It’s simple, when you take good care of your car, it runs better, right? You check the fluids, stick to a maintenance schedule, stay on top of tire pressure — and you’ll have a set of wheels that’ll runs for a long time. The same principle can be applied to your body.
There’s a secret motor churning inside you right now. And it’s responsible for how quickly you break down food, how easily you process waste, and how deep your stores of energy run.
It’s your metabolism.
As you age, your metabolism begins to slow down. Luckily, there are ways to give your metabolism a boost and keep it operating at peak performance. In fact, if you follow these 7 easy tips to help jumpstart your metabolism, you can keep it working for you 24/7!
1. Protein pack your breakfast
Turns out protein is the actual breakfast of champions. Make sure you start every day with the fuel your body needs to keep it burning calories all day long. Protein has what it takes to keep you feeling fuller, longer. Why? Because a great deal of energy is required to break it down. So, cover your plate with eggs, Greek yogurt, and pile on the lean meats or salmon. You’ll rev up your metabolism and help keep it running throughout the rest of the day.
2. Tip your barista
Whether you make a daily coffee run or brew at home, you’ll want to keep coffee or green tea as part of your morning routine. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a significant boost in metabolic rate can be seen within a 3 hour period after caffeine consumption.1 So, indulge and drink up. But, stay away from sugary drinks and specialty coffees.
3. Water water water
When it comes to metabolizing food, water is the MVP. Water helps break down food and draw out its nutrients. Do your best to drink at least 2 to 3 liters every day. You’ll kick your metabolism into even higher gear if you drink it ice cold. Your body will have to work just a little harder to heat it up to your body temperature of 98.6 degrees.
4. Hunt and gather
Your ancestors did it because they had to, but the foods they found were the best foods for you. Proteins (like turkey, lean beef, and fish), nuts (such as almonds), and berries (like blueberries and blackberries) are great for your metabolism. So, when you think about planning meals for lunch and dinner, make sure you’ve got some more lean protein on your plate.
Also, whole foods require more energy to digest than processed foods. Try to keep your fridge stocked with fresh vegetables and fruits. And, you’ll get bonus points if you eat the skins and rinds of certain fruits. Cucumber, apple, and potato skins are high in nutritional value and you’ll expend more energy digesting them.
5. Spice up your life
Jalapenos, habaneros, red peppers, Tabasco and cayenne are full of a compound called capsaicin. It’s the thing that makes them ‘hot hot hot’ and it can also help you burn calories. The heat in these foods can increase the heat in your body causing a brief hike in metabolic rate. So, add some serious spice to your favorite recipes.
6. Interval training
Slow and steady wins the race, right? Only if it’s peppered with bursts of all out sprinting. According to the American College of Sports Medicine interval training with bursts of high intensity exertion can raise your metabolism and help inspire weight loss. When a person sprints, he consumes more oxygen than in regular distance running, which can raise the metabolic rate once the training is over.2
7. 8 hours of Zzzz’s
It’s best to start counting sheep early. Leptin, otherwise known as the “satiety hormone” can be thrown off when you don’t give your body the time it needs to recharge overnight. Researchers have discovered a direct correlation between obesity and those who sleep less than the optimum 8 hours a night.4 So, be sure to spend a significant amount of under the covers.
So, remember — revving your metabolic engine just takes a little extra planning. Start with a few tips on the list and work your way up to including all seven in your daily routine. You’ll enjoy the benefits of a speedier metabolism and newfound energy sooner than you think. Plus, these are all great solutions to the perpetual question: how to lose weight fast!
2. ACSM | ACSM in the News. Acsmorg.Accessed December 23, 2016.
3. Noreen E, Sass M, Crowe M, Pabon V, Brandauer J, Averill L. Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010;7(1):31. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-7-31.
4. Di Milia L, Vandelanotte C, Duncan M. The association between short sleep and obesity after controlling for demographic, lifestyle, work and health related factors. Sleep Medicine. 2013;14(4):319-323. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2012.12.007.