Are you sluggish and low on energy?
Do you feel like you work and work toward your weight loss goal and never seem to make any dramatic improvement?
You could be suffering from a slow metabolism. Even though you may have a slow metabolism, it does not have to destroy your weight loss efforts.
You can dramatically improve your metabolism, and boost your energy levels without taking supplements.
Your metabolism simply refers to the conversion of food to usable energy by the body.
It is the biological process, by which energy is extracted from food, and the net result is how fast or slowly the body burns those calories.
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is a combination of physical and chemical processes called catabolism and anabolism.
Catabolism involves breaking down molecules, such as during digestion when large food molecules are broken down into biomolecules.
These two complex processes work together to stimulate metabolism, which converts the food you eat into energy.
Your body uses energy for everything you do, even when at rest, so having a slow metabolism can lead to more problems than just weight gain.
A slow metabolism can impede your body’s ability to regulate body temperature, lower your resting heart rate and cause sleeplessness.
Which can lead to other problems including weight gain, difficulty concentrating and a weakened immune system.
Different Types of Metabolism
Your metabolism may be naturally faster or slower, depending on genetic and environmental factors.
A lot of people use this as an excuse for not losing weight. But the truth is that even if your metabolism is naturally slower, there’s a lot you can do to speed it up.
In addition to speed, your body can rely on two different kinds of fuel: either ketones (fat) or glucose (sugar).
The food you give your body determines which type of fuel it uses.
If you eat carbs, it will burn glucose. If you limit carbs, like on a ketogenic diet. Or you deplete your glucose stores through intense exercise, your body will switch to burning fat.
How does metabolism work?
Metabolism drives the way we process food into energy.
When it becomes dysregulated, that energy is either stored or expanded. Which can lead to weight gain, a drop in energy and even the onset of chronic health conditions.
While the basic function of metabolism is the same for everyone, every individual’s body metabolizes differently. A body’s reaction to food isn’t the same for any two people.
That’s why your skinny best friend can down a burger, fries and a beer five nights a week without gaining weight, while just one meal like that can throw your body off for a few days.
The consequences of dysregulated metabolism are also much more serious than a lot of people think.
Metabolism affects every single aspect of your life, from your bones, hair, skin, nails, tendons, and ligaments to your moods, immune system function, stress hormone production, cholesterol metabolism, libido, memory, and cognition.
This means slow metabolism doesn’t just cause you to pack on a few extra pounds.
It can affect everything else from your hair to your sex drive.
Now, it’s important to remember that your metabolism naturally slows down as you age due to several factors.
It’s not realistic to try to get your metabolism back to where it was when you were 19 now that you’re 45.
The good news, though, is that it is possible to get your metabolism up to a normal speed for your age.
A few steps you can take to improve your metabolism naturally are:
Drink More Water
Water is great to drink and you should be drinking a minimum of 8 to 10, glasses daily, of course, more is better.
It will help increase your metabolism and flush out sodium, toxins, and fat. Drinking water before meals will fill your stomach so you feel full and prevent overeating.
Avoid excess colas, coffee, teas, and sugary juices. Caffeine will dehydrate you, and the sugar will do more damage than good in the long-run.
Eat Every Three Hours or At least Try Too
Failure to eat consistently can lead to a slower metabolism and fat storage. Also, skipping meals slows down your metabolism.
To ignite fat loss you need to be consuming the right foods in a balanced manner throughout the day.
Don’t Skip Breakfast EVER
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gets your metabolism running in high gear.
You wouldn’t drive your car to work on an empty tank, and you shouldn’t start your day without adequate nourishment.
Your first meal sets your metabolism for the day and keeps it going, as long as you eat every three hours.
If you get up early and eat a late breakfast, you miss out on several hours of burning calories. Click here to learn if breakfast does matter.
NEVER Fear Fat
Fat has developed a bad reputation.
Many people think fat makes you fat. This is false.
The type of fat and how much fat you eat impacts your body fat composition. Fat is needed by the body.
Those who follow a very low-fat diet have a harder time ridding their body of fat.
We created this interesting article on Everything You Need To know About Fats In Your Diet
Omit Trans Fat
Trans fat is the bad fat, the cause of weight gain, low energy, depression, cancer, and heart disease.
You will never get the body you desire by eating “healthy” fast food, frozen dinners, and other processed choices.
If it’s man-made, it’s not the best choice, and will halt fat loss endeavors. Eat the foods Mother Nature has provided to meet your fat loss goals.
Be Active Everyday
Well at least try to stay active at least six days a week.
Take the stairs when possible or park further out to get that little bit of extra movement to keep the heart and lungs working optimally.
The more movement you get daily, the better you will feel overall.
Do Cardiovascular Exercise More Often To Boost Metabolism Naturally
Cardio exercise is necessary for heart and lung health. It also burns calories.
Doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach can tap into fat stores, and keep your body burning calories at a high rate for about an hour after cardio is finished.
If you fail to eat adequately daily, first morning cardio on an empty stomach can work against you. Doing morning cardio on very low calorie diet can burn muscle. Another good time to incorporate cardio is in the evening after your last meal.
This allows you to burn calories so you are not sleeping on them. You do not have to implement a morning and evening session, choose one or the other or cycle between the two to prevent staleness and boredom.
HIIT It NOW
Blend some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your cardiovascular program from time to time to give your body and metabolism a good shock.
The body is programmed for adaptation.
Therefore, doing the same cardio format day in and day out can become stale really fast. Take one or two days a week and implement some HIIT to give the body an added shock.
