Sorry, there is no miracle solution! But good news, there are some lifestyle changes you CAN control to ensure your metabolism is running optimally for good health. Read below to find out ways to “boost” your metabolism.
In our fast-paced lifestyles, sleep can often be put on the backburner and is not considered a priority. Around 30% of adults claim to sleep less than 6 hours per night! Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body – as it allows time for recovery, repair, and healing. Without reaching the recommended 7-9 hours, sleep deprivation can lead to decreased glucose tolerance (aka more sugar spikes and cravings), increased hunger hormones, and increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes. When you get a good night’s rest, your hunger cravings will be in check, muscle repair is enhanced, and your metabolism speeds up.
Staying well hydrated is also essential for building a speedy metabolism. A good initial goal is consuming half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water each day. So if you weigh 200 pounds, aim for 100 ounces of water each day. When your body systems’ are well hydrated, your hunger hormones stay in check, your blood sugars stay controlled, and you will likely choose more healthy food options throughout the day.
Lean tissues like muscles burn more calories than body fat. Therefore, you can burn more while you are resting. A good goal is to incorporate strength training at least twice a week for all the major muscle groups. Muscle mass naturally decreases as we age, so it is important to strength train routinely to maintain. Ladies, if you are scared of bulking up, don’t worry, we don’t have the testosterone for that.
Your mantra should be “move more – sit less”. Our bodies adapt to physical fitness, so it is important to constantly change the intervals to boost metabolism. For example, if you were to run on a treadmill at the same pace for the same period of time day after day, your body will adapt and metabolism will stabilize. Interval training, circuit training, or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts burn more calories and enhance our body’s ability to burn fat as a fuel source.
When focusing on fuel, you want to select the correct nutrients for your diet as well. Protein is key for building and maintaining muscle mass. It takes more energy (aka calories) to digest and absorb protein when compared to carbohydrates and fats. Therefore, it is a great goal to incorporate protein into all meals and snacks – think lean meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, protein powder, beans, tofu, milk, or Greek yogurt. It is also important to distribute protein equally throughout the day. Typically, the least amounts of protein are consumed at breakfast and during snacks. Aim for about 20-35 grams of protein per meal and 15-20 grams per snack to help boost metabolism. Lastly, the timing of fuel is important too – avoid going more than 4 hours without a snack as you will have better focus, mood stability, decreased cravings and better weight maintenance overall.
In summary, following the above tips will help boost your metabolism to the best of your capabilities. There are no magic foods to boost metabolism, and remember eating extremely low-calorie diets and skipping meals will NOT jumpstart weight loss.