Not all of us have been blessed with ultra fast metabolisms which keep last night’s chocolate cake from becoming a tummy pooch, but the good news is you can trick your body into burning more calories. Though our metabolism’s speed is typically preset by age, genetics and gender, we do have some control over it, with our lifestyle and diet habits. Here are some ways you can speed up your metabolism:
Eat The Right Amount of Food
We all know that eating too much can make you gain weight, but did you know eating too little can have the same effect? Most people think eating less will necessarily induce weight loss, and though it might, not ingesting enough calories causes muscle mass loss, which decreases metabolic rate, as well as making the body work more slowly to conserve fuel. This can also lead to a variety of nutritional deficiencies, as the body is receiving less food than it needs. You can find a calorie calculator to estimate the amount you need per day here.
Having breakfast shortly after getting out of bed helps in waking up the metabolism – eating a healthy, nutritious and balanced morning meal also helps control cravings, which should keep you away from unhealthy snacks. Good options are slow to digest, which will make you feel fuller for longer: oatmeal with nuts and berries, an omelet with greens and low-fat cheese (such as rocket with feta, or spinach with buffalo mozzarella) – as a general rule of thumb, mixing lean proteins with complex carbs and healthy fats will yield a complete meal.
Drink Cold Water
The body burns calories by heating the cold water to core temperature – and though a single glass won’t do much difference by itself, making this a habit can help increase metabolic rate.
Drink Caffeinated Beverages
The average metabolic rate of people who frequently drink caffeinated beverages is higher than those who don’t – caffeine stimulates the nervous system by increasing heartbeat rate and breathing. Though coffee is a great option (especially if it’s sugar-free), green tea also contains antioxidant polyphenols and catechin, which increase thermogenesis (burning stored energy) and fat oxidation.
Ingest Healthy Fats
Healthy fats help regulate metabolism and keep it healthy. They can be found in nuts, seeds, olive and coconut oils, avocado and fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna.
Maintain Muscle Mass
Strength-training helps prevent muscle decay and the decrease in metabolism speed which comes with age. The more developed your muscles are, the more calories you will burn while at rest.
Keep moving throughout the day
Most people stay sitting down at work for hours at a time on most days, which will make the body sense that it’s not using a lot of energy – this causes calories to be stored as fat. Taking a walk around the office at least once every hour will help mitigate the long-term risks of sedentarism, such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Give Your Workout a Kick
HIIT, high-intensity interval training, boosts calorie burn during and after a workout. This tactic makes cells consume more oxygen and work harder to burn energy, and consists of aerobic interval training which intersperses high and low intensity exercise. Though there are plenty of routines online (such as these workouts for beginners), I recommend that you have a fitness professional tailor a workout for you and your needs.