Your metabolism is impacted by several different factors: genetic make-up, body composition (percent of muscle mass and fat), gender, hormonal health, activity level, and age. Some of these factors you can control, while others… well… you’re just out of luck.
Luckily, there are some proven metabolism boosters that can help jump-start your body into using calories more efficiently — helping boost immunity and slow signs of aging!
So how do you know if your metabolism needs a boost? Here are some common signs that your metabolism isn’t functioning as well as it should:
- frequently feeling cold
- low energy
- struggling to lose weight
- dry skin
- low libido
- thinning hair on your head
- trouble sleeping all night
- brittle, slow-growing fingernails
- bloating after eating
- mood disorders
- irregular periods
- excessive thirst
- getting sick often
- poor concentration
If you’re experiencing the signs of a slow-moving metabolism, try some of these natural metabolism boosters!
#1 Stop dieting and give your body the calories it needs! If you’re constantly on a diet and restricting calories, your metabolism learns that it needs to slow down all functioning to conserve energy. You eventually wind up in “starvation mode” — causing hormonal and cellular changes that increase hunger and thirst and slow down fat-burning abilities and muscle growth — none of which are good for your health. If you’re trying to lose weight, fill yourself with whole foods, cut the processed junk, and get out the door and exercising! Your body requires fuel to function, and if you deprive it of such, your health will suffer.
#2 Catch some zzzz’s. There’s a proven link between a properly functioning metabolism and getting enough sleep. Did you know that lack of sleep can actually lead to lack of weight loss? When you’re sleep deprived, your body has to work to conserve energy. Try and get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night in order to keep your hormone levels in check and your metabolism moving! Trust us, that last episode on Netflix will still be there tomorrow.
#3 Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Exercise in any form is important for keeping your metabolism functioning as it should. High Intensity Interval Training — a type of exercise that uses intervals of max effort and short periods of rest — is proven to jump-start metabolic function better than steady-state workouts can. According to Dr. Elledge from Elledge Chiropractic, HIIT actually require less time than traditional cardio workouts, and even though they typically burn fewer calories during the actual workout than cardio workouts, HIIT results in more fat loss and continues to burn calories throughout the day!
#4 Start lifting weights. Lifting weights can help speed up your resting metabolic rate by building lean muscle mass which uses more calories than body fat does. Gaining muscle means you’ll increase the amount of metabolic work your body needs to do each day in order to just keep you moving, since muscle tissue is more active than fat. So whether you’re lifting dumbbells, headed to the CrossFit box, or using body resistance exercises at home, get up and build some muscle!
#5 Add metabolism power foods. Certain foods are proven to help the body use and expend energy more efficiently. Protein is often tied to a strong metabolism, as well as spicy foods, and drinking forms of natural caffeine (in moderation)!