HIIT is basically alternating low intensity and moderate to high intensity cardio training. For example, a 20 minute HIIT session would look similar to this:
Minute 1 and 2 – Low Intensity (Walking), Minute 3 and 4 – High Intensity (Light jogging or running) Minute 5 and 6 – Low Intensity Minute 7 and 8 – High Intensity and so on…
Resistance training builds muscle, which is metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you acquire, the faster your metabolism will be.
Adding more lean muscle tissue to your body will put curves in the right places and allow you to eat more calories a day.
Listen to Your Body To Boost Metabolism Naturally
Killing yourself with workouts is just as dangerous as not working out at all. Listen to your body and get proper rest.
Don’t train if you are ill, still sore from the previous workout, or just simply too tired. Training in such a state can cause more problems than it solves.
If any of the above fails to prove results in 4 to 6 weeks, there could be an underlying problem, such as a food allergy, sluggish thyroid, hormonal imbalance, toxins, parasites, etc.
If so, I recommend searching for a natural healer in your area to determine the cause. and work from there. For the most part, proper diet, detoxifying, and herbs can correct any ailments.
Eat more whole foods
Eating more whole foods is a simple way to improve your overall health and speed up your metabolism. This one can take some getting used to, depending on what your diet currently looks like.
If you’re used to regularly eating convenience foods, start by taking small steps, such as:
Replace one or two boxed dinners with homemade dinners made from real ingredients every week. Make extra, then freeze the leftovers for a healthy convenience meal you can enjoy another day.
Add a couple servings of whole fruits and veggies to your daily routine (homemade smoothies can be an easy way to add these nutrients to your diet).
Swap pop for water when you go out to lunch.
Pack your lunch instead of going out to eat.
Set yourself up for success by starting your day with a balanced breakfast.
Cut out caffeine and alcohol
Two of the worst culprits for slowing down your metabolism are caffeine and alcohol.
Both alcohol and caffeine influence insulin output, glucose metabolism, and liver function.
In fact, they can interfere with an important phase of liver detoxification—so much so that these substances are often used as challenges during tests for liver function.
If you just can’t shake your coffee habit, try cutting back on how many cups you have throughout the day.
Switch to black coffee instead of adding sugar, and replace your afternoon cup with a cup of green tea. Which has some caffeine but not nearly as much as a regular cup of coffee.
If you’re serious about revving your metabolism, then it’s time to take a break from alcohol.
The problem isn’t just the ingredients inside a beer, cocktail or glass of wine. The way the body processes alcohol is the real culprit that negatively impacts your metabolism.
The liver prioritizes processing alcohol when it’s introduced into the body, which reduces the liver ’s efforts in burning fat.
Additionally, alcohol dehydrates you, and your body stops burning fat when it recognizes a shortage of water.
If you do indulge, make sure to drink at least eight ounces of water in between alcoholic drinks to stay hydrated and minimize some of the damage.
Now we have gone over some ways to increase your metabolism naturally lets take a look at what foods can boost your metabolism naturally.
Metabolism boosting foods
Foods high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats not only fill you up, but provide an extra energy boost for your body and are your metabolism boosters.
So when it comes to losing weight and getting healthier, increasing your metabolism plays a huge part.
With a faster metabolism, your body burns off fat while helping you with digestion even while you are sleeping.
Adding these foods along with regular exercise can increase your energy and give your metabolism the boost that it needs.
Found in the highest plateaus of the Andes Mountains, Maca has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years. It is actually a root vegetable, but for weight loss purposes it is typically sold in powder form.
In a study from 2007, use of maca demonstrated improvement in glucose tolerance and lowered blood sugar levels in rats.
Maca is well known as an energy and metabolism booster, which may help to enhance your morning workouts.
Maca powder and supplements are easy to find and easily accessible. In a powdered form, Maca can be mixed into your morning smoothie to supercharge your day.
Raw cacao nibs are cacao beans that have been roasted, separated from their husks and broken into smaller pieces. Most commonly, they are sold in powdered form.
Raw cacao can satisfy comfort food cravings without raising blood sugar levels.
It also contains magnesium, which can help to regulate blood sugar in the body. For an extra metabolism boost, raw cacao also contains small amounts of caffeine.
Cayenne is a member of the chilli pepper family. It is a metabolism booster, holds effective weight-loss properties and is also well known for being beneficial to the health and function of the digestive system.
Capsaicinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in chili peppers. They can help to reduce appetite and increase the rate of metabolism.
With regular intake, capsaicinoids can also be used to reduce abdominal fat.
Lemons are an excellent food source for giving your metabolism an overdrive. They can also help in detoxifying your liver and cleansing the digestive system.
The enzymes and vitamin C in lemons help in clearing toxins from the body by turning them into compounds that are eliminated from the body in the form of waste. This ultimately helps in improving your metabolic function.
Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon in a glass of warm water and drink it daily in the morning on an empty stomach to give a boost to your metabolism. You can also include lemons in your regular diet to flavour your food and also derive its health benefits.
Ginger is the rhizome, or stem, of the Zingiber officinale plant, and it has been used for centuries as a food, spice and medicine. This helps to promote good digestion and stimulates metabolism, which can lead to increased calorie burning.
It has thermogenic qualities, which means its intake, can help to slightly increase body temperature. This rise in body temperature is linked to a higher metabolic rate.
Ginger is available in root form, both fresh and dried, along with tablets, capsules and liquid extracts. When possible, it’s best to reach for fresh ginger root that can be sliced and then incorporated into cooking and even drinks.
While there isn’t a quick fix for a slow metabolism, there are many things you can do to improve your metabolism over time.
Think of food as the fuel for your metabolism, and add more whole foods to your diet while getting rid of toxic foods like alcohol and processed meals.
Start exercising regularly to strengthen your muscles without adding too much stress to your body.
If you have serious concerns about your metabolism. Consider consulting with a wellness coach who can give you a detailed plan based on your personal needs and goals.