It’s the question everyone wants to know. In your busy life, trying to maintain a healthy body at a healthy weight, you want to keep things on your side. Sometimes, you hit a plateau or a brick wall, no matter how hard you have tried to lose weight.
You question: Do I have slow metabolism? Is there anything to do about it? Is there a way to speed it up and help me out?
Before you jet stream to learning how you can speed it up, first let’s understand What is Metabolism?
“Metabolism refers to all the physical and chemical processes in the body that convert or use energy.”
Tips to Speed Up your Metabolism
Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
Let’s start with the bad:
If there’s one hard and steadfast rule of thumb it’s that there never is any magic bullet or miracle answer.
The good news?
You do have some control over your metabolism. You can’t make yourself grow or turn back the hands of time. Your basal metabolic rate accounts for about 70% of the calories you burn in a day.
Let’s take a look at how you can have control over the other 30% to speed up your metabolism.
1. Do Not Crash Diet
Losing too much weight at once, or starving yourself for part of the day only slows you down. Your body goes into starvation mode and wants to hold on to what it has.
If your body is forced to break down muscle, you’ll be burning less instead of more. Less muscle and a slower metabolism makes it hard to burn what you actually want to get rid of – the fat.
This will slow your metabolism, not speed it up!
2. Increased Activity
Obviously, the more active you are, the more calories you burn. Some people who are said to have high metabolism are just more fidgety than others. Aerobic exercise is the most efficient way to burn calories. Getting your heart rate up not only burns extra calories during that amount of time, but continues to burn more afterwards.
If you don’t have a large chunk of time available, try for a few 10-minute spurts during the day. Or, wear a weighted vest or ankle weights to up the effectiveness.
Though so-called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” has been through many studies with varying results, the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise gave excellent data after its well-developed 2011 study. They found that after intense exercise, men continued to burn excess calories for up to 14 hours afterwards. You can read more about it in this NY Times article:
3. Drink More Water
Water is an essential component in our body’s metabolism. If you are dehydrated and your body does not have what it needs to carry out its processes, then your metabolism slows down.
A study at the University of Utah showed that:
“Adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories and had high metabolism than those who drank four.”
That’s an easy way to speed up your metabolism! Remember, other sources of fluids count, too. Just stay away from sugared and artificial beverages.
4. Strength Training
The key thing to note here is that muscle burns more than fat. One pound of muscle requires more energy for its daily maintenance than one pound of fat. This is one of the reasons men need more calories than women – they usually have more muscle mass.
So, the more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolic rate. One way to easily boost your metabolism is to gain more muscle!
5. Eat your Breakfast
You have heard it over and over before, but it’s because there is no question about the research here. Giving your body a healthy, balanced, fiber-rich breakfast gives your metabolism a kick start.
6. Reduce Stress, and Get a Good Night's Sleep
Our bodies always function at their peak when these things are in balance. Extra worry and lack of sleep are known to affect our adrenal glands, which affect our hormones, which in turn can affect the speed of our metabolism, simply due to lack of good, healthy functioning.