4 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Naturally
Does your metabolism need a boost?
When I couldn’t lose weight, I often asked “Is there any way I can increase my metabolism to get rid of this excess weight?”
This was also the favorite question of many of my friends, except for those special few that could eat all day long and lose weight. The rest of us would just dream of that kind of metabolism.
I’m not sure what happens when we hit that magic age and start gaining all that stubborn weight around our mid-section and thighs. There was a time when my nickname was “thunder thighs”, not my proudest moment. It seems that the older we get the slower that stubborn metabolism becomes.
It has a mind of its own and it hates me.
So, we begin looking for ways to increase our metabolism in order to get our weight and life back to normal.
We haven’t done anything different over the past year or so and now, all of a sudden, the weight is piling on, our energy is gone, we’re cold, cracked skin, our motivation is gone, and now we’ve got belly bloat – UGH!
You can do a quick Google search and find all kind of ways to boost your metabolism. There’s pills, exercise, and food galore. I think I’ve tried them all and never increased my metabolism and never lost any weight. Year after year the scale kept creeping upwards and my energy levels kept going down.
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?
Is it really our metabolism, or is it something else?
This is the big mystery for the average woman. We’re just going through life and one day our metabolism decides to put on the brakes.
There are a lot of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) our metabolism works; which is referred to as your “metabolic rate” (which is measured in calories).
Here’s a few reasons reasons why your metabolic rate can slow down:
- low thyroid hormone
- your history of dieting
- your size and body composition
- your activity level
- lack of sleep
Before we look at how we can naturally boost our metabolism, you need to know that your thyroid may be the culprit for your low metabolism.
Do you have low thyroid hormones?
Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism. When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down. The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more metabolically active. Ideally it should work to keep your metabolism just right. But there are several things that can affect it and throw it off course. Things like autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) for example.
Everyone is different, talk with your doctor about having your thyroid hormones tested each year during your annual checkup. This little test will help you determine the best course of action for your individual needs.
Let me share 4 ways you can give this bad boy, called metabolism, a boost in the right direction….
Yep, you heard me, stop dieting now.
When you’re constantly on some kind of diet your metabolic rate often slows down. This is because your body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue with all the necessary life functions and do it all with less food. It begins to store food in all the wrong places, which is why we have a larger mid-section and those “thunder thighs”.
Most diet plans will put your body under stress and, while dieting can lead to a reduction in amount of fat, it unfortunately can also lead to a reduction in the amount of muscle you have. Especially if your protein and carbohydrate intake is too low and our of balance. You need muscle in order to keep your metabolic rate up.
Metabolic Booster No. 1: Make sure you’re eating enough whole foods to fuel your body without overdoing it. If you need to know how to get started, drop me an email and I’ll share some healthy whole food meal plans with you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Start Strength Training
There’s a reason those lean muscle toned people have a higher metabolism. The more muscle you have the more energy it takes to fuel your body.
Muscles that actively move and do work need energy. Even muscles at rest burn more calories than fat. This means that the amount of energy your body uses depends partly on the amount of lean muscle mass you have.
As we age our muscle mass starts to break down, so it’s important to add strength training to our weekly workouts.
Metabolic Booster No. 2: Commit to a minimum of 2 days a week of strength training. These can be as simple or as hard as you can fit into your schedule. You don’t even have to buy any special equipment. Just go to your pantry, grab a couple of 16 ounce cans and start some arm strength training.
Which leads us to…
Increase your daily physical activity
Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move and do “work” and you can tell because you’re also getting hotter.
Even little things can add up. Walking a bit farther than you usually do, using a standing desk instead of sitting all day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all contribute to more activity in your day.
When I get up in the morning, I drink my apple cider vinegar cocktail, drink a glass of water, and then do 10 minutes of a high intensity workout. This gets my lymphatic system up and running, my heart rate up and my metabolism ready for the day. And, it’s only for 10 minutes.
Can you get up 15 minutes earlier, drink your warm lemon water and exercise for 10 minutes?
Sure you can, I have complete confidence in you.
Do you sit at a desk all day? I just purchased the neatest little exercise machine that fits under my desk. It’s a deskcycle. I peddle my way all through the day. This keeps my heart rate up and my muscles moving. I highly recommend one for all you desk sitters.
Metabolic Booster No. 3: Get up and move during the day and exercise daily. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise during the day and get up and walk for at least 10 minutes every 1 to 2 hours.
Now, Go to Bed!
That’s right, hit the sack. There’s plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate. The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
I know, this is easier said than done. Especially for you busy mamas and workaholics. Believe me, I’m right there with you. But, once I started making myself go to bed earlier, I discovered that I felt better during the day and was able to accomplish so much more.
Metabolic Booster No. 4: Try to create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night. There are bedtime apps that you can download to your phone that will alert you to start heading toward bed. Just set what time you need to get up and how many hours you would like to sleep and it will set an alarm off to start getting ready for bed.
4 easy natural metabolic boosters that we can add to our day. None of them hard, but all of them take a commitment on your part.
Here’s your challenge, start with one of the four steps and begin there. Once you have created that one habit into your daily routine, then add one of the other steps. Before you know it, you will have added all four steps to your daily routine and you will be well on your way to boosting your metabolism naturally.
Here’s a quick resource you can save to your Pinterest Board to help you stay on track with keeping your metabolism revved up.
Keep your metabolism going by eating healthy foods. Here’s a little metabolism booster recipe that I wanted to share with you. It’s also super healthy. You’ll also find more healthy metabolism boosting food choices over at Health Ambition. There’s no reason to feel sluggish during the day when you have so many options to keep your metabolism up and running.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
A Selenium-rich pudding that will help boost your energy and give you plenty of nutrients. It tastes good too.
- 1/2 cup Almonds or Brazil Nuts
- 2 cups water
- 1 Nut bag or cheesecloth
- 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Cacao Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
Soak nuts in water for a minimum of 2 hours. Blend nuts in water in a high speed blender until you get a smooth, creamy milk. If desired, strain milk in nut bag or cheese cloth to separate the nut meal from the milk.
Note: You can use a nut butter of your choice to make your nut milk. Use 4 Tablespoons of nut butter to 16 ounces of water and blend until smooth.
Add nut milk and remaining ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.
Let stand for a minimum of 10 minutes or put in refrigerator overnight to reach a pudding consistency.
Top with your favorite berries or bananas.
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