6 Bulletproof Ways to Naturally Boost your Metabolism
Your metabolism is like your body’s own built-in personal trainer. It works strenuously every minute of the day to help you burn calories, maximize your energy at the gym and shed fat in an efficient manner.
Your metabolism is the sum of everything that takes place in your body. Every time you eat, your body breaks down food and converts it to energy, thus ensuring that your heart is beating, your brain is functioning, your muscles are working and you’re able to push yourself during challenging workouts. The faster your metabolism, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to shed fat.
You may have heard that metabolism is determined by gender and genetics and while this is true to some extent, take heart in knowing that you have a massive amount of control over your metabolic rate. You can make your metabolism work harder with just a few changes to your daily routine, such as:
1. Hit the sack early
Not getting sufficient quality sleep may slow your metabolism as research suggests that this may have a link with the brain’s secretion of the stress hormone, cortisol. Even if you sleep early, not getting seven consecutive hours of shuteye, that is unbroken sleep, may have a negative impact on your metabolism as well.
Therefore, along with getting to bed early, try practicing a good sleep hygiene, such as switching off all electronics, turning your phone off (or at least setting it to silent), having dinner at least 4 hours before you sleep, and having fresh sheets. If you have trouble relaxing, try meditating for a few minutes before bedtime and spray your pillows with a solution of water and lavender essential oil.
2. Try spicy food
Spicy chilies contain a molecule called capsacian, which has been shown to elevate the body’s temperature and increase fat loss. Some studies also indicate that isothiocyanates, a type of chemical found in pungent foods such as wasabi, Dijon mustard and horseradish may have a positive effect on your metabolic rate as well.
3. Drink cold water
Not only is an ice cold glass of water incredibly refreshing, it can also make the body burn a few extra calories while it heats it to your core temperature.
However, just guzzling water of any temperature throughout the day should do the trick as well. According to one study, participants who consumed 8-12 eight ounce glasses of water per day showed a higher metabolic rate than those who consumed only 4 glasses.
4. Pack on protein
Try cramming more protein into your plate every meal to support lean muscle growth. Having more muscle automatically increases your metabolic rate and thus, helps you burn more calories throughout the day – even when you’re not working out.
Aim for about 30 grams of protein per meal, which is equivalent to a four ounce boneless chicken breast.
5. Increase your iron intake
Iron is crucial for metabolism because it helps carry oxygen to your muscles. Unfortunately, women lose iron every month during their period, causing an insufficient flow of oxygen to your muscles. This can slow down your metabolism and your overall calorie burn. Therefore, try stocking up on iron-rich foods such as beans and leafy greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, and bok choy.
6. Try HIIT
With our schedules becoming busier every day, we are always looking for ways to shorten our workouts. Stepping up your intensity with high intensity interval training (HIIT) can help you burn the same number of calories (or even more!) in a shorter time period. Studies show that participants who incorporated sprints into their cardio workouts lost three times as much body fat than those who practiced steady state cardio.
Incorporating bursts of high speed or high intensity exercises into your workouts can stimulate a much higher fat burning response within your muscles, whether you’re running on a treadmill or lifting weights.