A healthy, well-maintained metabolism is vital to your health and wellbeing. There are some things that affect our metabolism that we don’t have any control over – such as age, gender, and genetics. But then there are the lifestyle factors that we do have control over, such as diet and activity, which are crucial to maintaining a healthy metabolism. So let’s have a look at how you can incorporate some lifestyle changes and hacks you can start using right now to give your metabolism a much-needed kick.
1. Eat metabolism-boosting foods
You don’t have to obsess over “eating clean” to the point that your diet feels like a burden and you forget what ice cream tastes like. But, if you’re eating sugary and processed foods regularly, cutting them out will be the key change and the first step towards a much healthier metabolism.
Just try your best to make each meal balanced and wholesome to help the entire system run smoothly. Here are the fundamental diet hacks for boosting the metabolism:
- Get plenty of protein with every meal. Protein increases your metabolic rate for a few hours as the body takes time to absorb and digest it; it will keep you full for longer and help maintain muscle mass. Some of the protein-richest foods include: meat, fish, poultry, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, dairy, and eggs.
- Cook with coconut oil, as it’s one of the healthiest fats available and proven to be beneficial to healthy metabolic functioning.
- Eat seaweed. It’s one of the richest sources of iodine, which is a mineral that’s vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. And when the thyroid is functioning smoothly, so is your metabolism, because the thyroid hormones play a crucial role in metabolism regulation.
- Chilli peppers include capsaicin, which helps speed up the metabolism by increasing the rate at which your body burns calories. It can also help reduce your appetite, so if you like chilli peppers – or at least if you think you can give them a chance – start eating them on the regular!
- Season your salads with apple cider vinegar. ACV is known to help maintain a healthy metabolism and possibly aid weight loss. Don’t overdo it, however – about two tablespoons per day is perfectly enough and won’t result in negative side effects.
2. Spice it up
Something as simple as adding more spices to your meals can be of huge benefit to your metabolism. The hotter the better! Cayenne pepper is one of the best metabolism-boosting spices, as it can help increase fat burn. Ginger is also a powerful metabolism-boosting spice. You can add it to your meals in powder form or the same way as you’d use garlic.
3. Keep moving
There’s just no way around it – exercise, particularly resistance training and HIIT, is fundamental to maintaining a healthy metabolism. We know that’s not exactly a “super easy” way to boost your metabolism, but there are some easy hacks you can start using to get more activity – and get the most out of all the activity you do.
If you struggle with staying regular at the gym, try incorporating little bouts of exercise throughout your day. The most important thing is to keep moving. If you have a desk job, make sure to stand up every once in a while to do some light stretching during working hours. Put on music and dance while cooking, do jumping jacks before showering in the morning, exercise during commercial breaks or while watching your favorite shows, take the stairs – it’s these little things that build up during the day.
4. Sweat more
When you’re doing exercise, the more you sweat the better – breaking into a sweat won’t only help raise your metabolic rate, but it’s a great detox too. Wearing a sauna vest is a great hack for enhancing this process, so it’s no surprise that these are becoming popular with women who are looking to get the most out of each workout. Speaking of saunas – yes, go for a spa day and sweat it out at a sauna whenever you can. It’s good for your metabolism!
5. Stay hydrated
This is one of the easiest, yet most effective ways to boost your metabolism. Your entire system relies on water to maintain its numerous processes, including metabolism. Don’t wait to get thirsty – sip on water regularly throughout the day until you’ve had eight 8-ounce glasses (it’s called the 8×8 rule), which amounts to half a gallon (2 liters) per day. Your metabolism actually increases when you’re drinking water while resting. It’s also good to drink a glass before every meal to ensure you don’t overeat.
Along with your daily 2 liters of water, coffee, green tea, and oolong tea are also known as metabolism-boosting drinks. You can also prepare yourself a hot ginger drink, where you mix a teaspoon of ginger powder into a glass of hot water. Some people like to add freshly squeezed lemon too, and drink this potion in the morning. It helps with a number of things, metabolism included.
6. Get a good night’s sleep
You need your beauty sleep, so start making it a priority. Seriously. We collectively skimp out on sleep so often and so much, and it’s taking a toll on our bodies. If you sleep less than 7 hours each night, or if your sleep is usually broken and of poor quality, taking it upon yourself to mindfully and consciously work on this will make a major difference to your health and wellbeing. When you start getting enough daily rest, your hormones return to balance and your metabolism functions more smoothly.
There you have it – small hacks that go a long way! There are a lot of things here that you can start doing right away, and you’ll be sure to feel a difference in no time. With a boost to your metabolism, your entire body will be functioning better and you’ll be feeling lighter, fresher, and healthier.