Hey Ecophiles, what is the healthy way to boost metabolism naturally?
– Janine Tan
The key to boosting metabolism is to understand how it works.
What is metabolism?
Every cell in the body has a mechanism for breaking down particles, nutrients, vitamins and minerals and using it to refill the energy reserves that power processes in the cardiovascular, lymphatic and nervous systems. Metabolism is a chemical reaction that transforms one thing to another. From the micro-exchange of oxygen in the capillaries to the extra 3 pounds you feel in your favorite jeans, metabolism works like checks and balances.
How does it work… exactly?
Metabolism is a term that describes both the breaking down and the building up of matter. The break down of matter, like sugars, produces energy while the building up of something like protein or muscle, consumes energy. This is the basic process for how our bodies use food to make energy and use energy to strengthen body structures. Eating only what the body can efficiently burn in a 24 hour period will help balance metabolic function and keep your body lean.
5 Ways to boost metabolism
Snack on dark chocolate which contains natural ingredients that lower stress hormones. Get enough proteins and more specifically eat it early in the day and away from other foods. Proteins consumed with things like carbohydrates or sugars create a mess in the gut and slow down digestion which will dampen the fires of metabolism.
Also, be mindful of portions. The body cannot utilize an overwhelming amount of food all at once. A good guide to follow is eat to 80% full.
This may seem obvious, but specifically strength training and outdoor exercise do more to increase the body’s metabolic function than interval training indoors. When exercising we breathe more deeply, oxygen flows more rapidly from cell to cell.
During strength training, our muscles work harder to burn fats and build proteins which boosts metabolism for hours after a workout. Being outside raises vitamin D levels which has optimal effect on the body and it’s ability to burn fat. Also, being outside has a generally wonderful effect on our over all state of wellness.
Going to bed at same time every night and sleeping for the same number of hours is showing itself to be one of the most powerful things we can do to maintain health and wellness. If you need 9 hours of sleep to feel rested then getting any less than this has a cumulative effect on the body and slowly wears down your reserves. It decreases your ability to recover after an illness or injury and takes it’s toll on your endocrine system as well. As far as metabolism goes, sleep has been linked to reduction of stress. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to cause a decrease in the hormones that regulate healthy metabolism. Beauty rest is essential rest!
Water, water, (electrolytes) and water! But don’t over do it. A general tip to follow is to drink half your body weight in ounces. If you are 120lbs you will probably need about 60oz of water a day. It’s best consumed in the first half of the day so you can get the sleep you need at night, right?! Green tea is also a great option to mix it up. The antioxidants in green tea help the body burn some serious calories!
Breathe, stretch, sleep and of course, get in some fun time too. Whatever you need to bring more mindfulness into your daily routine, do it because stress is the single most underrated disrupter of health.
Stress is terrible for metabolism. It messes with the balance of hormones and hormones are like the electricity behind metabolism. Ever wonder about belly fat? That’s stress. Make this a practice in your life and keep your metabolism on point.
I know saying these things is easy and implementing them can be anything but easy especially when you have a busy life. At some point though, we have to ask ourselves what is more important? Do we really need to work 50 hour weeks at the expense of our sleep? Is limping along on a coffee crutch going to pay off in the long run?
Metabolism is talked about in sweeping terms, losing weight and having energy, but it is an ever-present behind-the-scenes primary function of the body. From inside the tiny cells we can’t see to the tone in our muscles, metabolism is hard at work.
These 5 things will work wonders in helping you prime your body to be at its best!
– Andrea J Lett, Green living expert – Ecophiles
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