The word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot. But many people aren’t really sure what it means. Basically, metabolism is the way your body breaks down food, turns it into energy, and uses it to keep your amazing body functioning. Some people have a “fast” metabolism, and it seems that they cannot eat enough. Others have a “slow” metabolism, and even reasonable amounts of food are stored as fat.
In most cases, our metabolism slows down as we age. When we notice that Grandma eats less than she used to, it’s partly due to a decreased need. Other factors that influence metabolism are height, weight, gender, hormones, and our environment. Therefore, everyone’s metabolic needs are different. They even change over time.
The good news is, we can influence our metabolism through certain behaviors. If you want to speed up your metabolism to be able to eat more or lose weight, try my top metabolic boosters:
- Eat breakfast. Because your metabolism slows down when you sleep, breakfast is like a wake-up call. Fire up your metabolism by eating a healthful breakfast that includes complex carbs, fiber and protein.
- Move more. Sitting for long periods of time slows your metabolism. If you have an office job, get up and take a short walk every hour. If you drive for long periods of time, take stretch breaks. Movement matters.
- Strength train. Most people know that exercise boosts metabolism. While cardio is important, strength training is what builds metabolically active muscle mass, especially as we get older. Establish a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, lift weights, or join a class that works your muscles.
- Include protein in your meals and snacks. If you’re working out regularly, don’t neglect protein. This does not mean you must partake in protein bars, shakes, and supplements! Just make sure you are getting adequate amounts of lean meat, eggs, fish, yogurt, legumes, nuts, veggies and whole grains.
- Prioritize rest. Make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep per night to allow your body to repair stressed tissue. Stress raises cortisol, a hormone that also causes increased appetite and decreased sleep quality, which slows your metabolism.
Boosting your metabolism translates to burning more calories, but weight loss is not always the goal for optimal health. If you need help articulating and pursuing your health-related goals, please contact me at Melissa@CoachMCares.com or text 704-957-9341.