How do you boost your metabolism? It’s one of the first areas people concentrate on when they start a fitness or diet routine.
More than 60% of North Americans blame a sluggish metabolism for excess pounds. But what if you could boost your metabolism naturally and with a few quick fixes in your life.
Granted, your resting metabolic rate (RMR) slows with age, hormonal changes and weight gain as well as through genetic predispositions, but I’m here to provide you with the six best ways to boost your metabolism.
RMR is simply the number of calories you burn at rest. If your RMR is slow, then the tips here will definitely help you boost your metabolism. As always, pay attention to what works for you and always try to understand what your body is telling you.
Give these six tips a try, and you’ll definitely notice a boost to your metabolism.
Exercise With Resistance Training
One of the fastest ways to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently is to train with weights. Or more specifically engage in resistance training.
Resistance training is not just for guys. It’s perfect for women and teenagers and can help just about anyone torch fat and tone up simultaneously.
Training with weights also helps to boost your metabolism. At around the age of 35 for women and 30 for men, you begin to lose 5-10% of your lean muscle mass per decade.
Complement your exercise program with resistance training and you’ll boost your metabolism, endurance and strength.
Women who do 8-12 reps of 3 upper-body and 3 lower-body strength exercises four times a week using moderately heavy weights can gain about a pound of muscle each month.
Avoid Crash/Starvation Diets
More than half of people who are trying to lose weight say that they crash diet or starve themselves in order to attain their weight loss goals. This is probably the worst thing you can do if you wanted to boost your metabolism.
Never crash diet, follow an extremely restrictive diet or starve yourself. You will not only never boost your metabolism, you will damage your health and compromise your longterm well-being.
Essentially when you starve yourself or purposely skip meals, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolic rate decreases to a standstill. This is your body’s way of protecting you and preserving energy stores.
Finally, when you starve yourself, you tend to burn muscle before you burn fat. That’s the opposite of what you should be doing and goes back to the earlier point that your health is being compromised. Your body will always break down muscle tissue to get the amino acids it needs to survive.
In summary, if you want to boost your metabolism through dieting, focus on eating the proper foods and sticking to a high protein diet.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can sabotage even the most diehard fitness enthusiast.
Research has shown that people who drink small amounts frequently have healthier BMI than those who drink larger amounts less frequently.
Other research studies have shown that there is a solid link between occasional bouts of heavy drinking – consuming 6 alcoholic drinks at once and excessive abdominal fat.
With heavy alcohol consumption, your body prioritizes the detoxification of alcohol within rather than over the metabolism of fat.
Drinking excess alcohol will force your body to hold onto more fat and burn fewer calories.
One drink a day is probably the sweet spot for most people. Try to avoid too many multiple drink nights.
Every now and then is okay but if you find yourself partying almost every night, it might be time to revisit your training goals as you’ll never boost your metabolism.
Cut or Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet
The average North American consumes almost 152lbs of sugar a year. That’s roughly 43 teaspoons a day! Sounds outrageous? It’s not. Sugar is not just in candy, but in every type of processed food imaginable from potato chips to pretzels to white bread and pasta.
Simply, sugar will inflict havoc on your metabolism. As my favourite clients know, simple carbs and sugar stimulate the release of insulin.
As people age, or gain weight, especially in the abdominal area, the body loses sensitivity to insulin and glucose is unable to enter the cells.
This in turn forces your body to stop using simple carbohydrates for energy but rather starts storing them as fat which in turns leads to a vicious cycle of you feeling hungrier and heavier.
Limit your consumption of added sugar by keeping processed foods in check and scanning ingredients lists for any word ending in ose.
The closer to the top of the list these ingredients are, the higher the sugar content.
- High fructose corn syrup
- Fruit juice concentrates
Get Quality Sleep
Nearly 3 out of 10 adults report getting 6 or fewer hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation can ruin your waistline and health and will prevent you from being able to boost your metabolism.
Just a few nights of bad sleep is enough to throw the body’s metabolism into disarray according to research by the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The study shows that getting four hours of sleep a night for four nights made healthy people’s bodies resistant to insulin — a condition that is a common precursor of weight gain, diabetes and other serious health problems.
A number of studies have observed people who sleep five hours or less are more prone to weight gain and weight-related diseases such as type-2 diabetes.
Not getting enough sleep will cause your metabolism to not function properly thus causing your body to hold on to calories and store them as fat rather than to burn calories efficiently throughout the day.
Those getting less sleep also tended to eat smaller breakfasts but binge on after-dinner snacks. So in effect, by not sleeping you are doing your body twice the harm.
On average, we need about 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night. If you currently sleep 5 hours or less, simply shifting to 7 hours a night will help you lose weight and boost your metabolism.
Controlling & Managing Stress
Studies have shown that hormones play a role in elevating the desire to eat foods containing carbohydrates during prolonged periods of stress.
According to a growing number of studies, stress caused by anything from a lack of sleep to a serious threat may affect the rate of your metabolism.
During a stressful event, your adrenal glands secrete a number of hormones, including cortisol.
Cortisol prompts fat in the body to be relocated and deposited deep in the abdomen, and this visceral fat is the key to the metabolic slowing that occurs with age, weight gain or
Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol ruin your body’s natural functions and cause imbalances that stress your metabolism. Identifying and eliminating (or at least reducing) some of the stressors in your life is an important step to nourish and boost your metabolism.
Practice stress-management techniques,like regular exercise and meditation to boost your metabolism.