Boosting your metabolism is one of the easiest ways to stay fit or lose weight. A person's metabolism is a system of chemical reactions in the body that is used to breakdown food into energy. This energy that metabolism creates is used from almost all of the body's functions, from moving to thinking. Your metabolism can begin to slow with age, which people might notice as they begin to pack on the pounds, even though they've maintained the same diet and lifestyle for years. Here are 10 helpful tips to kick-start your metabolism once it starts to slow down:
1. Gain More Muscle
While you don't necessarily have to bulk-up like you're some sort of body builder, putting on a little more muscle mass is a great way to give your metabolism a jolt once it's become sluggish. Having more muscle requires your body to burn calories just to sustain that muscle, even when you're not doing anything. Numerous studies have shown that those who have more muscle mass have a higher metabolic rate than those with less muscle.
2. Increase Water Intake
If you are gaining insufficient amounts of water, you need to start hydrating yourself properly. Dehydration is one of the factors that can slow down a person's metabolism, since water is very important for the body to burn calories. While it's important to drink plenty of water to kick-start a slowing metabolism, it is also important not to overhydrate to avoid water-intoxication.
3. Eat Breakfast
If you want to kick-start that metabolism, you need to kick-start your day by eating a healthy breakfast. There are numerous benefits to eating breakfast every morning, one of which includes a boost in metabolism. Upon waking, most people have gone about 10 to 12 hours without any food. To skip breakfast means you would be starving yourself for a longer period of time, causing your body to go into "survival mode," storing fat in the process. This will slow down your metabolism.
4. Stop Starving Yourself
Many people believe that starving yourself will help with losing weight. This major nutrition mistake can actually have the opposite effects of weight reduction. As explained earlier, skipping meals can cause your body to store fat and slow your metabolism. You also run the risk of binge eating to satisfy yourself after going without food for an extended period of time.
5. Eat Smaller and Eat Frequently
Try eating smaller portions, but more frequently so you don't feel like you're starving. Constantly snacking on small, healthy foods will help keep your metabolism going, increasing its overall effectiveness. This method of eating will also keep you full, allowing you to control your calories and prevent overeating. This is a great way to eat healthier and give your metabolism the boost it needs to burn fat.
6. Get Active
While weight training to build muscle is important for boosting your metabolism, it is also important to stay active. You can do this by either adding more cardio workouts to your week through outdoor exercises, aerobics, running, swimming or just being more active at your cubicle or around the house. That means no being a couch-potato.
7. Steer Clear of Crash Diets
Crash diets can be very effective at shedding pounds in a short amount of time, but they can be disastrous for your metabolism. For one thing, most crash diets cause you to starve yourself through calorie depravation, which means your metabolism will slow down. Secondly, crash diets deprive you of the necessary nutrients to maintain muscle. This reduction in muscle mass can also slow down your metabolism.
8. Do Your Own Cooking
Cooking your own food and cooking in a healthier manner not only keeps you active, but also gives you more control of your meals. The effort it takes to cook a healthy, wholesome meal is a lot better for your metabolism than going to a restaurant or fast-food establishment. Try to cook for yourself as much as possible to increase your metabolism.
9. Be Fidgety
Standing or sitting completely still for extended periods of time while at your desk or on the couch will slow down your metabolism. Try making a habit of keeping your body constantly moving by either tapping your feet, constantly stretching or constantly moving your legs and being fidgety. Constant movement will keep your metabolism cranked, plus you're burning calories, even if it's only a small amount.
10. Reduce Stress
An increased level of stress can slow down your metabolism by creating a hormonal imbalance in your body. Increased levels of stress can strain numerous parts of your body, and can increase a person's tendency to overeat for stress relief.