People are always talking about the ways to boost metabolism, as if it is something we have significant control over. We need to speed it up or we can inadvertently slow it down if we don’t do the right thing. But, metabolism is just the collection of chemical processes that occurs in the body’s cells that allow us to grow and reproduce.
We actually don’t have too much control over how fast or slow our metabolism is functioning, at least not as much as many people might lead you to believe. But, there are a few simple ways to ensure you can have a metabolism that is running along smoothly and working at its best to burn calories:
- Don’t skip meals – the idea of not missing a meal doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to eat yourself every two hours whether you’re hungry or not; it’s about keeping your body from thinking you’re in a fasting state (meaning you have to conserve energy), and supplying enough free energy to keep your body functioning without having to break down stored energy. The body is a pretty savvy piece of machinery, and if it doesn’t know when it’s going to get the next meal, it’ll be more apt to store away energy instead of using it as it comes. Healthy snacking every 2-3 hours will help keep your body’s metabolism to run smoothly, which over time may lead to weight loss. Having trouble deciding what to eat? Try cucumber slices topped with dill and olive oil, sliced tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, or whole, roasted pistachios.
- Stay hydrated. One of the simplest ways to keep your metabolism moving is to give it the most basic fuel that it needs, water. Drinking water with fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice will keep your body – as well as your tummy – satisfied. The benefits of being hydrated are almost endless – water flushes toxins, helps maintain healthy skin, and allows your metabolism to function smoothly. Drinking water between meals will also aid the digestion process when you do have a meal.
- Daily physical activity. Boosting your metabolism isn’t just based on what you eat, adding more physical activity to your day is a great way to rev that metabolism. Working in a trip to the gym may not make a lot of sense in your fast-paced schedule, so adding in a few minutes here or there when you can is the best way to go. Parking a few spots further away, walking to the corner store instead of driving, or doing a few jumping jacks before plopping down on the couch will get your blood flowing and keep your metabolism moving. Every little bit counts!
- Lift weights. Think building muscle is only good for lifting heavy stuff? Well think again! Having a healthy muscle mass is good for bone health, looks great, and also boosts your metabolism. In order to maintain muscle, your body must use a lot of calories. If you keep your muscles toned, you’ll burn more calories all the time, even when you’re at rest.
- Stay positive. Last, but not least, is a positive state of mind. Sure, what you eat and how much you move are scientifically relevant and give some solid results, but staying positive is just as important to your health, and good health equals healthy metabolism. Breathing techniques, yoga, stretching, or even moderate amounts of meditation will all help keep your mind and body aligned, working together to stay healthy and even help you reach your goal weight.