Metabolism has always been a hot topic and there are no points for guessing why! A high metabolic rate can boost immunity, assist weight loss, and keep you strong and healthy! While genetics do matter, with the right foods and habits, you can increase your metabolism and maintain it.
What Is Metabolism?
Most people know metabolism as an energy-burning process. While it’s true, there’s a lot more to it. Metabolism also removes toxic substances, absorbs nutrients, and maintains cell function. When your metabolism is healthy, so is your body.1 2
How To Increase Metabolism
To support metabolism through diet and lifestyle, check out these few tips.
1. Don’t Skip Your Breakfast
If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t skip meals (especially your breakfast) as it isn’t a healthy way to restrict calories. Think of it this way: metabolism needs fuel! And breakfast is the most important as it controls the thermic (“fat burning”) effect. In fact, skipping breakfast is associated with weight gain, poor glucose control, and high blood cholesterol – the exact opposite of what you want.3
2. Eat Fiber And Protein
Instead of forgoing your meals completely, focus on eating right. Remember to include protein and fiber – two nutrients that increase satiety and prevent overeating – in your diet. Healthy sources of lean protein include beans, skinless poultry, or seafood. Fiber can be found in whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
3. Choose Complex Carbs
In place of simple refined carbs like white bread, choose complex carbs like brown rice. Simple carbs are broken down much faster, causing a quicker spike in blood sugar and insulin secretion. It’s a setup for type 2 diabetes.4 As an added bonus, complex carbs have more fiber. It’s a win-win!
4. Manage Stress
Make stress relief a priority! Chronic stress increases levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. This disrupts the body’s ability to metabolize energy and control blood glucose. Even immunity takes a hit, so you’ll be more vulnerable to infections.5 Stress upsets every aspect of metabolism. Take care of it by focusing on exercise, eating well, and doing things you love. If you cannot meditate or perform breathing exercises effectively, try fun stress-relieving activities like mandala drawing.
5. Do Yoga
Add yoga to the list of stress-relieving habits. Yoga stabilizes the nervous system and keeps you calm. Over time, practicing yoga will improve your metabolic efficiency, according to a 2008 study in the International Journal of Yoga.6 Are you new to yoga? Start with simpler yoga asanas before moving onto complicated ones that demand more expertise.
6. Stay Active
Inactivity negatively affects energy balance, insulin levels, and weight control. It also skyrockets the risk of chronic diseases.7 Meanwhile, physical activity, whether it’s walking or tennis, is a wonderful way to boost metabolism. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, 5 days a week.
7. Lift Weights
Don’t forget about building muscle. Compared to fat cells, muscle cells burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re at rest. Your metabolism will thrive.8 There’s no need to become a bodybuilder. Strength-training exercises can be done with dumbbells, resistance bands, and even books.
As you can see, these habits aren’t new discoveries. It’s nothing more than living a well-rounded lifestyle. Over the course of time, you’ll be on the road to better metabolism.
|↑1||Metabolism. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||Metabolism Basics. Nemours Foundation.|
|↑3||Neumann, Brianna L., Amy Dunn, Dallas Johnson, J. D. Adams, and Jamie I. Baum. “Breakfast Macronutrient Composition Influences Thermic Effect of Feeding and Fat Oxidation in Young Women Who Habitually Skip Breakfast.” Nutrients 8, no. 8 (2016): 490.|
|↑4||Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar. Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health.|
|↑5||Adinoff, Bryon, Ali Iranmanesh, Johannes Veldhuis, and Lisa Fisher. “Disturbances of the stress response: The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during alcohol withdrawal and abstinence.” Alcohol Research and Health 22, no. 1 (1998): 67.|
|↑6||Chaya, M. S., and H. R. Nagendra. “Long-term effect of yogic practices on diurnal metabolic rates of healthy subjects.” International journal of yoga 1, no. 1 (2008): 27.|
|↑7||Biolo, Gianni, Beniamino Ciocchi, Manuela Stulle, Arianna Piccoli, Stefania Lorenzon, Viviana Dal Mas, Rocco Barazzoni, Michela Zanetti, and Gianfranco Guarnieri. “Metabolic consequences of physical inactivity.” Journal of renal nutrition 15, no. 1 (2005): 49-53.|
|↑8||Muscle cells vs. fat cells. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|