A strong metabolism is connected to more than a thin body! It’s beneficial for fertility, immune function, lean muscle mass, lower rates of degenerative and infectious diseases, brain functionality, longevity, having more energy and vigor, and much more. Actually, one of the biggest benefiters of a fast metabolism is your brain because of its extremely high demands for energy. For example to keep the brain working you need about 16 times more energy than to support skeletal muscles! (1) Metabolism naturally and constantly slows after age 40. This means that you need to start to increase metabolism in order to maintain your health and keep yourself feeling young.
Do You Need to Increase Metabolism?
First, you must know that metabolism is determined by several factors, including your gender, genetic makeup, age, hormonal health, body composition (percent of muscle mass and fat), and level of activity. While you can control some of these factors (like activity level and muscle mass), other factors are out of your control (age and genetics).
Your metabolic rate has a big effect of on your energy levels, mood, and appearance because it determines how well you can “burn” calories.
How do you know if you need to increase metabolism? Here is a list of common signs of less-than-ideal metabolic functioning:
- frequently feeling cold, cold body temperature
- ongoing fatigue
- dry skin
- thinning hair on your head
- brittle and slow-growing fingernails
- low libido and poor sexual health
- irregular periods
- trouble sleeping through the night
- bloating after eating
- constipation and slow-moving bowels
- mood disorders like depression and anxiety
- frequently urinating
- struggling to lose weight
- trouble concentrating
- excessive thirst and dry mouth
- hypersensitivities and allergies
- low energy levels
- getting sick more often
- low motivation for physical activity
Luckily, you can increase metabolism and push the body into using calories more efficiently. This way you’ll slow down signs of aging and protect the body from disease.
Get Enough Sleep
When the body is fatigued it slows down the metabolism in order to save energy. Lack of sleep is associated with high cortisol levels which are connected with weight gain, poor mental functioning, and becoming resistant to insulin. So make it a priority to get, at least, seven hours of sleep every night.
If you repeatedly overtrain it causes muscle loss, fatigue, and lower metabolic rate. Therefore it is important to rest between exercise days in order to maintain hormonal balance.
Eat Your Breakfast and Add Metabolism Boosting Foods To Your Diet
If you skip breakfast, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows down to save energy. Try to mix complex carbohydrates with lean protein and healthy fats. This way you’ll feel full longer. Also add metabolism boosting foods to your diet such as garlic, cayenne pepper, chili, cinnamon, ginger, green tea, and apple cider vinegar.
Avoid Unhealthy Foods
Certain foods increase free radical damage and slow down digestive processes. The body recognizes processed foods as toxins and slows down metabolic functioning.
Avoid the following foods as much as possible:
- processed foods
- sugary drinks
- refined vegetable oils
- artificial ingredients and sweeteners
- low-quality animal and dairy products
Give Your Body the Calories It Needs. Stop Dieting!
Everyone who has ever been on a diet probably noticed becoming tired, moody, and possibly even sick more frequently. These are signs that metabolism is becoming more sluggish. If your food intake is too low and your exercise level is too high then your body gets the message to slow down the metabolism to save energy.
On the other hand, being deprived can increase preoccupation and cravings for “forbidden” foods.
So stop counting calories and focus on nutrient density.
Eating enough every day is critical for hormonal, cognitive, and sexual health. It is especially important to consume calories from various unprocessed whole foods. People who avoid yo-yo dieting and eat well often experience more motivation, better mental health, better digestion, positive moods and stronger desire to be active, stronger sex drive, and more stable blood sugar levels. By eating enough you’ll have more motivation to be active, gain muscle mass and strength quicker, and feel less fatigued. (2)
Start Lifting Weights
Lifting weights can speed up your metabolism because it builds lean muscle mass for which naturally your body uses more calories.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts have more profound benefits and require less time than traditional cardio workouts. Intense exercises such as cycling, sprinting, or plyometrics and burst training have “afterburn effect”. This means that they help the body continue to burn calories even after the workout is over. These workouts are also effective for helping with insulin sensitivity, improving cardiovascular function, lowering cortisol, improving respiratory stamina and endurance.