It’s pretty much a fact of life that, for most of us, our metabolisms slow down as we get older. If you’re one of the lucky few who feels like you still have the metabolism of your 18-year-old self, the rest of us envy you! In my college days, I remember being able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted for breakfast, lunch and dinner without noticing much difference in my body. I’ve always been a very healthy eater, but now that I’m in my mid ‘20s, I notice that eating junk food or diverging off my healthy eating routine seems to take its toll much faster than it did in my undergrad days. On the bright side, we tend to be much more aware of what we are putting in our bodies as we get older (and how much of it, too). But for those of you who mourn your teenage metabolism daily—I feel ya! With this struggle in mind, I recently asked our friend and trusty nutritionist Kelly LeVeque what a girl can do to speed things up a bit in the metabolic department. Together, we came up with seven tips that will rev up your inner calorie furnace, leaving you feeling leaner and more energized.
Without further ado, here are seven tricks for giving your metabolism an extra kick throughout the day…
1. Don’t Forget Breakfast.
Breakfast kick starts your day into action, so skipping this first meal of the day can pretty much wreak havoc on your metabolism. You want to make sure you’re breaking the fast by having a meal that combines protein, healthy fat, fiber and greens. Kelly recommends making an egg omelet (using full eggs) with avocado and vegetables or a fructose-free smoothie with almond butter. Not a breakfast person? If forcing yourself to eat a meal first thing in the morning is a big challenge for you, try blending up some bulletproof coffee. Simply brew your coffee at home, let it cool, then pour it into a blender with ice cubes and a teaspoon of coconut oil. This “clean latte” will let your body detoxify first thing in the morning and it will rev up your metabolism until lunchtime.
2. Follow The 4-6 Hour Rule.
While people used to think that eating lots of small meals throughout the day was the best way to boost your metabolism, Kelly says that there’s even greater benefit to giving your body time between meals. “Breaks are good,” she says. “Aim to have a 4-6 hour window between meals—this will increase the surge in human growth hormone and testosterone to help you loose weight and maintain lean muscle mass.” However, make sure to listen to what your body needs. You aren’t doing it right if you feel like you’re starving between meals. If you’re feeling hungrier during these breaks, you probably need to be adding more healthy fats to your meals to keep you satiated longer. Give your body the right fuel and your metabolism will do the rest.
3. Sweat It Out.
So we’ve covered a few eating tips for boosting your metabolism… But what about working out, you ask? As far as workouts go, Kelly recommends alternating between high intensity interval training one day, lighting weights another day and staying active throughout the day, every day. High intensity interval training puts your body through bursts of difficult cardio, which has major muscle-building and fat-burning benefits. Lifting weights will increase your muscle mass, which will allow your body to burn calories more effectively throughout the day. And lastly, staying active throughout the day will allow you to regularly metabolize the food you eat. Because, if you think about it, you aren’t really living an active lifestyle if you work out really hard for one hour then to sit for the remaining 10 hours of the day.
4. Up Your H2O Intake.
If you feel even just a little bit thirsty, it might mean that you’ve run the risk of slowing down your metabolism that day. In fact, studies have shown that if you’re chronically dehydrated, it can mean up to an 8-pound weight gain or more per year. If that’s not a good enough reason to drink water, I don’t know what is! If you get bored of drinking plain water all day long, try one of these fruit infused waters. I personally love drinking green tea all day (along with water) because I love the taste and it has a special compound in it that bumps up the metabolic rate as well. Click here to find out how much water you should be drinking each day, and find Lauren’s trick for drinking more water by clicking here.
5. Eat Your Healthy Fats.
You may remember us mentioning that this is our favorite new health tip of the summer in our Busy Girl’s Guide to Healthy Eating last week, and it’s a really good one to keep in mind when it comes to your metabolism. Adding a source of healthy fat to each of your meals during the day will keep you full longer and give you sustained energy while your body digests. This helps you not to crave snacks in between meals, which lets your metabolism go to work burning the energy from the meal you just ate. My favorite healthy fats to add to my meals are avocado (probably my favorite food ever), almond butter, coconut oil and ghee.
6. Spice things up.
Did you know that some of your favorite spices can actually get your metabolism going? I’m talking to all of my cinnamon, ginger and cayenne lovers out there. Adding certain spices to your recipes can stimulate circulation in the body and even detoxify your cells, too. My favorite metabolism boosting spices are turmeric, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cayenne and cinnamon. Read more about how they keep you fired up by clicking here.
7. Log in Enough Zzzzs.
Logging enough sleep will not only keep your hormones in check and keep you mentally alert, it will also fire up your metabolism for the day. Your muscles and digestive system need rest and restoration, and that’s exactly what it does when you snooze. And, when you get enough beauty sleep, you’re more likely to have energy to be more active throughout the day and avoid late-night snacking the night before. Aim to get around 7-8 hours of sleep per night so that your metabolism can function properly the next day.
Stick to these seven guidelines and I promise you’ll be feeling like you’re using energy more efficiently and burning through your meals better throughout the day. Thanks again to Kelly for sharing her two cents!
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