Do you ever wake up in the morning and just feel, well… blah?
Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people in cereal commercials who go about their day with a spring in their step. How do they do it? Acting, unfortunately, but you can be genuinely energetic if you maintain a high metabolic rate.
Indeed: The way your body uses and stores energy largely comes down to one factor, and that is metabolism. The clinical term for it is “basal metabolic rate”. I’ve researched several methods – holistic and pharmaceutical – to increase metabolism. I’m not the only one interested in knowing: approximately sixty-two percent of Americans express a desire to speed up metabolism. Here are seven of the best ways to burn fat faster.
1. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Exercise is a tried and proven way to fire up your metabolism because it makes your cellular energy generators work harder and more efficiently. If you don’t exercise at all, now is a really good time to start. Any kind of exercise – jogging, swimming, or even taking the stairs – will result in a marked increase in your metabolic rate.
If you’re already active, try exercise that increases your muscle power. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism works to burn calories. To sustain every pound of muscle, the body has to break down thirty-five to fifty calories! To sustain that belly flab, on the other hand, it only takes five to ten calories. Lifting weights to tone your muscles is a great way to start. When you’ve reached a plateau in your exercise regimen, switch to high intensity interval training, which will jolt your body into hyper caloric burning mode. Your metabolism will be just raring to go.
2. Put Good Stuff In
What do fish and green tea have in common? They’re both things you should be having a lot of to speed up metabolism. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that keep your blood sugar balanced and decrease any inflammation, which regulates metabolism. If you can’t stand the taste of fish, there are plenty of alternative options available: omega-3 fatty acid supplements, flaxseed oil, and omega-3 rich foods like walnuts and eggs.
Green tea is a remedy for slow metabolism that has been around for over 4,000 years. Among its ingredients is the chemical catechin, which ratchets up your metabolism. Drinking approximately five cups of green tea a day is reported to increase your basal metabolic rate to by a whopping ninety calories.
Speaking of putting good things in, it’s a bad idea to limit your caloric intake if you’re looking to boost your metabolism. Doing so makes your primal brain believe that starvation is imminent and that the body must conserve energy, causing your metabolism to plummet in response. So despite whatever wacky diets your friend at work swears by, never slash calories below what is required by your basal metabolic rate. BMR calculators are available all over the Internet; use them to find out your minimum and stick to it.
3. Keep Bad Stuff Out
This one is hard because there is so much bad stuff out there that tastes really good. Chief among these are trans fats. They’re the worst of the worst, found in everything from donuts to fried chicken. They throw off your biochemical synchronicity by binding to fat and liver cells, which – you guessed it – slows your metabolism.
Consumption of trans fat also results in insulin resistance and inflammation. On top of destroying your metabolism, it also increases your risk of Type II Diabetes. The same goes for inorganic, high processed foods. These are full of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and toxins that disrupt the functioning of your thyroid. Your thyroid’s important because it’s quite literally your body’s speedometer, determining the rate at which your metabolism operates. When your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it puts a drag on your metabolism. Eating organic as often as possible keeps all parts of your body happy and helps you maintain a healthy basal metabolic rate.
4. Watch When You Eat
Most people know to focus on what they eat, but rarely on when they eat. This is an important key to maintaining metabolism that should not be overlooked.
First and foremost: breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; unfortunately, it’s also the most often skipped. Starting up your metabolism in the morning sets a good pace for the rest of day to follow. Eating early keeps the body from going into that previously mentioned “starvation mode” that damages your metabolism.
Keep in mind that by the time you wake, you’ve been fasting for at least fifteen hours. It’s crucial that your body maintains a high rate of metabolism by burning calories; so don’t be scared to eat.
Another aspect of when you eat is how you space your meals. Dumping large amounts of food at once into your system slows it down, but eating portions once every two or three hours keeps your metabolism running like a well-oiled machine.
5. Stay Hydrated
Whether it’s July or December, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water per day can make the difference between a sluggish metabolic rate and a vigorously energetic one. WebMD reports that drinking the daily recommended amount of water causes metabolic rates to increase by up to thirty percent.
If you want to take full advantage of your water consumption, try drinking it cold. This is said to push your body to burn more calories by heating the water, and thus, revving up your metabolism. If you don’t enjoy water, juice can act as an adequate alternative source of hydration.
6. Sleep Well
Yes, your metabolism is going even when you’re asleep, so make sure to sleep as well as you would like your metabolism to perform. Getting less than enough sleep, sleeping in too-warm conditions, and even not sleeping at night can all contribute to having a slow basal metabolic rate.
Sleep is so integral to the way our bodies function that any disruptions to it wreak havoc on our systems, and that includes metabolism. Sleep in a cool room, always try to get around 8 hours of sleep, and make sure to sleep at the same (reasonable) time every night. Sleep regulates energy use hormones like leptin and ghrelin, and the way to keep them in balance is to simply get a good night’s rest.
7. Eat More Fibre
Fibre serves a variety of important functions as it goes down our alimentary canals, but it also makes your body burn more calories. A diet high in fibre – a good amount being thirty to fifty grams – can increase your basal metabolic rate by up to thirty percent. That’s quite a lot just for eating some grains, delicious fruit, and crispy vegetables.
Fibre also keeps unwanted fat from being absorbed, and fat is a known metabolism drag. Fibre is available in pills, no-taste drink additives, and most cereals, so this is an easy step to take.
In these seven ways, you can significantly speed up metabolism and feel like your energy is operating at one hundred percent — just like the people in those cereal commercials!