We’ve all seen people who seem to consume infinite amounts of food, yet they never gain any weight. It’s almost like a superpower. It’s both admirable and frustrating for those who don’t possess the same ability. These people seem to be invincible against weight gain. Meanwhile, some of us can’t even look at a cupcake without instantly gaining five pounds.
Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy, according to the Mayo Clinic. The calories found in food and beverages are combined with oxygen, causing your body to release the energy it needs to function during the biochemical process. The difference is some people have very fast, active metabolism while others suffer from slower metabolisms.
Your body needs and uses energy for many unconscious functions like breathing, digestion and repairing cells even when you’re resting. The number of calories your body uses to carry out basic functions is called your basal metabolic rate, also known as your metabolism. Your personal basal metabolism is based on your body size, sex, and age. It varies for different people.
Having a slow metabolism might seem like a looming problem but it isn’t irreversible. An abundance of books, shows, and apps provide advice about how to accelerate and enhance your metabolism to catapult weight loss. Although there is a ton of advice about how to get a fast metabolism, the secret lies within the foods you eat. There are many things you can do to have a supercharged metabolism that will make burning off troublesome fat simple. Food plays a major role in how slow or fast your metabolism is. Take a look at these 5 foods, drinks and lifestyle tips that can help you avoid being stuck with a slow metabolism.
Say goodbye to yo-yo diets
Yo-yo diets are those diets that promise “big-time weight loss results” like 10 pounds in a week. Diets of this kind are not healthy! The promised results can be very tempting but they never positively affect your body and the weight loss results are never healthy nor long-lasting. You can prevent your body from experiencing damaging highs and lows by avoiding these metabolism-slowing diets, such as extremely low calorie diets or diets void of healthy carbs or proteins. The old adage, “Slow and steady wins the race,” applies to healthy weight loss efforts because in order to speed up your metabolism in a safe way, you must take your time, consume adequate amounts of protein, and exercise daily to prevent loss of muscle during weight loss.
Yo-yo diets can hurt you in the long run by decreasing muscle mass. Quick diets may help you lose weight rapidly, but they are deceptive because when you lose weight too fast, you lose muscle mass as well. Muscle mass is crucial to your body’s ability to lose weight. The older you get, the harder it is for your body to produce and maintain muscle tissue. Consistently consuming enough protein will help you build and maintain muscles, which will keep your metabolism regulated. The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be because every pound of muscles uses around 6 calories a day just to sustain itself.
To avoid this, opt for a high protein diet. Eating a diet that’s balanced with adequate amounts of protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables will keep your metabolism from lagging. Make sure your diet is full of healthy proteins like chicken, lean beef and fish. A high protein diet increases thermogenesis and satiety compared to diets of lower protein content.
Try eating a high protein breakfast that includes eggs. Egg yolks contain fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and choline, which improve your metabolism and give you extra energy to get you through the day!
Squeeze in exercise
You can never go wrong with good old fashion exercise. You don’t need expensive gym equipment or fancy gym clothes to get moving. Try incorporating aerobic intense workouts, such as Zumba and kickboxing. The more intense your workout is, the more calories you will burn, increasing your metabolism.
Incorporating strength training will increase your muscle mass and since muscles use more calories than fat, strengthening your muscles will turn you into a calorie-burning machine, even when you’re not even moving!
Studies support the concept that regular physical exercise has major health benefits that might come from the alleviation of lipotoxicity from exercise, which can reduce lipids (fats) in the body while simultaneously improving your metabolism.
Take a cold shower
Hot showers can create be immensely relaxing but did you know cold showers can rev up your metabolism? Since cold water is shocking to your body, it kick starts your cardiovascular system, which can jump-start your metabolism for the day.
Submerging your body in cold water is known to create significant physiological and biochemical changes in the body such as increases in heart rate, blood pressure, peripheral catecholamine concentration — and even your stubborn metabolism!
Sip on green tea
Green tea is not only soothing and delicious but it can cause a big-time metabolism boost! During a study, drinking four cups of green tea led to a significant reduction in weight and systolic blood pressure for certain people. Green tea contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.
Try this metabolism boosting smoothie for a tasty drink that can help launch your metabolism into full-speed.
Green Tea Smoothie
- 1 cup green tea, brewed and chilled
- 1/2 cup baby kale
- 1/2 apple
- 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
- Blend all ingredients until smooth. Enjoy!
Catch some ZZZs
Sleep plays a major role in the way your metabolism functions. Have you ever noticed that the less sleep you get, the more junk food you crave? Skipping out on sufficient sleep can affect your body’s glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, which is the way your body is able to metabolize energy from foods containing carbs.
Lack of sleep can cause changes in glucose metabolism, upregulation of appetite, and decreased energy expenditure in your body. More than 30 percent of adult men and women between the ages of 30 and 64 years report sleeping less than six hours per night, which correlates with the obesity epidemic. The weight gain that you will experience from missing out on sleep will be caused by the upregulation of your appetite from lack of sleep, which will create more time to eat and a decrease in energy expenditure.
There are many ways to fix a slow metabolism. What are your favorite ways to speed up your metabolism? Drop your comments below!
— Laura Jazmin Tolliver