Metabolism – even though it’s a word you always hear, you may not be sure what exactly it’s all about.
It’s possible that your first encounter with the term came from that friend who can eat everything and anything without ever gaining a pound. The explanation you always heard (they “just have a good metabolism”) could be frustrating at the best of times.
And while it may not be possible for everyone to eat to their heart’s content without any consequences, there are some simple measures you can take to give your metabolism that little extra boost.
Whether it’s to help shed a few pounds or simply live a healthier lifestyle, you’ll soon find that the keys to stimulating your metabolism are easily within reach.
What is Metabolism?
Simply put, your metabolism is what helps with digestion and helps burns off fat.
Sure, the science of it all might be a bit complicated, but what is important to know is that your metabolism is in control of converting your food to energy for the body. On top of that, your metabolism never stops – it’s doing its job even when you’re sleeping or at rest.
With that said, it doesn’t hurt to try to do everything you can to give your metabolism a bit of a helping hand.
And it’s easy to do with resources that are at anybody’s disposal. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that most of the tricks to boosting your metabolism are already within your grasp!
If you look almost anywhere for ways to boost your metabolism, what you eat is going to be at the top of the list. And there’s good reason for that. Since your metabolism is all about making fuel out of the food you eat, it makes sense to want to try to give your body the best fuel possible.
And don’t worry – you aren’t going to suffer through a boring diet, eating sawdust-like energy bars or being left hungry after meals. There are a ton of delicious foods that have all been linked to boosting metabolism: asparagus, almonds, beans, coconut oil, ginger, oatmeal and spinach are just a few. Many of these foods are nutrient-packed and contain essential fatty acids.
And even better than that – so many metabolism-boosting foods can easily be introduced to any diet without sacrificing flavour. As it turns out – things that taste good can still be good for you!
Iron intake is important to maintaining a high metabolism, and deficiencies can actually hinder or slow down your metabolism. This is why protein, especially from lean meats, deserves some recognition on its own. Don’t eat meat? There are plenty of foods that can help supplement your iron intake, with legumes being a great place to start. Beans and especially lentils are also packed full of nutrients, including iron.
Coffee and Green Tea
In addition to giving you more energy, caffeine is directly linked to increasing your metabolism. While some may only use it to help them wake up in the morning, it can also be consumed for an extra pep in your step before hitting the gym.
The only consideration is that too much coffee actually dehydrates the body. So make sure you’re staying hydrated as well, or you might find the effects of the caffeine aren’t aiding your metabolism to its fullest potential.
If you aren’t a coffee drinker, then green tea might be the answer for you. In fact, even if you drink coffee, you might want to consider introducing green tea to your diet to help with your metabolism. Sure, this soothing drink contains caffeine just as coffee does, but it has also been shown to increase metabolism not just in short bursts as caffeine does, but over a 24-hour period.
In addition to the many other health benefits that have been touted alongside green tea, it is without a doubt a good option to help boost your metabolism. So have a sip and feel at ease knowing that green tea is working even if you aren’t!
Even when you’re doing nothing, your metabolism is labouring away and your body is burning calories. This is where strengthening muscle might help you out. Muscles are proven to burn more calories at rest than body fat. So building up muscle can in turn build up your metabolism over time.
In the same vein, high intensity exercises can boost your metabolism even after you’ve stopped working out. So go the extra mile and push yourself a tiny bit harder at the gym, and it should do the trick for your metabolism.
Even being slightly dehydrated can slow down your metabolism. That alone is enough reason to pick up that bottle of H2O and stay hydrated!
It goes without saying that drinking water is an important element to a healthy lifestyle, and as little as one bottle a day can make all the difference to your metabolism. So get a head start the easiest way possible – drink water and feel good knowing that something so easy can make a big difference!
With all of this in mind, make yourself a yummy meal, treat yourself to a cup of tea and take it easy. Or you can hit the gym and work on building muscle and getting your heart-rate going.
Not only can these measures be taken from the comfort of your home, but most of them are natural and healthy steps that will have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing. And, the better you feel, the more likely you are to continue down a path of beneficial lifestyle choices.
With nothing to lose and everything to gain, now’s the time to put a spring in your step and a boost in your metabolism!
About Dr. Kumar Shivdasani
Dr. Kumar Shivdasani is a medical practitioner with 25 years experience. He began his career in emergency at Vancouver General Hospital and addiction medicine – later branching into cosmetic medicine. He is the owner of CüR Laser & Skin in Vancouver, BC. Education, good lifestyle and diet changes lay the foundation for developing overall health and wellness, helping Kumar’s clients achieve and maintain their target goals. Dr. Kumar is also dedicated to helping others as shown by his support for Summits of Hope and Turning Point Recovery.