We’ve all been told that your metabolism plays a huge role in weight loss but what really IS a metabolism? To put it simply, your metabolism is a collection of chemical reactions that takes place in the body’s cells and converts the fuel in the food we eat into energy needed to power everything we do.
Your resting metabolism is the number of calories your body burns at rest. Muscle burns more calories than fat so when you are overweight your resting metabolism is slower than someone who has more muscle mass. To lose fat and not muscle, which is the goal in healthy weight loss, you need to have an efficient metabolism. So how do we accomplish this?
A few simple ways to boost your metabolism include:
• Eat: Eating 3 meals a day and a single mid-day snack is necessary for keeping your hunger at bay. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, is a known drain for your metabolism and will sabotage your weight loss efforts.
• Get moving: Moving, especially exercise, helps maintain and can build lean body mass. The more lean body mass (muscle) you have, the faster your metabolism.
• Green tea: Having a hot (or cold) cup of green tea can boost your immunity, reduce your cardiovascular risk, and bump up your metabolism.
• Omega 3s: Omega 3 fats are imperative for maintaining optimal fat-burning potential. Include oily fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines, as well as omega 3 fortified eggs, walnuts, dark leafy greens, and whole soy foods in your diet regularly.
• Avoid the “whites”: White flour products, white rice, white potatoes, and sugar are all foods that lead to rapid surges in blood glucose that completely stress out and overwhelm your metabolic engine. These foods also increase your appetite which is not conducive with losing weight.
• Spice it up: Super-hot foods like chili peppers, hot mustard, and Tabasco have been shown to provide a temporary burst in metabolism, along with a subtle mental lift.
• Beauty Sleep: Sleep deprivation increases your appetite-stimulating hormones which in turn leads to a slower metabolism. Sleep deprivation also drastically diminishes your energy which means you are less likely to move.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, give some of these tips a try, because jump starting your metabolism is a great first step for your weight loss journey.