Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way to help keep the extra pounds off? A way that didn’t include hours and hours of grueling exercise or obsessively counting calories? As most of us know, it gets harder and harder to keep the pounds at bay the older we get. Our metabolism naturally slows down and we inevitably end up in cubicle dwelling jobs that create a sedentary lifestyle, while still maintaining, if not increasing, what we eat. That’s all depressing enough, but more and more research points to ways in which we can actually increase or speed up our metabolism, without taking weird diet pills or subjecting ourselves to various dieting regimens. You can actually learn how to boost your metabolism naturally, with a few easy lifestyle modifications.
How to Boost Your Metabolism
Increase Your Muscle Mass
Along with your metabolism, your muscle mass also decreases with age. It is also a simple fact that muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have the more your metabolism keeps humming along burning up those calories. You don’t have to go crazy here. You don’t need hours and hours in the gym, just increase the weight you use incrementally and slowly to keep everything working smoothly. Put a couple of hand weights in your living room and do a few arm curls and leg lunges while you are watching TV in the living room. Or, try out a kettle bell for an all-over easy weight bearing exercise – just make sure you hold on tight and don’t aim for the TV!
High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Interval training, or a series of low to high intensity spurts interspersed with rest periods, helps to build muscle (see above) and shock your body into burning more calories. The more in shape you are and the harder your body has to work in a short time span can help increase your metabolism long-term.
You can easily put on some sneakers and do this with running/sprinting intervals, or get on a treadmill or exercise bike for the same experience. If you have the budget, there are also machines that will make this super easy and efficient. Check out my post The Easiest Way to Make Yourself Exercise: Portable Exercise Equipment to see how I like to easily get exercise done and the machines I use.
A Balanced Diet with Healthy Fats
When I say balanced diet, I’m not referring to the food pyramid or counting calories. We all need to have a certain amount of carbohydrates, protein and fats. The key is to make sure that we keep each of these things in balance and make sure they are the types of nutrients that our bodies need in order to keep our metabolism burning at a high rate. The key is to consume natural carbs that are slow burning (think vegetables and whole grains) with a high level of good quality lean protein (think chicken breast and salmon) with healthy fats (think monounsaturated fats like the kind you find in avocados, nuts and olive oil). The key to all of this is to make sure the fats are the healthy kind. A double cheeseburger and fries is not the right type of fat I’m talking about. Healthy fats signal to your body that you are satiated and have enough energy reserves to keep your body going, which in turn speeds up your metabolism. Keep an eye on how much you consume of anything. As with life, too much of a good thing is not a good thing anymore and you could see the pounds creep on instead of off.
Eat Breakfast and Small Meals Throughout the Day
By eating breakfast, you give your metabolism a jump-start from the starvation mode it was in while you were sleeping. The same concept holds true for eating small meals throughout the day. By eating every 2-4 hours, you signal to your body that you have enough food and energy, which keeps your metabolism constantly going. You never want to go too long without eating or your body will think it’s starving and actually slow your metabolism down to conserve energy.
Take Care of Yourself: Sleep and Drink
Sleep and drink water I mean. By drinking enough water, you keep your system moving and burning fuel, which speeds up your metabolism. Water also makes you feel fuller, so you won’t tend to overeat, which can bog your system down.
By making sure you get enough sleep, you give your body a chance to restore itself and burn calories it needs to do essential bodily functions. Your body knows that once you wake you will need to burn energy to keep going.
These are just five easy, no-nonsense ways to boost your metabolism naturally, without resorting to extreme measures. You just need to treat your body right by keeping it moving, feeding it well and letting it rest and restore to get the metabolism boosting jump-start you want. Learning how to boost your metabolism isn’t hard and when every little bit counts, it is important to know where to start!
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