As we get older, become settled with jobs and families, we find that somehow our metabolism slows down. No worries! Here, we’ve gathered suggestions from many disciplines to get your metabolism revved back up so you can burn more unwanted fat!
Everywhere you turn, authors write about how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. One of the best reasons is that sleep helps your metabolism reset and prepare for the next day’s work. Your body still burns calories while sleeping, so give your system a chance to reset by sleeping for seven to eight hours a night.
2. Keep a regular schedule.
Along with sleep, it’s very important to keep a regular schedule, even on weekends. It can be tempting to “save up” and sleep in or stay out late, but such changes tell your body to store fat because eating becomes sporadic as well. Eating meals at the same time, getting up at the same time – these things keep you from bingeing and can save about 300 calories a day.
3. Try new things.
We’re talking now about trying new activities, new walks, runs, or types of exercise that differ from your regular routine. If you run on the treadmill for exactly 30 minutes every day, your body actually adjusts to use the least amount of calories needed. So, go to a boot camp. Get some yoga gear and do a downward-facing dog. Take a cross-fit class — just do something different. Your metabolism will jolt into a higher gear — guaranteed.
4. Maintain steady blood-sugar levels.
Dieting to some people means eating as little as possible as rarely as possible. Keeping your metabolism in a higher gear is easier when you eat a little bit many times through the day – i.e. grazing. Not candy bars, mind you, but eat a serving of grapes, then perhaps some cheese, adding up to multiple small meals throughout the day.
5. Cut the trans fats.
The worst fats are trans fats, usually used in cooking as lard or solid fats. Doughnuts, pastries, cakes — those sinful treats are bad not only in calorie count, but in how the fats like to linger in your body. You know that giving up that daily piece of sugar can save you 200 calories a day, and you can cut that sugar addiction.
6. Drink up.
Water should be your go-to beverage throughout the day. Any level of dehydration affects your body’s efficiency, which means fewer calories burned.
7. Get Outside!
Doctors have found that people who spend more time outside weigh less and are healthier overall. Give credit to the vitamin D you absorb, as well as the opportunity to be more active, and being outside for one hour a day increases your metabolism as well as your own sense of wellbeing.
8. Have coffee, in moderation.
Is there anything worse than being told you have to give up coffee? Well, more researchers suggest that up to two cups of black coffee in the morning can help you burn more calories, increase your energy, and stimulate your ability to focus. Too much, of course, can leave you too jittery to focus, so drink in moderation.
9. Eat more fish.
Seafood, such as salmon, halibut, and tuna, has greater levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are not fat, but to the contrary, help your body to function better. You can think of them as the oils that help run processes more smoothly. Omega-3 acids can improve depression and decrease inflammation from arthritis. In short, these acids serve as a foundation for many other factors affecting your metabolism.
Doctors have found that your body responds to laughter in ways similar to that of exercise. More blood flows through your system, your blood pressure goes up, and your pulse rate increases. While doctors stop short of calling it a workout, they do know that more laughter stimulates your metabolism. So, go ahead and laugh all you want at whatever brings a chuckle.
11. Snap stress.
You may have heard about cortisol, that hormone that can help us manage that fight-or-flight stress response. But, consistent stress means that cortisol stays in your system, keeping weight on as your evolutionary response to stress. Cavemen needed to store as much weight as possible, but you don’t! We know that decreasing stress isn’t always easy, but tactics such as meditation, yoga, or being with friends makes you feel better. Feel less stress and you can lose weight more easily.
12. Don’t sit still.
Most office jobs don’t have us walking for eight hours a day, and we suffer the same challenge. Doctors today are now aware of how long periods of sitting truly slow our metabolism down. Some have even compared it to sleeping. New standards call for getting up for five to ten minutes every hour, even simply standing reignites metabolic rates.
13. Try an energy drink?
We always encourage moderation, and energy drinks are no exception. Some research indicates that energy drinks can be useful for improving exercise endurance or for brief periods where focus is needed. So, if you need to get in a longer workout at the end of a long day, an energy drink can keep you on track. In this case, always read the ingredients and use only when needed.
14. Have tea for two.
Maybe you haven’t tried green tea, but you might want to give it a taste. Green tea, two to three glasses a day, has been shown to increase metabolism and help people lose more weight than those who do not drink green tea. It can be hot or iced, so the next time you want something other than water, brew some tea!
15. Go natural.
There are many reasons to eat as organically as you can, but did you know that some research suggests that increased chemical consumption affects your metabolism? Do your best to avoid chemically laden food and choose organic options as often as possible. This is especially true for some common fruits typically high in pesticides, such as grapes and apples.
16. Spice it up.
Research has consistently shown that eating spicy food burns more calories. Your body has to use more of its own energy to regulate the level of heat during digestion. We don’t mean that you have to eat it so spicy that you don’t like it, but we do suggest adding a little bit of kick, using some red pepper, jalapeno, or other spices in ways that appeal to you.
17. Eat protein.
It takes more of your own energy (calories) to burn up protein-rich foods. While the usual thought is meat, don’t forget that tofu, beans, and nuts are among the rich variety of foods that give your body a protein punch. In addition, eating protein is shown to give you that full feeling longer, helping keep you energized through that workout or long afternoon meeting. So, go ahead and trade those crackers for mixed nuts!
18. Try interval training.
We know you already exercise. Next time, try adding intervals to your workout. Add regular high intensity periods of activity for 30-90 seconds, regardless of what other exercise you’re doing. If you jog, go on a full-out run for 60 seconds every two to five minutes. This will take some work, so give yourself time to work up to more intense intervals. This is one way to really get rid of fat and increase your metabolism for the rest of your day.
19. Have more sex.
So you wondered when we’d get to the good stuff, right? Well, sex is an activity that is good for your body and your brain. A good time lasting, about 30 minutes, burns 200-300 calories, generates endorphins, and raises your metabolic rate just like a brisk walk. We tend to think it’s better than a treadmill.
20. Begin weight training.
Let’s make this simple. Working out with weights for three months means your body will burn 25-33% more calories every day – period. More muscle equals more internal calorie burn. Add this to the health benefits, the physical appearance benefits, and the relaxation benefits, and we think adding weight training to your workout will be your favorite metabolism booster.
Featured photo credit: Running/Giuseppe Milo via flic.kr