The number that shows up on the weighing scale ultimately comes down to how fast your metabolism is. When we eat food, our metabolism is supposed to convert it into energy for our body. If your metabolism has slowed down, then it’s going to be much more difficult for food to turn into fuel. This means that instead of getting used up, they become stored as fat. If you aren’t blessed with fast metabolism, you don’t have to throw your hands up in despair. By understanding how your metabolism works, you can trick your metabolism into becoming faster. Here are seven ways to do this.
1. Consider Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting does not mean starving yourself. It involves a pattern of fasting and feasting that will push your body to burn more calories. When you practice this, you’re required to fast for 16 hours and eat only during the remaining 8 hours. This might sound daunting, but you’ll actually be asleep for a major portion of the 16 hours. The most common meal times on this fast are between noon to 8 PM, which means you’ll have to skip breakfast and have an early dinner. Skipping breakfast might sound contrary to everything you’ve been told about a healthy diet, but there’s plenty of proof that intermittent fasting is healthy and effective.
2. Build Your Muscle
Most people who are trying to lose weight spend all their time doing cardio and very little time on strength training. Don’t make this mistake. Muscles burn more fuel than fat does, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you’re burning. The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs even when it isn’t doing anything. People with a higher muscle to fat ratio have a greater BMR. This means if you build muscle, you will be burning more calories even when you aren’t trying to.
3. Eat More Healthy Fats
Science has shown that eating fat can help you lose fat. Healthy fats like monounsaturated fats can go a long way in speeding up your metabolism. When your body needs fuel, it generally burns glucose for quick energy. When it doesn’t have enough glucose, it burns fat instead. To help your metabolism work in your favor, the first thing you need to do is limit your carbs, especially simple, refined carbs. To compensate for this dip in fuel, you will need to increase your healthy fat intake. Medium-chain fatty acids like the ones in coconut oil are perfect for this and can be easily utilized by your body.
4. Stock Up On Green Tea
If you haven’t switched to green tea already, here’s why you need to. Thermogenesis is a process by which our body heats up on the insides and burns more calories because of it. Green tea contains catechins which can naturally trigger thermogenesis. This means that by simply sipping on some green tea, you’re actually burning more calories. Research has shown that drinking green tea everyday can increase your metabolism by up to 5%. What’s even more astounding is that it can increase fat burning by up to 16%.
5. Don’t Fight The Cold
When you’re out in the cold, your body begins to shiver uncontrollably. Shivering is your body’s way of trying to increase its internal temperature. Another way your body tries to keep itself warm is by burning white fat. Studies have shown that after being repeatedly exposed to the cold, people displayed a higher amount of brown fat (the good kind) and a lower percentage of white fat. You don’t have to go outside in the freezing cold for this reaction to take place. Just turning down the thermostat by a few degrees can speed up your metabolism. Remember not to go overboard though, you don’t want to die from hypothermia.
6. Put Down That Drink
Alcohol is technically a toxin and is harmful for your body. Your body recognizes this so when you have a drink, it focuses all its energies into trying to metabolize it. Because it’s so caught up on trying to metabolize alcohol, it can’t metabolize fats and carbs as well. This means that all those food particles become stored as fat instead of being used up as fuel. One study has shown that drinking alcohol can slow your metabolism by as much as 73%. So if you’re serious about trying to lose weight, it’s time you cut back on those after-work drinks.
7. Rebalance Your Gut
The answer to your quest for a faster metabolism lies in your gut. Research has recently been discovering just how wide the implications for an unbalanced gut are. Your gut consists of both good and bad bacteria. If the bad bacteria outnumber the good ones, you’re in for some serious health issues. It might come as a surprise to you, but these little microorganisms play a direct role in your metabolism. In one study, gut flora from obese mice were taken and inserted into mice who were healthy. Researchers observed that these formerly healthy mice actually started to extract more calories from the food they were eating, put on more weight and started showing signs of insulin resistance. Start adding more fermented foods like kimchi and kefir to your diet so you’re getting a steady supply of probiotics for your gut.