Our metabolisms play a huge role in our overall health. Metabolism is a process that converts the food we eat into energy. Unfortunately, our metabolisms tend to slow down as we age, especially once we’re over 30.
When your metabolism slows down, you may notice some physical changes – you may have less energy and flabbier muscles, even though you haven’t changed your eating habits. All of this sounds scary, but there are ways to boost your metabolism to improve your health. Yes, you can beat biology!
1 – Eat More Protein
Protein consumption can be quite helpful if you’re looking to boost your metabolism. When 25-30% of your daily calories come from protein, you can burn 80-100 more calories per day than if you stuck to a diet that’s lower in protein.
Eating more protein will also help curb your appetite, making it an important nutrient for weight loss. Try adding proteins like lean beef, turkey, beans, nuts, and fish.
2 – Get More Sleep
Sleep deprivation has been linked to a lower metabolism, and is also a predicter for obesity. If you don’t feel well rested at the end of the night, investigate ways to improve your sleep quality to get your metabolism going! You’ll probably feel better overall, too.
3 – Drink Cold Water
Replacing sugary drinks with water sometimes isn’t enough. It always has to be more complicated than that, right? Cold water is actually more effective for boosting your metabolism, since the body uses that cold water to increase your body temperature, which in turn helps you burn more calories.
Drinking 0.5 liters of water can increase your metabolism by 10-30% for an hour, and it also makes you feel fuller. Drink water before eating to lose weight!
4 – Drink Tea
Certain teas have been proven to boost metabolism, like green tea and oolong tea. Since these teas convert some fat into free fatty acids, they may increase fat burning by 10-17%. Drinking tea has plenty of other health benefits, and it tastes great, too!
5 – Eat Peppers
Spicy food can boost your metabolism! You’re in luck if you like peppers, since they contain capsaicin, a metabolism-boosting substance. Other spices that contain capsaicin include mustard, horseradish, and ginger.
6 – Drink More Coffee
Coffee can have an effect on weight loss, but it seems to work better for leaner women. One study showed that drinking coffee increased fat burning by 29% in lean women, but by 10% in obese women. Either way, drinking coffee can help boost your metabolism!
7 – Use Coconut Oil for Cooking
Replace your regular cooking oil with coconut oil, since it contains high amounts of medium-chain fats that increase your metabolism. Other fats like butter can boost your metabolism, too, but at a lower rate.
A study showed that medium-chain fats increased metabolism by 12%, whereas long-chain fats increased metabolism by 4%.
8 – Do Some Aerobic Exercise
All workouts have physical health benefits, but aerobic exercise can help you burn more calories. Examples of aerobics include Zumba, running, and jumping jacks. Want to challenge yourself? Try working out in intervals – switch between high and low intensity for a better workout!
9 – Eat More Often
Believe it or not, eating more often will help your metabolism, not hurt it. Eating smaller meals more often (think 4-6 portioned meals every 3-4 hours) will help speed up your metabolism, since your body will always have something to burn. Every time you eat, you add more opportunities to convert food into energy. Don’t starve yourself to lose weight – it will only slow you down!
10 – Eat Enough Calories
Just like you want to eat often enough, you want to eat enough in general. Eating far too few calories for an extended period of time sends the body into starvation mode, the body’s way of conserving energy when it’s not sure when it will get a refill.
The number of calories you’ll need to eat each day to prevent this will depend on your age, sex, and how often you exercise. Calculating your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is a good place to start.
11 – Reduce Your Stress Levels
Higher levels of stress have been linked to a higher risk of cardiometabolic disease. That’s because anxiety can cause us to overeat or not eat enough, which throws off our metabolism. To reduce the impact of stress on your life, consider counselling, yoga, or other approaches to reducing anxiety.
If you made it this far, it’s because you want to get healthier. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s easy to claim that it’s impossible to boost metabolism once you’re older, but there are always opportunities to improve the way your body burns through food. Pick up a few new healthy habits today, and see what happens!