We all know we ought to eat more healthily, exercise more and get a good night’s sleep. But even the tiniest everyday activity could help you speed up your metabolism at a healthy, fat-burning rate.
The key is recognising your metabolism for what it is: the process designed to keep you alive. It speeds up when it thinks you need the energy, and slows down when it thinks you’re inactive. By knowing what it wants, when it wants it, you can begin the process of tricking it into performing better.
Sadly, none of these are a substitute for great diet and exercise. But they may just give your metabolism the extra boost it needs to change for the better. Which of these tricks are you already trying?
As a stimulant, coffee will speed up your metabolism – at least in the short term. According to Authority Nutrition, caffeine can increase the metabolic rate by up to eleven percent.
The catch: the more you drink it, the more tolerant you will become, and the less effect it will have. However, it can still have the very useful benefit of blunting the appetite, and thus reducing your overall food consumption.
Don’t skip breakfast
Odd as it may sound, those who eat breakfast lose more weight than those who skip it. In fact, without regular breakfast, your risk of obesity could be 4.5 times higher.
While you sleep, your metabolism will slow to conserve your energy. On eating breakfast, your body will recognise you’re awake and speed your metabolism up to its regular energy-burning level.
In short: that piece of toast will do more to wake you up than an alarm clock ever could.
Drink more water
The most obvious tip is also one of the easiest to overlook in winter.
Water forms 50-65% of our body weight, so it should come as no surprise that drinking is vital to our metabolism.
Perhaps more surprising is just how devastatingly effective it is. One recent study suggests regular hydration will not only keep your metabolism high, but even gradually increase its default resting rate.
Cut calories – but not too fast!
While it’s important to watch your intake, the great news is that you don’t have to do it too quickly. In fact, a sudden drop in your intake can actually have the opposite effect. According to Redbook, your body is programmed to defend its own weight.
Your resting metabolic rate (the basic number of calories you burn to survive) is specifically set to keep you functioning. If you reduce your calorie count too quickly, your body will assume you are starving, instead slowing down your metabolism to keep you alive.
Do you feel your metabolism is working for you, or against you? And which of these simple tricks are you already trying?