for meals if you’re in a rush, but keep the ingredients free of added sugars and unhealthy fats.
4. Lower Your Stress
If you’re stressed out all the time, your adrenal glands will burn out, and you’ll feel exhausted nonstop. This ruins your metabolism and can set you up for heart disease, IBS and chronic fatigue. To lower your stress, try adding a little yoga to your day, meditating, journaling and exercising. I find by exercising first thing in the morning, my stress levels are lower all day long. Weight lifting is also a great way to reduce stress. Sometimes, just talking and laughing with a friend is also one of the best things to do for stress. Other great ideas are to implement more downtime in your day, such as reading, writing, spending time in nature and finding a hobby. Lastly, be sure once again that you eat healthy, which will help manage stress as well.
5. Don’t Go Fat Free
One of the worst things you can do for your metabolism is to avoid fat. Your body needs fat to run properly. The key is choosing the right sources in the right amounts. Great fats that spike your metabolism are extra virgin coconut oil, monounsaturated fats from raw nuts and seeds, and even a little dose of dark chocolate. Besides coconut oil, avoid most other oils that can be dense, even healthy ones such as flax oil and olive oil. Coconut oil is unique since it is actually used for immediate energy and metabolism functions, and not stored as fat by the liver. Try to eat most of your fat from raw foods like avocado, which are a rich source of monounsaturated fat to include that will help slim your waist and give you energy. Keep fats at 1-2 tbsp. per meal and include some each time you eat.
6. Drink Plenty of Fluids
Just like a good metabolism needs food, it also needs plenty of fluids. Water and water-rich beverages will keep you hydrated, which is important for every cellular function in your body, which is responsible by your metabolism. Imagine your metabolism as that engine in a car again. You have to give it enough of the right fluids for it to work well. So drink up and drink even more if you’re active. Water flushes wastes from the body and can keep your digestive system working better too, which is also an important habit for a healthy metabolism.
7. Be Active
One of the most obvious habits that will change your metabolism is to be more active. Don’t sit during the day much at all, and if you work at a desk, be sure to talk as much as you can when on the phone, run all of your work errands separately, and pace a good bit during the day. Walk during your lunch break if you can, or walk to and from work. If you are lucky enough to be on your feet all day at work, your metabolism is already getting a little extra boost, but don’t let that give you reason to avoid exercising. No matter how much you work on your feet, an exercise routine is still one of the most important habits that will change your metabolism. Even housework counts as being active, so get moving, girls!
8. Spice up Your Food
Turn up the heat in your kitchen and add some spice to your menu! It turns out that heating up your food with spicy ingredients like chili pepper can actually increase your metabolism. Chili pepper contains capsaicin compound that can not only fire up your taste buds but contribute to a higher and better metabolism!
9. Start Snacking
It’s ironic how eating more food can actually help you lose weight! Instead of starving yourself in between meals and bingeing on your later meal, it’s important to suppress your hunger throughout the day by eating some healthy snacks. It will keep your metabolism cranking through the day, which will then result in your body burning more calories! Several studies even showed that those people who snacked through the day ate less during the meal time!
10. Avoid Crash Diets
Although you might feel like crash diets, which require that you eat less than 1,000 calories a day, may be your last hope for a bikini body, you are wrong! While you will loose a couple of pounds over the course of your diet, most of it will come from muscle, which is the last thing you want to happen. The lower your muscle mass, the slower your metabolism, and the slower your metabolism, the faster you will gain the weight that you ‘lost’ through your crash diet! In the end, instead of getting the hot bod you wanted, you’ll just end up with a slower metabolism!
11. Put on Muscle
As stated in the previous point, muscle is really important for your metabolism because it increases the amount of calories burned when your body is doing nothing! Every muscle in your body burns about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself while fat only burns 2 calories a day. The numbers might seem insignificant but trust me, they add up over time! So try putting on more muscle by doing more resistance training and you will see yourself burn calories even after the gym!
12. Don’t Forget Your Omega-3s
You might have heard about the infinite health benefits that omega-3 fatty acids posses, but you might not have been aware that they also contribute to healthy metabolism! They balance out the blood sugar and reduce inflammation, which in turn helps regulate your metabolism. However, if incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet may be a problem, try to take the omega-3 supplements every day instead!
13. Consume Iron-rich Foods
Low iron levels can really put stress on your metabolism, especially during that time of the month, because iron essentially aids transportation of oxygen into your muscles. If your body doesn’t have a stable level of iron, your muscles won’t be able to get enough oxygen, which will cause your metabolism rate to sink exponentially. Tweaking your diet in order to balance out your iron levels may be one of the best decisions for your metabolism!
14. Drink Green Tea
Tammy Lakatos Shames, the author of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever, once said, “[Green tea] is the closest things to a metabolism potion.” The green tea itself has many health benefits and it contains the ECGC compound which promotes fat burning. Although you might not see the effects immediately, you will feel a change in your health and eventually see the results with time! To achieve the best results, drink the tea while it’s hot and steep it before for about three minutes!
15. Stock up on Protein
One of the things that you can do to build up muscle is cram more protein into your diet! You’ll be able to build and maintain lean muscle by eating foods such as chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, and eggs. Your body will burn more calories by digesting protein in comparison to fat or carbohydrates, so try to replace your carb intake with more protein-rich foods!
Achieving a healthy metabolism can be as simple as adding each of these steps into your day. I also like to take a multivitamin to make sure I get in the right vitamins so I don’t have to calculate the vitamin amounts in my food, but I do eat a balanced amount of nutrients for all of my meals as well. When you’re taking all the steps, your body and metabolism will find your perfect weight. What is your tip for achieving a healthy metabolism?