5 Healthy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
I don’t want to get all scientific and put everyone to sleep here, so I’ll make this straight-forward and basic: your metabolism is the amount of calories your body burns doing nothing in a single day.
We all inherit our baseline metabolism; it’s genetic. It also relates to our gender and our age, and as you know, we can’t change our age. Once we accept the fact that our metabolism slows down with age, we can actually start to do something about it (and yes, men burn more calories than women. That’s another hard fact that we should just accept).
Here’s an example of how my metabolism has changed over the last few years. In 2014, I had it tested and my resting metabolic rate was 1786. In 2018, I had it retested, and it was 1714. That means my metabolism dropped 72 calories a day – A DAY! – in only four years. Amazing!
The good news is, there are ways to increase your metabolism. Read below for the top 5 metabolism boosters for women.
Metabolism Booster #1: Exercise
Exercise and building muscle are incredible ways to boost your metabolism. Each pound of muscle burns 6 extra calories per day. And while 6 calories per day doesn’t sound like much, if you add 5 lbs of muscle to your frame, that equals 30 calories per day. Now that’s just a few Hershey Kisses!
Don’t worry about getting bulky. That’s a whole other (mythical) conversation that you don’t need to worry about.
Besides muscle building, another great way to increase your metabolism via exercise is to step up the intensity. This doesn’t mean that you need to go do box jumps if you have bad knees. It’s about increasing the intensity that you can do. So, if you’re a walker, integrate 30-second sprint-walks into your workout. Walk as fast as you can, and then go back down to your normal pace. Repeat these intervals.
Metabolism Booster #2: Drink More Water
Water has been proven to speed up the metabolism and flush toxins out of the body. Would you believe that “researchers estimate that over the course of a year, a person who increases his water consumption by 1.5 liters a day would burn an extra 17,400 calories”? It’s true!
Metabolism Booster #3: Eat Every 3-4 Hours
There are conflicting studies about the validity of eating every 3-4 hours when it comes to metabolism. Some say there’s no difference in your metabolism if you eat 1500 calories in one meal or if you spread them out through the day.
Personally, I find that eating every 3-4 hours keeps my blood sugar regulated. I don’t enjoy the feeling of my blood sugar spiking and falling throughout the day; it makes me grouchy and uncomfortable.
Metabolism Booster #4: Increase Your Protein Consumption
Your body takes longer to digest protein than it does other foods, like carbohydrates. When you choose a chicken breast over french fries, you get a double-bonus: not only are there fewer calories in the chicken, but your body takes longer to burn them.
Of course, I would never tell you not to eat french fries because I’m the Queen of Planned Indulgences and making ALL foods fit into a healthy, balanced eating plan.
Metabolism Booster #5: Get Lots of Sleep
One would think that lying in your bed, sound asleep doing nothing for 8 hours would slow down your metabolism. In fact, there are studies that show that getting the right amount of sleep will increase your metabolism and help you eat the right amount of foods at the right time.
The one BIG DON’T: do not undercut your calories. Everyone has heard about Starvation Mode, and it’s real. The bottom line is that your body will slow down your metabolism to conserve its resources because it doesn’t know when you are going to get your next meal. Not only that, but your body will eat your muscles for fuel. And guess what? Your heart is a muscle. Yup.
Alright, friends, it’s time to hydrate, move your body, and nourish yourself with some yummy foods.
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