Most people know that having a fast metabolism is good for overall health, but they aren’t sure how to do it. Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to boost your metabolism.
There is a lot of talk about metabolism in health and lifestyle circles these days, as more people are beginning to understand and actively promote a healthy, normal metabolism. By definition, metabolism is a combination of two processes, catabolism and anabolism. The former is the breakdown of various molecules in our diet to create energy, while the latter is the production of all the compounds needed by the cells for normal bodily functions. Both of these elements need to be accounted for in order to have a healthy overall metabolism. As the definition above may suggest, metabolism is closely linked to the nutrition and diet that our body receives, but also in the way that we treat our body throughout the course of each day.
Boosting your metabolism can be done in numerous ways, both through dietary and lifestyle choices, because the body is uniquely flexible. It can adapt to new conditions and improve itself when driven properly. Similarly, it can fail to adapt and react negatively to the way we treat it. Increasing the efficiency or nutrient uptake and improving the rate of fat-burning by the body are two key components of metabolism that must be handled. Many people actually harm their anabolic and catabolic rates through other weight loss or health strategies, such as dieting, but one of the fundamental ways to improve your overall health is to improve your metabolism. Here’s a few ways:
Adding Protein: Protein is one of the most important elements in any diet, but it is particularly key in the development of lean muscle. That is the type of muscle that is closely associated with a high metabolic rate. Protein is also harder to digest than fat or carbs; this means the body spends more time (and calories) digesting protein than it does many other elements of your diet. In other words, add protein-rich foods like salmon, red meat, cheese, beans, yogurt and seeds if you want to increase your metabolic efficiency.
Vary Caloric Intake: If your body gets into a routine, it can get lazy, so it’s important to keep your digestive system and metabolic system dynamic and on its toes. The best way to do this is to vary your caloric intake between days, ensuring that your body learns to be adaptable and work harder or less depending on your intake. This will increase your metabolic flexibility, and improve your fat-burning and digestive efficiency.
Exercise More: Research has shown that exercise is one of the most basic ways to improve your metabolic pace. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, your metabolism is going to suffer. Exercising 3-5 times a week is an excellent way to shore up your metabolic rate. Also, if you regularly exercise, but still haven’t seen the improvements you’re looking for, try shorter bursts of activity throughout the day, such as three 15-minute chunks of exercise, rather than one session of 45 minutes.
Eat Enough: One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to improve their metabolic speed and lose weight is dieting! The foundation of a good metabolism is an appropriate amount of nutrients and calories in the body. If you cut down too far on your calorie intake, your body may start devouring your muscle tissue for energy, because it is lacking in the nutrients it needs. In other words, improving your metabolic rate can be achieved through calorie reduction, but don’t go too far!
Boost Activity: Even if you regularly exercise, more frequent activity can do wonders for your metabolic rate. For example, if you have a workout in the morning, but then sit at a desk all day, you may very well be undoing all the good that you did in the morning! Ensure that you maintain activity within your body; even climbing the stairs a few times a day, rather than taking the elevator, can give your body the type of constant exertion that keeps your metabolic rate high!
Increase Omega-3 Intake: By increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, you not only help to optimize your metabolism, but also protect heart health and reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can help to increase your anabolic and catabolic rates, while also increasing the function of leptin within the body, which is a hormone directly linked to fat-burning!
Eat iron-rich foods: In order to burn fat, the muscles in our body need to be properly oxygenated; that’s also how you are able to increase the duration of your workout and burn as many calories as possible. The only way you can ensure that your body is properly oxygenated is by increasing your intake of iron-rich foods, since that mineral is necessary for the production of red blood cells. Some great iron-rich foods include red meat, seafood, beans and spinach.
Customize your diet: While eating enough food and ensuring your body gets enough calories is important, you also need to be conscious of how you’re getting to your calorie and food intake goals. You may be someone who works out occasionally, isn’t particularly diligent about what they eat, and are relatively happy with your weight. However, without optimizing your metabolism through proper food choices, like those high in protein and healthy fats, you’ll never be able to reach your health goals!
Choose organic foods: Although much of the research is still out on this issue, there are those who believe that the many chemical compounds that are used in processed foods and GMO fruits and vegetables can actually cause obesity in human beings. Some of these preservatives have been coined obesogens, as they are believed to convert normal cells into fat cells and affect the appetite in ways that are detrimental to the metabolism. To prevent this from happening, choose organic foods, without all those potentially dangerous preservatives!
Bring Back Snacking: Many people see snacking as a bad thing, as it can interrupt your appetite for more planned, healthy meals and can often take the form of junk food. However, grazing throughout the course of the day can be a great way to keep your digestive system active and working, rather than dumping large amounts of calories into your system all at once, which can make you feel sluggish. Slowly giving your body bursts of energy throughout the day can be a great practice for improving your metabolism, provided that you are snacking on healthy foods, like nuts, raw vegetables and fruit.