Updated 10th January 2019
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 boost 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.
A few steps you can take to boost your metabolism naturally are:
Drink Plenty of 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 – Eat a small balanced meal every three hours, including snacks. Meals and snacks should be balanced, meaning they should contain a complete protein, carbohydrates, as well as natural fat. Failure to eat consistently can lead to a slower metabolism and fat storage. Stick to proven fat burning fruits and foods that burn fat.
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. Here’s 15 foods that will help to boost your metabolism naturally:
Don’t Skip Breakfast – 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.
Don’t 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. Choose natural healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, various nuts, flax, and natural peanut butter to receive your necessary fats.
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 endeavours. Eat the foods Mother Nature has provided to meet your fat loss goals.
Be Active Daily – 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 – 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 flat belly exercises 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 – 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
Weight Train – 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 – 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.
Here’s 19 metabolism-boosting fat burning tips that will help you knock off more calories during your workouts and make every extracurricular minute count toward melting those love handles.
1. Run errands. Literally. Walking briskly while lugging dry cleaning burns about 120 – 180 calories in 30 minutes, twice as many as driving does.
2. Blast your biggest muscles. The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn–even just sitting around. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that women who pumped iron upped their burn-off by 300 calories a day. If fat burning is your goal, focus on building the muscles that consume the most calories, like your butt, thighs, and chest — don’t bother with smaller muscles, like triceps or calves, that have less impact.
3. Fidget frequently. Research has shown that “spontaneous physical activity” like tapping toes and fussing with hands blasts off up to 800 extra calories per day. Wow!
4. Power up. To kill off more calories each aerobic workout, increase the speed or intensity. For example, if you run on a treadmill, up the speed or raise the incline. The calorie difference: Running 30 minutes at 5.2 mph burns 266 calories; 6.7 mph bums 325. Adding hills ups the count another 50 calories.
5. Rock out. Music is a great motivator. Studies show that exercisers who tune in to music work out 25 percent longer.
6. Trek to the toilet. Instead of going to the closest bathroom at work, take the stairs to another floor. Every minute you climb kills seven calories. This may be a challenge at times, but you reap the benefits.
7. Warm up, cool down. Even the most dedicated exercisers skip the warm-up and cool-down (it’s too “boring,” they say). Even though you’re moving slowly, you’re still burning calories: A swimmer, for instance, can wipe out an extra 90 calories – the equivalent of a couple of Oreos — if she does a 10-minute warm-up and cooldown.
8. Munch more often. You need calories to burn calories. When you go hours without food, your body goes on starvation alert and slows its metabolism to conserve energy so you use fewer calories. Feel free to eat between meals. Remember, BALANCE. Plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt, nutrition bar or protein shake.
9. Do it CORRECTLY. Using poor technique on a cardio machine reduces the number of calories burned. The most common blunder: stair-stepper sloppiness. When you lean on the handrails, your legs don’t have to carry as much weight, so you don’t expend as much effort as you should. For maximum flab-busting, stay upright and only use the handrails for balance.
10. Squat before you shower. How about a little creativity? Stand in front of the toilet, rest one foot on the lid, and grab a towel rack or sink for balance. Squat 15 times, switch legs, and repeat. One-legged squats can be more effective than two-legged squats, because you’re making ONE leg do all the work.
11. Pace yourself. No, don’t become a nervous wreck. Always on the move, pacers continually tap their fat reserves. If you’re not a natural pacer, schedule a five-minute walk break every hour. You could burn about 100 extra calories if you work a full eight-hour day.
12. Two-step it. Obviously, forgoing elevators in favor of stairs bumps up your calorie expenditure, but did you know that taking the stairs two at a time burns 55 percent more calories than single stepping?
13. Use interval sprints. Adding short turbo bursts of speed to a cardio workout will net you a bigger calorie payoff. Throw in 10 sprints during a cycling session and you’ll bum an extra 120 calories. To do: Go at your usual moderate pace for two minutes, then speed up for one minute. Slow back down to your regular pace for two minutes, and then speed up again for a minute. Keep repeating. Great for when you’re pressed for time but want to get the most from a cut-short workout.
14. MAKE your meals yourself. Commit to kitchen time. Give up your blender and pick up a whisk. Instead of an electric can opener, use the manual kind. Just spending an hour cooking burns about 150 calories.
15. Pump and Jump. Mixing strength training with cardiovascular exercise (called circuit training) can more than double your workout’s calorie-burning payoff. Start with five minutes on a cardiovascular machine, move on to a strength exercise, then return to cardio for a couple of minutes. Continue alternating cardio and strength exercises, finishing up with five minutes of cardio.
16. Clean your home. Vacuuming, mopping, dusting, sweeping, scrubbing floors, making beds — they don’t just eliminate dirt, they k.o. calories. In fact,housework melts away 200 calories an hour. (This may be a tough one for you men, but I found out over the last couple of weeks… you’re definitely workin’!)
17. Split ’em. Instead of doing a longer, 40-60 minute aerobic workout (when many of you complain you “don’t have time”), split them into two mini aerobic workouts — 20-30 minutes in the A.M. and 20-30 minutes in the P.M. Exercise boosts your metabolism for a few hours afterward, so you stand to burn MORE calories by splitting your workout up.
18. Del aqua (that’s Italian). Staying hydrated helps you work out longer, thus burn more calories. Even a 1% drop in bodyweight through weight loss is enough to fatigue your body AND your mind, which means you’re more likely to quit before your workout is complete.
19. Perfect posture. Never lie your down when you can sit, sit when you can stand, or slouch when you can stand up straight with your abdomen pulled in. You’re making yourself work to maintain proper posture, so that extra effort is burning some more calories.