Many factors that are out of your control (including your age, gender, and genetics) play a part in the effectiveness of your metabolism. But don’t lose hope just yet, because you do have the power to affect how well your body processes calories. Here are 5 ways that you can influence your metabolism and give it a natural boost.
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Crank Up Your Workout
Exercising in intervals where you briefly up the intensity (either by increasing your speed or incline) is a great way to rev up your body’s metabolism.
Even more importantly, you should add or increase the amount of weight training in your regular workout routine. By increasing your muscle mass, you will simultaneously increase your resting energy expenditure (the rate at which your body burns calories throughout the day), which means that your metabolism is humming even on an off day.
Drink More Water
Most people know that your body can’t function at it’s optimum level when it is not properly hydrated. But what you may not know is that drinking plenty of water also aids your body in flushing out toxins and chemicals that could be hindering your metabolism.
Drinking a glass of water before each meal can also help prevent overeating, as the body’s signals for thirst and the need for hydration are often mistaken for hunger.
To put this tip into action, start your day with a glass of water and drink more water throughout the day and before each meal.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Consider your first meal of the day the kickstart to your metabolism. Fueling up on a nutrient-rich breakfast (think oatmeal with fruit and nuts or a veggie omelet) is a great way to wake-up your metabolism and keep it going all day.
In fact, a study by the National Weight Control Registry which tracks 5,000 people who have lost an average of 66 lbs. and have maintained their weight-loss for more than five years shows that 78% of those who have kept it off eat breakfast every day.
Spice Things Up
Studies have shown that capsaicin, a chemical compound found in spicy peppers (like jalapenos, habaneros, and chili peppers), speeds up your heart rate, body temperature, and ultimately your metabolism.
Although the effects are only temporary, it can give you a little extra boost (and every little bit helps, right?)
Keep some crushed red pepper on hand to spice up your meals and get this natural boost.
Eat More Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids may seem like an unlikely ally to your metabolism, however they can reduce inflammation in the body and help regulate blood sugar – both of which contribute to a healthy metabolism.
They also positively affect leptin, a hormone in your body that directly affects how your body processes calories (and whether or not they are stored as fat).
The most commonly known source of omega-3s is fish (including salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, and sardines), however you can also boost your intake with flaxseed oil, walnuts, or eggs fortified with omega-3s.