If you are serious about improving your health and losing weight, starting to focus on your metabolism is an excellent way to get started. Metabolism the term we use to describe every single chemical reaction that occurs in your body, and it’s essential to keep you alive. One of those reactions is the body’s ability to burn off calories. However, over time, your metabolism can slow down, meaning you are more likely to put on weight. It makes sense, then, that if you want to lose weight, you need a faster metabolic rate – so here are some great ideas to get you started.
Stop sitting down all day
There is a lot of evidence that suggests sitting down for long periods is incredibly bad for you. Why? It’s simple – you burn off fewer calories than you do if you are standing up. So if you are a little guilty of being a couch potato, get up and move around more often. It’s especially important if you work at a desk all day. Try working standing up, or taking a ten-minute walk every couple of hours. You should start seeing the benefits in a matter of days.
Go to bed earlier
The more sleep you get, the more efficient your metabolism – it’s as simple as that. Sleep deprivation has an adverse impact on your metabolic rate, and it also increases the amount of hunger hormones in your body. Mix the two together, and what do you get? The potential for a lot of weight gain. Aim to grab at least 7.5 hours sleep every day, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time. Setting a good routine – including weekends – will help you increase your sleep quality, as well as quantity.
Exerting yourself is a great way to boost your metabolic rate. You should aim to do half an hour of exercise every day. If you aren’t fit, start slow – even walking at a good pace will count towards your exercise. It’s all about getting the heart going as much as possible. As your fitness levels improve, you can think about going that little bit further. Cycling is a great cardio exercise, for example, so take a look around for some road bikes for women and start pedaling, girls!
Cardio alone can help, but if you really want to burn off more calories, strength training is where it’s at. The reasons are simple. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. So the more muscle you put on, the more fat you can burn. Bear in mind that muscle is also heavier than fat. So, don’t be too worried if your strength training doesn’t result in immediate weight loss. Once you pile on the muscle, however, you should see those scales rocket downwards.
Eat more protein
While you are building muscle, make sure you are fueling your body with the right nutrition. Protein ticks every box you need. Not only is protein the essential ingredient for building muscle, but it also increases your metabolic rate in itself. It’s also great for weight loss, as it makes you feel fuller. Studies show that people who eat protein as 30% of their regular diets consume over 400 calories less per day than those that don’t. To clarify, protein boosts metabolism, helps you build muscle, and stops you eating so much food. What more do you want?
Consume more iron
Iron-rich foods also give your metabolism a serious kick. Iron produces hemoglobin, which is a protein that resides in your red blood cells. It’s this special protein that binds oxygen to the blood and helps deliver it to the body. So, the more iron you have, the better your organs will perform. It’s also vital to supply oxygen to your muscles, enabling you to work out harder and longer. All of this is part of the metabolic process, and iron deficiency can actually cause weight gain. So, eat iron-rich foods, and ask your doctor if you need to take supplements.
Drink more water
Water is essential for your overall health and fitness – it’s the oil that greases your engine, so to speak. But it is also a great way to boost your metabolic rate. A small glass of water increases your metabolic rate by up to 30% for up to an hour after you drink it. Not only that, but water also fills you up and stops you from being hungry. Drink at least eight regular glasses every day – more if you are working out.
Need an excuse for coffee?
Coffee gets a raw deal from many quarters. And, rightly so – too much caffeine can be bad for you. But in moderation, coffee gives you plenty of benefits – including boosting your metabolism. You can up your metabolic rate by around 10% after a strong cup of coffee – and it also helps you burn off fat and calories. However, avoid drinking coffee after 6 pm, or you will find it hard to get to sleep. And we don’t want to ruin that new sleep routine we have just established, right?
Drink green tea
Green tea is a great alternative to coffee for all those that don’t like caffeine. Oolong tea has a similar effect. Not only are these special teas great for your metabolic rate, but they also help you convert fat into fatty acids, which speeds up fat burning. Lots of people enjoy great success with green tea when they are trying to lose weight – and keep it off. Give it a go, and see what you think!
Eating spicy food is also a fantastic way of boosting your metabolism. Peppers are especially worthwhile, as they contain a substance called capsaicin. While the effects of eating spices aren’t as great as other things on this list, it all helps.
OK, so there you have it – ten awesome ways to boost your metabolism. If you are looking to lose weight at some point in the future, these ideas will help you reach your goals. As ever, always consult your doctor before making any serious changes to your dietary plan.