Instead of focusing just on your weight, you should be concentrating on improving your over-all health and wellness. When you do this, the weight will take care of itself. Don’t just go on a diet, make lifestyle changes instead. Lifestyle changes go beyond losing a few extra pounds; it is not a temporary fix. It is a conscious effort to improve your quality of life and it lasts a lifetime.
One of the more common complaints that I hear is that the body’s metabolism is slower and the activities that used to result in weight loss or feeling fit no longer work.
If this is a problem for you, the first step to take is learning how to speed up a slow metabolism to enable your body to be more efficient at providing nutrition for your cells and muscles.
Here are 8 Tips for How to speed up a slow metabolism:
- Eat breakfast. I am sure you have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The reason being that your hormones slow your metabolism down during sleep. This is to prevent you from being kept awake by hunger and so your body can rest. In order to wake up your metabolism you must eat, otherwise it stays in “sleep” mode. A breakfast full of high-fiber carbs and protein is the best choice. A whole grain cereal with low fat milk or yogurt will provide you with the fuel to rev up your metabolism without causing a spike in your blood sugar because it is slowly digested. This will also keep you feeling full longer. Another good choice would be an egg white veggie omelette with whole grain toast. Don’t forget to add a bit of fresh fruit to the meal.
- Increase protein. Lean sources of protein are essential to your health. Aim for 10-35% of your daily intake to be from proteins such as fish, chicken, legumes, nuts and seeds, yogurt and low-fat cheese. The reason protein speeds up your metabolism is because your body has to work harder to digest them. You can burn 200 more calories per day just by upping your protein intake. This does not mean that you should aim for a high protein diet such as the Atkins Diet. Healthy living includes a balanced diet. Just make sure that you include a protein source in all of your meals and snacks.
- Eat often. Going extended periods of time without fuelling your body is the main reason most people have low metabolisms. If you really want your metabolism to be revved up and keep it at peak performance you should break your meals up so that you are eating 5 or 6 small meals during the day instead of 3 larger ones. This will also help you prevent spikes in your blood sugar and keep you feeling more energetic all day long.
- Whole carbohydrates. Our body needs carbs. It is the source of energy to keep our body fuelled. What our body doesn’t need is refined carbs or empty calories. You should eliminate refined sugars and starches such as sweets and white bread, bagels, etc. and aim for whole grains, fruits and vegetables as your source of carbohydrates. Not only are these foods packed with energy, they are also loaded with nutrients and vitamins and they make you feel full longer.
- Don’t forget dairy products. In the January 2003 American Society for Nutritional Sciences Journal of Nutrition conducted a study that shows that women who consumed a serving low-fat dairy products 3-4 times per day lost 70% more weight than those who skipped the dairy. Calcium and other substances found in dairy products speed up the metabolism making you burn off more excess fat at a faster rate.
- Add hot peppers to your diet. Capsicum, the ingredient that makes hot peppers spicy, can cause an increase in adrenaline. Thus you will be in “exercise” mode even when you are at rest. So add some spice to your life by tossing in a few hot peppers to your pot when cooking your evening meal.
- Get plenty of sleep. Sleep is the most abused factor of healthy living. Not getting enough sleep every night can make you overweight no matter what you change in your lifestyle. There is a complex shift in hormones that occurs while we sleep. The body’s metabolism is directly affected by the amount of sleep we get. You should aim for 7-10 hours of sleep every night. Anything less than 7 hours and you will gain weight for no apparent reason. Studies have shown that people who consume the exact amount of calories and exercise the same amount are 33% more likely to experience major weight gain if they sleep less than 7 hours at night.
- Build muscle to burn fat. Muscle mass burns calories at a higher rate than fat mass does. So if you want to rev up your metabolism, you should build more muscle mass in your body. Include weight training in your exercise routine to build muscle. You do not have to look like a body builder, but having a well muscled skeletal system will mean that you will burn more calories when your body is at rest than you would without the increased muscle mass.
So, if you have any concerns that your body operates slower than it used to, then with these lifestyle adjustments and a higher metabolism your health and wellness experience should be more enjoyable with improved fitness of your body.