Do you feel like you have been stuck with a slow metabolism all your life? Well, I have good news for you! It’s true that as you grow older, your metabolism slows down but a combination of stress, genetics, lifestyle habits, heart diseases, poor diet, etc. all play a major role in slowing metabolism. Have you ever wondered why your best friend can go through a whole pack of French fries without gaining a kilo while just a few bites go straight to your hips Sure, your metabolism slows as you get older, but fortunately, there are several ways to speed it up. Before we jump into how you can fix your metabolism, you need to understand one important thing; every human being is unique and your biochemical makeup is different from others.
If you paid attention in your biology class at school, you’ll remember the little energy buddies, ‘mitochondria’. Mitochondria are little combustion motors that convert food and oxygen into energy for your body. When these little guys do their job well (effective mitochondria), your body burns calories, resulting in a faster metabolism. Whereas, ineffective mitochondria come in the way of burning calories, slowing down your metabolism. All the aforementioned causes of a slow metabolism affect your energy system. It starts with what you consume and eating the right foods at the right times. You cannot control all the other factors but here are eight sure shot ways to give your metabolism the boost it needs and keep your mitochondria healthy:
Eat a lot of healthy fats
Not all fats must be avoided! Almost every weight loss article or nutritionist tells you to snack on Avocados and nuts, and they have a good reason to do so. These foods, along with coconut oil, seeds, and fatty fish fuel, are easily digestible, thereby turning them into fuel and increasing your metabolism instead of storing them as fats.
Get Some Shut-Eye
One study showed that lack of sleep in men increased their tendency to choose high-calorie foods. Another study revealed that women who barely got six hours of sleep were more likely to put on five kilograms. Sleep duration affects ghrelin and leptin, the hormones responsible for regulating hunger. Experts suggest that you must get at least 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep every night while skimping on sleep can derail your metabolism. Luckily for you, even if you suffer from insomnia, there are several easy ways to ensure a good night’s sleep; go for regular workout’s or try opting for a hot bath before sleeping, both go a long way in ensuring you get the sleep you desire.
Measure Your Meals
Yes, it’s important to keep a track of your weight, but being obsessed with numbers can do more harm than good. What you eat is more important than how much you eat. However, here is a link for your reference if you want to know how many calories you should be eating in a day along with an estimate of your daily nutrient needs – https://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/calories-burned. Try to stick to your Metabolism Calculator calories for a week without shuffling your routine to get a better idea of how food affects your body. If you see a difference, you’re on the right track, if not, adjust and try again.
Relax and Chill Out
Several studies have confirmed that stress can make you pile on the kilos as when you’re stressed, your body tends to get swamped with stress hormones. These hormones, in turn, wreck havoc with the fat cells in your abdomen making them increase in size which encourages storage of fat. Besides slowing down your metabolism, this also puts you at risk for diabetes, cancer and heart diseases. So take some time out, go for a steam, sauna or indulge in some Yoga which helps regulate your metabolism levels while also helping in de-stressing you.
Switch to Green Tea
Besides the myriad of benefits consuming green tea confers upon you, it also contains a bunch of antioxidants that help speed up metabolism. A recent study showed green tea coupled with at least 3 hours of light exercises per week shrunk belly fat significantly in subjects over a span of three months. Drink 5-6 cups of unsweetened green tea (or just add half a teaspoon of honey) every day, and your metabolism will surely rev up. Green tea is definitely a manna from heaven because apart from enhancing weight loss, it also improves brain functionality, lowers risk of certain cancers and is loaded with antioxidants.
Sprinkle on Spicy Extras
Luckily for us, common Indian spices like Chili’s, peppers, ginger, and turmeric have all been found to have a significant effect on metabolism due to an increase in your heart rate. Use them often even besides getting the boost but make sure to check for the calorie and fat content when indulging in spicy food at restaurants.
Make Strength training and Cardio your BFFS
Exercising and staying active in general is a tried and tested way to increase the amount of muscle you have, which in turn will speed up your metabolism You can increase your metabolism by altering the four cardiovascular training factors – frequency, intensity, duration, and mode. Cardio exercises like cycling or running, provide the thrust your metabolism needs. Having said that, most of us need more muscle building activities, and strength training is a brilliant way of acquiring this. It further helps you to continue burning more calories for up to 72 hours post your workout (a.k.a. after burn).
Quit sitting for prolonged periods
Some studies found that sitting for long durations is correlated to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Maybe chairs should have some kind of a warning label like ‘sedentary lifestyle can be injurious to health’; similar to cigarettes due to its adverse effects on one’s health. A great solution to combat this problem would be to move as much as you can throughout the day. Remember that every step counts! I would high recommend investing in a pedometer to track your movements.