It is pretty common knowledge these days that a fast metabolism is what keeps a person more fit and energetic, but is it so common as to why? Metabolism isn't simply a tap into the fountain of youth; rather, it is the whole of all biochemical reactions and exertions of the body. Boosting your metabolism can not only speed up your weight loss, but can also add a few healthy years to your life. The best part? it is not overly difficult to speed up your metabolic processes. Here are a few ways:
1. Eating Carbs
This one may seem counter-intuitive for weight loss, but making sure to eat a balanced amount of carbohydrates throughout the day will allow your body the energy it needs to go about your activities without crashing or depleting precious energy from the brain. After all, your brain relies solely on carbohydrates to function. Having two small snacks between your three meals will make it easier for your body to maintain its "energy levels" which literally just translates to keeping your metabolism consistent. Ever wonder why the 3 0'clock blues always has you looking for a nap or more coffee? It may be time to add some yogurt and an apple into your afternoon regimen. Look for complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potato, nuts and nut butters, whole fruits, and foods containing wheat/whole grains.
2. Drink Water
...And this one seems like a no-brainer, but drinking at least 64 oz of water every day not only keeps your metabolism running smoothly throughout the day without dips and dives, but also staying hydrated will make it easier on your organs when ridding your body of toxins and old foods. This eases the burden on your energy levels by preventing your body from taking water out of your blood and tissues to conduct its normal functions. Lastly, your body is going to expel water in sweat or to remove toxins whether you stay hydrated or not (although at a slower pace if you don't drink enough), but it will be easier all-around if you give it the means to cleanse itself.
This sort of touches again on the complex carbohydrates, but getting enough fiber will keep your stomach full and working on your digestion for longer periods of time. Most Americans - 97% - fall short of their necessary fiber intake. Not only is getting enough fiber an almost complete mitigation for colon cancer, it will keep you from overeating. Eating too much will put strain on your metabolism, forcing your digestive tract to work harder than it should. This, in turn, will add to increased fat stores which puts further strain on your heart. These are all energy drains on your body in exchange for an unneeded energy storage in the form of adipose tissue. Eating enough fiber will fill your stomach for long periods of time, allowing you to stop feeling miserably hungry and not knowing why all the time. Fiber can be found in whole wheat, whole fruits, beans, leafy greens (and most veggies), and can be easily supplemented in the form of drink powders. Trust me, it will change your life.
4. Eat Your Veggies
This one is the kicker that people cannot seem to get over, for some reason. Getting at least 4 servings of vegetables in every day will, again, change your life. You will find that you eat a lot more than before, but you will be eating fewer or equal amounts in calorie content. eating vegetables (as well as 1-2 servings of whole fruits) will fill you up for very little caloric expenditure, will rid your body of toxins (paired with all that water and fiber), and will make you glow from the inside out. Keeping your body moderately filled up with good nutrient-dense food that it can sort of nurse all day will keep your metabolism balanced and your energy levels consistent.
5.Stress Out Less
Stress does many nasty things to the body, but one of the worst things it does is waste your metabolic energy on literally nothing. Increased cortisol levels already take a lot of energy to obtain, but maintaining that hormone takes a major toll on the body as well. Do you tend to "stress eat"? The reason you do this is because your cortisol hormone is activating your "fight or flight" mechanism. Your body cannot differentiate that bad breakup or blow-up at work from more animalistic instincts, like needing to take down a large animal for food. Increased cortisol is a real waste of time, requiring large amounts of energy to maintain and causing weight retention as well (so you can be big enough to fight that bear). As well as trying to sleep enough whenever you can, it's best to focus on positivity for your health's sake. Weekly self-care is a must - walks in the sun, a hot bubble bath, and meditation paired with cardio are some of my personal favorites.
6. Protein and Vitamin C
Most Americans get an adequate level of protein, but they do not get the optimal benefits from it because they are lacking in proper fruits and veggies. When you eat protein, pair it with fruit or red/orange vegetables. vitamin c boosts the ferric content of your food when it enters the stomach, soaking the nutrients into your blood more quickly and efficiently. For your metabolism, this means that your body has an easier time farming essential amino acids from your lunch to build muscles, new skin, and strong hair and nails. The less energy is used finding these nutrients, the more energy is available for other uses (like more intricate muscle repairs and for use in exercising or running errands). Find a good balance in your meals by pairing a wheat bread sandwich with an orange for lunch, or perhaps a pear with almond butter for a mid-morning snack. For more information regarding carbohydrate-consistent food pairings, visit www.devynlifewellness.com/
The bottom line is that your metabolism is really just a documentation of all the energy your body is receiving and expending. the easier you are on your digestive tract, the more you maintain balanced energy levels, and the less stress you keep in your life, the better your overall health will be.