7 Expert-Backed Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
6 minutes read
People blame their weight gain due to slow metabolism. While it makes a good case – after all, metabolism is based on the number of calories or energy your body burns to perform its regular function, including sleeping, breathing, and even cell renewal – experts believe metabolism alone may not be the culprit.
“The calories you eat are one part of the equation and the calories you burn with your daily activities. However, there are other factors that can affect metabolism, including your genetics, your diet, your sleep, your stress levels, and other underlying medical conditions, to name a few,” explains Dr William Li, physician, scientist, President and Medical Director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, and author of Eat To Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself.
How You Can Speed Up Your Metabolic Rate?
We spoke to a range of experts, including Dr Li, to list down seven ways on how to speed up metabolism.
1. Eat fibre-rich foods
Dr Li says you can start increasing your metabolism by improving your diet. Saying no to temptations like saturated fat (sausages, bacon, pastries), ultra-processed food (soft drinks, chips, chocolate, candy), and added refined sugar.
“These all interfere with your gut microbiome, the critical gatekeeper of your metabolism. When the bacteria are unhappy (a condition called dysbiosis), your metabolism is more likely to go haywire.”
What food speeds up your metabolism? Eat fibre-rich foods and other food that supports gut health.
“By feeding the gut microbiome [the ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses that live in our gut], the healthy bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids that help improve your body’s ability to absorb glucose in cells using insulin, and they help your cells store and burn that energy when needed.”
Increase your fibrous food intake; opt for fruits, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, green tea, mushrooms, broccoli, pears, apples, kiwi and tree nuts like walnuts, pecans, and pistachios.
2. Intermittent Fasting
Apart from its anti-ageing benefits and helping to control acne, intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways to rev up your metabolism and experts strongly advise following it. Studies show that intermittent fasting increases several fat-burning hormones, and short-term fasts may even boost your metabolism by up to 14%.
There are several diverse ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular periods to eat and fast, such as an eight-hour period each day. Alternatively, you might decide to eat only one meal a day, two days a week.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting may have different effects on people. Before you make any changes to your diet, and if you have underlying medical conditions, it’s advised to consult a healthcare professional.
The key is to add nutrient-dense foods into your diet instead of filling your eating window with junk. Adding Omega-3s can help reduce bloating or heavy feeling by eating more oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. Add some flax seeds and chia seeds into your Greek yoghurt. Cut back on alcohol and sugary, fizzy drinks. Try adding some healthy vegetable juices to the mix. We have some great recipes here listed by experts here The Best Way To Do A Juice Cleanse, According To Nutritionists
3. Drink caffeine
It looks like your morning coffee is doing you and your metabolism good. New research suggests that just four cups of coffee a day can help shed some body fat.
Apart from coffee, green tea and oolong tea show to increase metabolism. Although this is a green signal, be mindful of your daily caffeine intake, as exceeding recommended servings will harm your health. Too much caffeine may cause headaches, anxiety and jitters.
4. Take cold showers
Another way to increase your metabolism is by taking two or three cold showers per week. When we’re cold, our body shivers to warm itself up, which requires energy (cue calorie burning). Celebs and experts swear by cold showers and while it sounds like a beauty nightmare, they can tighten pores, reduce redness and puffiness in the skin while boosting blood circulation and metabolism.
Charlène Gisèle Bourliout, London-based Certified Health and Business Coach and Professional Biohacker, says, “Ideally, you want the icy water to be touching or running on the back of your neck and top of your shoulders, as this is where most of our brown fat cells are located.”
Brown fat is a type of fat cell that activates when you get cold. Unfortunately, white fat cells often dominate. It sits on our waist, hips, and thighs. Eating in excess causes white fat cells to swell, resulting in obesity.
“Brown fat cells boost your metabolism, can help lose weight and decrease levels of inflammation which keeps us looking and feeling more youthful.”
Another option can be ending your hot shower with a brief cool rinse. It can be invigorating and give your metabolism a quick boost, not to mention cold showers increase blood circulation and release happy hormone endorphins.
A full body massage helps increase blood circulation and boost lymphatic drainage. This helps get rid of the toxic waste in your body and improve your metabolism. This makes a justified reason for an indulgent weekly or monthly non-negotiable body massage treatment. Almost every type of therapeutic massage will increase blood circulation, so kick things off with a Deep Tissue Massage.
Since we’ve talked about doing more physical activities, this intensely therapeutic massage will ease tense shoulders, back knots, and aches. Aromatic essential oils supercharge the stress-relieving benefits, restoring your sense of well-being and will indeed prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
6. Prioritise beauty sleep
We understand that multiple deadlines, Netflix, childcare and some mindless social media scrolling can leave us with a less than ideal sleep quota. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation reduces your metabolism (it also makes you hungrier and more likely to reach for sugary and energy-boosting snacks.)
A four-year joint study by the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University found that adults who regularly slept for only five hours a night increased their levels of hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin by 15% and equally lowered their levels of appetite-suppressing hormone leptin.
In short, sleep deprivation leads to late-night cravings. A good night’s rest, on the other hand, promotes the healthy production of hormones that control appetite. To combat this nocturnal behaviour by creating a bedtime ritual like no screen time rule by 8 or 10 PM (create a realistic timeline); do your night-time skincare routine, spray some Eau Ressourçante in your bed linens and pillowcases. Create a bedtime routine that makes you look forward to reuniting with your bed after a long, and productive day.
As cliche as it may sound, physical activity or any form of exercise such as running, swimming, aerobics, or even brisk walking, stimulates your metabolism. Allotting time for physical activity as short as 20 minutes can make a difference.
Even standing up can make a difference if you have a desk job, especially for people who work from home. Try standing up for short periods to break up the length of time you spend sitting down. Why not try looking at a standing desk? We love this affordable IKEA standing desk.
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