The definition for the word “metabolism” is the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. So what exactly is the connection between metabolism and weight? Because weight is what we normally think of when we hear the word. Well your body turns food you eat into the energy it needs. In other words, metabolism is when your body burns the calories you consumed through your food. Through a healthy diet and regular exercise you can help your metabolism.
There are so many “wonder products” claiming to increase your metabolism, that are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. There are tons of magical pills on the market. How do you know that they work? How do you know that they’re safe? That’s the bigger question. What if I told you that there are natural ways to boost your metabolism? Let’s talk about 10 ways to increase your metabolism naturally!
1. Don’t Skip Meals!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if you starve the body that your pounds will just fall off. Sure, that may have worked when we were like.. sixteen. But skipping meals actually encourages the body to gain weight! When you skip a meal, your metabolism slows down, and your body goes into something called “starvation mode” and stores existing fat. This makes it extra difficult for a person to lose weight and even contributes to weight gain.
Eating meals throughout your day will give you more energy to stay active, and the body will be breaking down calories easier and faster meaning- less storage in your fat reserves!
2. Build Muscles.
Muscle mass is a key element in weight loss success. Increased muscle mass burns more calories because muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does. It’s incredible, really. One pound of muscle may burn up to 50 calories a day, by simply existing. This is in reference to your resting metabolic rate. In other words you’ll be burning calories while essentially doing nothing. So, the more pounds of muscle you gain, the more calories you burn throughout your day.
3. Add Protein To Your Diet
Protein is incredibly important to incorporate into your diet if you’re trying to lose weight. It is the single most important nutrient you need to arm yourself with. High protein intakes offer benefits like appetite reduction and an increase to metabolism.
Your weight is regulated by your brain; your brain essentially tells you how much to eat and when. Weight regulating hormones signal to your brain telling it when it needs to eat. A high protein intake actually increases the levels of appetite reducing hormones. Simultaneously protein reduces Ghrelin, your hunger hormones.
Your incredible body also digests the protein differently than carbohydrates. While digesting and metabolizing the protein, more calories are burned, therefore weight is reduced. Great sources of protein include fish, lean meat, lentils, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
4. Get A Proper Night’s Rest.
We all know the magical benefits of sleep, though we don’t always follow the “8 hour” advice. We’re talking about Ghrelin again, that damn hunger controlling hormone. Well that hunger controlling hormone responds to sleep cues. Weight loss and sleep go hand in hand, and if you’re not getting at least several hours of sleep a night, you will gain weight.
With inefficient sleep, your body is now not properly able to process insulin, a hormone needed to make sugar into energy. So without being able to process fats, your body is holding on to them and storing them.
The truth is, being sleep deprived is a little bit like being drunk. Your brain acts on impulses and you’re not always going to make good decisions. A sleep deprived brain will likely crave unhealthy food because it feels good, and you certainly won’t have the energy for that morning run, or to make a solid breakfast.
5. Drink Black Coffee In Moderation.
No, unfortunately a grande vanilla latte with extra whipped cream is not going to help you lose weight. But a few cups of black coffee a day might aid in your weight loss journey! Black coffee can work as an appetite suppressant while boosting your metabolism. What you need to remember, though, is to drink it black. No sugar, no creamer, no whipped cream… you get the point. You know, black coffee is the way it was meant to be drank anyway! As with everything good in life, it is only good in moderation.
6. Drink Water With Ice.
First, you need to at least be drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day whether you’re trying to lose weight or not. But if you are trying to lose weight, you should be drinking about an ounce of water per every pound you weigh. Additionally, the temperature of the water you’re drinking matters. Ice cold water or ice cold anything, can help you burn calories faster. That’s because your body is working extra hard to warm it up.
7. Enjoy More Spicy Food.
Hopefully you are a fan of spicy food, because eating spicy food can also help with weight loss! Eating spicy foods boosts your metabolism. When your metabolism increases, your body is burning extra calories. Your metabolism can increase by up to 8% when you eat that spicy Pad Thai. Add a little Sriracha to your dinner tonight!
8. Enjoy A Cup Of Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent drink to consume if you’re trying to lose weight. The caffeine in green tea increases the metabolism and helps burn extra calories. Caffeine has also been known to boost workouts which goes without saying, burns fat. Something you may not know is that green tea is booming with antioxidants. One antioxidant found in green tea actually releases an enzyme that breaks down fat!
We recommend enjoying a cup of green tea in the morning with a balanced breakfast. The caffeine in it suppresses hunger and will keep you satisfied until lunchtime. Make another cup of green tea a few hours after dinner. This will help temporarily suppress your appetite, and will decrease the chance of you rummaging your kitchen for a late night snack.
9. Work out!
This one is a no brainer! High intensity cardio boosts your immune system. The more intense your workout is, the more calories that are being burned. High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. This workout is essentially intervals of extremely hard training. Studies show that when you’re trying to boost your metabolism, the most effective way to do this is by working out as hard as you possibly can. This boosts endurance, regulates insulin levels, and just gets you shredded!
10. Gradually Minimize Calorie Consumption.
If you think reducing your calorie intake suddenly is going to help you lose weight faster, you’re incorrect. Your body will need time to adapt to this new calorie intake and if it doesn’t have enough time to adjust it will go into starvation mode. Calorie burning will slow down as your body will think it needs to store the fat.
However if you decrease your calorie intake gradually you’ll see that this diet will work out in the long run. Stay between 1,500 to 2,000 calories if you’re a woman, and 2,000 to 2,500 calories if you’re a man.