Maintaining a healthy weight does a lot more than keep you looking good for swimsuit season, it can help lower your risk for many health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, breast and colon cancer, and respiratory problems. Society today thrives on a fast paced, high intensity work environments that can make it tough to really take care of us. We often skip a meal because we are tight on time or turn to process foods for a quick satisfaction or are just plain stressed out. We already have enough odds stacked against us, we don’t need our metabolism getting all slow on us too.
Luckily, there are plenty of things we can do to help that from happening. Leading to an overall healthier us and helping to prevent a gradual weight gain that could increase our risk of breast cancer as we get older.
Eat, Eat, EAT
Whether you want to lose a few pounds or just stay the awesome way that you are, eating regularly is crucial to doing so. When you skip a meal it throws off your body’s routine and your metabolism slows down to compensate for the missing food it uses to convert into energy. Even when you are at rest your body needs energy to breathe and grow cells and even adjust hormone levels, without that energy, your body is holding on to those fats to use them as long as possible.
Drinking water (Yes, water again!)
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and yes, drinking water even helps keep your metabolism pumping. Dehydration contributes to your metabolism because water is involved in the functioning of your liver, and your liver’s main job is to breakdown and metabolize fat. Not only does water help your live do its job, but it also fills up our stomach to help us avoid over-eating. Drinking 2 cups of water before a meal is a good way to help your will power with the portion control dilemma. Studies show that adult males require about 16 cups a day and females require about 11 cups per day.
Give Your Running Shoes A Break & Lift Some Weights
No, running isn’t bad for you, but if you aren’t incorporating some weight lifting and strength training, then you aren’t getting as much out of it as you think. When you work out your muscles harder, they have to work harder to recover. This burns more calories and boosts the metabolism lifting hormones. This is good news if you are generally short on time. You can do a short, higher intensity, workout in 20-30 minutes instead of doing endurance for an hour.
Say No To The Low Calories Fad Diet
A slight reduction in calories will result in a steady and healthy weight loss, but cutting your calories for a quick fix can actually do the opposite then what you desire. A quick and significant drop in caloric intake tells your body that there isn’t enough food to sustain you. At first you will lose weight, but soon your body with react and try to protect itself by slowing down your metabolism and storing any extra calories as fat for later. The best thing to do to maintain or attain a healthy weight is to reduce calories by about 500 a day and mix in aerobic exercise and weights 3-5 times a week.
Have a cup of coffee with breakfast
Coffee has always had the reputation of giving us a boost in the morning, but the caffeine in coffee can actually help your metabolism as well. The boost comes from the caffeine amping up body functions, such as heart rate, alertness and relaxing air passages. This helps the body burn energy to meet its calorie needs to perform these functions. This metabolism boosting effect can last up to 5 hours, but peaks at about 3. Now, this doesn’t mean to go out and get a blended, sugar-filled, coffee drink every morning, sugary coffee drinks can actually do the opposite to your metabolism because of the presence of sugar. Coffee can help you start the day with a little boost, but drinking more than three 8-ounce coffees a day can lead to insomnia, upset stomach, irritability and muscle tremors, so don’t over do it.
Give Your Body The Rest It Needs
We are on the road of becoming a super sleep deprived society. Evidence shows that on average we are sleeping about 6.8 hours per night in comparison to the 9 hours we got on average just a century ago. In fact, around 30% of adults admit to sleeping less than 6 hours a night. Researchers have found that there could be a link between lack of sleep and a slowing metabolism. Getting 8 hours of sleep a night, as an adult, helps your body recover from the day and gives your metabolism time to do what it does best.
Spice up your food
We all have different definitions of how spicy a food is, but adding more spices and peppers can help boost your metabolism. Well, really it is the capsaicin within those foods that is helping. Capsaicin turns on our “fight or flight” reaction resulting in increased heartbeat, breathing and the movement of fat and glucose to your muscles for use. Having a similar effect as caffeine, but making your body burn calories to function.
We only get one body and with the craziness of life, sometimes it’s hard to remember to take care of it. Implementing these easy ways to boost your metabolism can keep your body active even when you’re stuck at your desk all day and give you more energy to be more productive and enjoy your downtime (no matter how rare that may be).