12 Ways to Boost Metabolism
One of the biggest complaints I hear among women, especially those who are perimenopausal and menopausal, has to do with their metabolism. After the age of 35 or so, many women experience a metabolism slowdown. This is mainly because any alteration to your hormones can upset your metabolism – the process of turning digested food, stored fat or muscle into calories that the body uses as energy – and cause you to gain weight.
Here are 12 ways you can give your metabolism a boost and burn more calories throughout the day:
Maintain muscle – Muscle is one of the most metabolically active tissues in your body. It defines your metabolism. With activity, your muscle is eager to stay nourished by burning the calories you’re ingesting. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, whether you’re at the gym, at your desk, or in your bed.
Protein – This one ties in with maintaining muscle. Protein is the building block of muscle, so consume lean proteins in order to maintain and sustain muscle and therefore burn more calories.
Fiber – stabilizes blood sugar levels and keeps your metabolism strong. Loading your plate with fruits and vegetables also protects your cells from free radicals and your body needs healthy cells in order to keep your metabolism going strong.
Cardio – a 45-minute cardio session keeps your metabolism high hours after your workout is over, so relax after a tough workout as you enjoy another 200 calorie burn.
Weight-lifting – as you age, muscle mass decreases that is why lifting weights and strength training is important for maintaining and building upon the muscle you already have so your metabolism stays high.
Sleep – not getting enough sleep messes with your metabolism by increasing levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger, and decreasing levels of leptin, your satiety hormone. Lack of sleep also causes insulin resistance, which will interfere with how your metabolism processes fat, leading to weight gain. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Supplement vitamins – vitamins are important in many of the steps in metabolic reactions, such as burning sugars and fats for energy. Most people don’t consume an optimal amount of vitamins by diet alone, which will cause your metabolism to run inefficiently and cause you to gain weight. Take a high-quality grade multivitamin daily to maintain a healthy metabolism.
Stress Management – As we’ve talked about numerous times, chronic stress can cause an overproduction of cortisol, which will change how your metabolism stores fat, sending it right to your midsection. So find your outlet for stress relief in order to lower your cortisol and restore metabolism.
Coffee – a cup of black coffee in the morning will help kick start your metabolism.
Green tea – sip a cup of green tea at lunch to help keep your metabolism going strong.
Eliminate toxins – Toxins confuse our metabolisms. Additives and processed foods, such as refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, create strain on our livers and detoxification systems because our bodies try to handle these foods they were not designed to use. Additionally, many additives don’t contain any nutrients, so we’re eating foods that add calories without providing nutrition.
Avoid trans fats! – Hydrogenated oils, or trans fat, are dangerous to your metabolism because they bind to receptors on your cells that slow fat burning. They also increase cholesterol levels and the risk of insulin resistance. So focus on whole foods when grocery shopping, not the processed foods found in the interior aisles of the store.