5 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism!

There are scientifically validated ways to increase your metabolism.  What exactly is metabolism?  It is a catch-all term for all of the chemical reactions that occur in your body to keep it functioning well.  While everyone associates metabolism with weight loss, it also encompasses your temperature regulation, energy and sex drive.  

Now, your metabolic rate means the amount of calories that you burn, and the higher it is, the more calories you burn and the more energy you have to use. This means you will lose weight if you are burning off those extra energy stores..i.e. fat as well as have lots more vitality. 

So let's talk about 5 ways that you can easy boost your metabolism by incorporating these lifestyle changes.  

1.  Drink Cold Water

You guys hear me preach all of the time about the importance of water.  Just replacing your sugary drinks like fruit juices and sodas will automatically help you to increase your metabolism because you will reducing your caloric intake.  Also remember that your body will need to use the sugar for energy first before it will work on your fat stores. 

Research shows that drinking water causes an increase in your resting metabolic rate of up to 30% for about an hour after you drink it!  If you drink cold water, your body needs to heat up the water to body temperature so the effect is even greater. 

I also encourage drinking a nice big glass of water about a half hour before your meals and also drinking water at the first sign of hunger, as your body may be confusing its thirst and hunger signals.  For those looking to lose weight, a study showed that adults who drank half a liter of water prior to their meals lost 44% more weight than those who didn't.  So drink up!

2. Eat Plenty of Protein at Every Meal

The simple act of eating can increase your metabolism for a few hours because it requires energy for your body to digest and process your food.  The key to making this work for you though is eating the right foods.  Of all of the food groups, protein causes the largest increase in your metabolic rate and can increase it by 15-30% as compared to carbs which are only 5-10%.  

Proteins are the necessary building blocks for your tissues, muscles, bones, and feel good neurotransmitters.  If you are suffering from any type of mood disorder, you need extra protein to help make your feel good serotonin, dopamine, and gaba.  

Protein also helps you to feel full and research confirms that people who consume plenty of proteins in their diet eat about 400-500 fewer calories daily than those who don't get at least 30% of their meals as protein per day. 

Eating  more protein also helps you to maintain your muscle as you are losing fat, and the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism overall.

3. Stand up More

Sitting is just plain bad for your health! Unfortunately, most of us are sitting the majority of the day with our work.  This one was a struggle for me.  When I started my functional medicine practice, I found that I was sitting MUCH more than I was used to when I was running around in the hospital all day. 

Your body needs to burn more calories keeping your core firm and in an upright position than with sitting.  How to remedy this?  You can try using a standing desk, a desk cycle like a Flexispot or even using a balance ball as your chair to engage your core. 

If these don't work for you right now, at least commit to taking frequent breaks every hour to get up, stretch, drink a glass of cold water and walk in place.  

4. Try HIIT training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves quick and very intense bursts of activity.  This type of activity might involve doing 2 minutes of squats followed by a 30 second rest, or 2 minutes of jumping jacks.  You get the picture.  You do a full out burst for a short period of time.

This type of workout increases your metabolic rate and keeps it elevated long after the workout has been completed.  It also helps you to mix up different exercises so you don't get bored with one routine.  Lastly, doing HIIT helps to reset some crucial hormones necessary for sex drive and fat burning and those include testosterone and growth hormone. 

5. Get a Good Night's Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important functions that our bodies can perform.  Not only are our hormones synthesized and utilized while we are sleeping, but our hunger and satiety signals also get reset while we sleep. 

Lack of sleep has been linked to a MAJOR increase in the risk of obesity, mood disorders, and early death...yikes!  You have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well if you are not sleeping. 

As I said before, lack of sleep also been shown to boost the hunger hormone ghrelin, and decrease the fullness hormone leptin and that's not good for your metabolism or your waistline.

This is probably one of the reasons why people who are sleep deprived struggle the most with cravings, always feeling hunger and not getting the weight loss they desire. 

What can you do to get yourself some MUCH needed sleep?  Well, first off, practice good bedtime hygeine.  Lower the lights, no tv in the bedroom and shut off your electronics about an hour before retiring.  Take a warm bath, relax with a cup of chamomile tea or do a bedtime yoga sequence.

Try some brainwave entrainment to lull you to sleep.  One of my favorites is called BrainEV and you can find a free sample HERE.  Flip the switch and use a gentle sleep aid if you need to.  One of my favorites is Insomnitol as it includes calming herbs, precursors for your "feel good" neurotransmitters and a touch of melatonin.

Alright, I will be back soon with more metabolic boosting tips, but start with these.  See if you can get into a habit of incorporating these 5 in your daily routine.  

Give me a shout out to let me know how it goes!!