When it comes to losing weight, most people talk about metabolism like it’s the all-inclusive answer to reaching their goals. “If I could just boost my metabolism, I’d lose weight.”… “If I naturally had a faster metabolism, I’d lose weight.”… “If I exercised more and ate less junk food, it would increase my metabolism, and I’d lose weight.” But is it all that straightforward?
Plus, are certain people at a higher risk for a slower metabolism, and can they change it? It’s necessary to first understand what metabolism actually is, so you know how the process works. That way, you can start putting healthier lifestyle practices into place that aren’t just laser-focused on quick weight loss, but support your long-term wellness.
What Is Metabolism Anyway?
Despite the connotation that metabolism is some super-powered, fat-burning machine inside of your body, it’s actually a totally essential life process. It’s the natural way that your cells turn the foods that you eat into the energy needed to breathe, move, think and function. It’s essentially the process of life within yourself.
How Does Your Metabolism Work?
How well your metabolism functions is intricately linked to your current weight, along with your lifestyle and dietary habits. However, your metabolism is often confused with metabolic rate – or the rate at which you burn calories. Your age, sex, body size and health status all determine changes in your resting metabolic rate – or the number of calories you burn regardless of physical activity.
Can Health Conditions Slow Your Metabolism?
You need to be aware that, yes, some health conditions can result in a slower metabolism. If you have unexplained weight gain, you should always talk to your primary care doctor so that they can investigate and potentially recommend treatment.
Some of these metabolism-slowing conditions include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Cushing’s disease
If you have any of the above conditions, you should work with your doctor so that they can help you alleviate symptoms. Getting healthier lifestyle habits in place will also greatly help towards a treatment and weight loss plan.
How to Boost Your Metabolism: 7 Easy Ways
If you don’t have a health condition that’s fighting against you in your efforts to lose weight or speed up your metabolism, there are things you can do every day to increase your metabolic rate. And this, in turn, can help you burn more calories.
7 Ways To Speed Up Your Metabolism
Get Enough Zzz’s
When you think about things you can do to help yourself lose weight, sleeping more is probably not the first thing that comes to mind! But a healthier lifestyle starts with getting adequate sleep. When you don’t get enough of it, the effects of sleep deprivation take a toll on your metabolism – increasing your chances of weight gain and disease. Lacking sleep can also boost your hunger hormones and decrease your fullness hormones, leading to over-eating.
Drink Coffee or Tea (Green or Oolong)
Those who indulge in a daily cup of coffee or tea may have an edge in the metabolism game. Coffee, as well as green and oolong teas have been shown to boost metabolism and increase fat-burning. Therefore, drinking these beverages on the regular can assist with weight loss and weight maintenance.
Take a Stand (Literally)
While weekly exercise is necessary for a speedy metabolism, it’s also important to get up out of your chair as much as possible. Within the last few years, it’s been made more clear that as a population, we’re sitting far too much – and it’s incredibly bad for our health. Invest in a standing desk so you can periodically sit and stand, or take frequent breaks to walk around and stretch to break up the sedentary time. It’s been shown that an afternoon of standing at your desk can burn about 174 extra calories!
Try a HIIT Workout
You may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to workout. The good news is, a high-intensity interval training working (HIIT), requires less time and may yield better results. It’s been shown that the intense, quick bursts of activity used during these workouts can greatly boost metabolism and help burn fat better than other forms of exercise.
Add in MCT Oil
If you’re unfamiliar with MCT Oil, it’s a “medium-chain fat” usually derived from coconut oil. The magic of it is that it’s absorbed very quickly in your body, creating a burst of energy for your body and brain – which also increases metabolism more than other long-chain fats. It’s not recommended to cook with this oil, so add it into smoothies, coffee, salad dressings or cold soups.
Kick Up the Protein
It’s probably no surprise to you that you should up your protein intake in order to increase your metabolism and burn more calories. Basically, protein increases the “thermic effect” of food or TEF for short. It means that your body burns more calories from the energy it takes to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in protein. And protein also keeps you full for longer so you can eat less.
Eat Spicy Foods
Though it may not be as significant of a strategy as the other metabolism-boosting tactics, adding some spices to your meals may take things up a notch. In particular, chili peppers contain a property called capsaicin, which is known to be a metabolism booster. However, many people can’t tolerate the heat needed to have a significant effect. One study predicted that eating capsaicin at acceptable doses could burn about 10 extra calories per meal.
How to Increase Metabolism With Meal Replacement Shakes
As mentioned in the tips above, upping the amount of protein in your meals is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism and satisfy your hunger. Meal replacement shakes that include high-quality protein provide a quick, convenient solution to get more protein into your day. They’re also a great option for healthy meals on-the-go.
Not to mention that it’s easy to add protein shake powders into a blender with other metabolism-boosting foods – such as coffee or MCT Oil. This creates a filling meal that can help power you through your day.
Remember that your metabolic rate – or the rate at which you burn calories – is very much in your hands, as long as you don’t have an underlying health condition slowing it down. Take advantage and get control of your lifestyle and dietary habits today, so that you’re able to build and maintain a faster metabolism that continually helps you meet your goals.