Metabolism is the process by which your body burns calories in order to fuel its daily functions. Whether you are asleep or awake, your metabolism is always working. While the process seems rather simple, most people have a hard time harnessing the power of speeding up their metabolism and the truth of the matter is that most people’s metabolism is running much slower than normal because of several factors:
- Most people do not follow a good fitness workout daily or often enough
- Diets of processed foods slow down digestion and make the metabolism work sluggishly
- Most of today’s occupations are sedentary (sitting behind a computer, office desk, TV)
- Activities are stressful, mental, and emotional, more than physical
Three factors determine your metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body uses every day.
- The rate your body uses energy for vital body functions
- The rate you burn energy during physical activity
- The rate you use energy during the digestion of your food
All of your calories come from the food you eat. Fast foods and processed boxed meals that are high in sugar, saturated fats, artificial sweeteners, and low in water and fiber require little digestion, and actually slow down digestion, which causes those calories to turn immediately into adipose or fat tissue. These foods also cause your insulin levels to skyrocket, leaving you lacking blood sugar balance and keep you in fat storing mode. What you eat definitely influences your metabolism and mood, making you either sluggish or energetic.
Foods that are high in nutrition and fiber will promote speeding up your metabolic rate as a healthier digestion takes place. Wholesome foods that are high in nutritional value take more processing power to extract all those vital nutrients the body needs to run at peak efficiency. The body is actually burning large amounts of calories just to digest these foods, particularly if they are high in fiber. It if often noted that some foods may even have negative calories, meaning it actually takes more caloric energy to digest them than they themselves provide. Many fruits and vegetables – celery, leafy greens, broccoli and more – especially fall into this category because of their high fiber content. Improving digestion this way also strengthens the liver, kidneys and lungs, all of which facilitate a healthier metabolism.
As your metabolism increases through healthy food choices, your pancreas is also producing glucagon – the fat burner, instead of insulin – and you feel more energetic and lighter. As your digestion improves, the stomach empties more regularly and you feel thinner in the waistline and less full in the chest. Once you have a faster metabolism, you will have fewer food cravings and feel more in control of your eating.
Speed It Up!
Here are a number of specific ways to speed up your metabolism:
- Follow a good exercise program daily – and exercise first thing in the morning. In the morning, your body doesn’t have any carbohydrates as energy to use, so you have a great opportunity to burn fat instead of carbs. Also, first thing in the morning your metabolism speeds up after your morning workout. A morning workout will keep your metabolism elevated throughout the day which will help you burn more calories and lose more weight.Working out builds muscle, and muscle speeds up your metabolism. By using a combination of stretching, weights workout, and aerobics you can increase your calorie burning by several factors. Not only will you expend large amounts of energy during the times you exercise, but also during the post exercise as your muscles recover and rebuild. Always stretch out first, then follow with a weight workout before your aerobics so that you build your muscles and prep them for ultimate fat burning.You can still workout later in the day, but understand that when you go to sleep, your metabolism will slow down and you’ll miss out on all the extra fat that you can burn during the day if you had exercised first thing in the morning. When you sleep your metabolic rate is always at its slowest.
- Eat 5 smaller meals a day (or 3 medium meals and 2 hearty snacks) rather than 2 or 3 large meals. This way you have enough energy throughout the day and you’ll be free of any headaches, hunger pangs, or mood swings that you get when you are famished.
- Do not skip meals, especially breakfast. Eating breakfast not only can eliminate the cravings you might have later on, but you will have more energy in the morning, and can lessen your stress levels. Eating erratically signals the body to burn slower and conserve fat. This is why one who skips meals can have a harder time losing weight on only 1,200 calories a day. Having smaller meals and snacks that are higher in nutrition throughout the day is so much better.
- Eat some protein with each meal. Protein will keep you satisfied longer and will help eliminate hunger cravings. Great protein sources are legumes (beans, lentils & peas), sprouts, raw nuts, fish, eggs, or lean poultry.
- Eat MORE vegetables – some raw, some lightly steamed. Vegetables are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in calories. Eat one or two raw fruits daily too. If eating grains, only eat them whole. These whole food carbohydrates give you energy, plus balance your blood sugar levels.
- Eat healthy sources of fats (olive oil, coconut oil, omega-3 oils, avocados, seeds & nuts) as they promote longer-lasting, stable energy levels, and offer the essential fats and proteins we need for better digestion and muscle building.
- Drink 3-4 quarts of water each day as you will have better digestion (better emptying of the stomach and intestines, less gas, bloating, constipation) and a flatter tummy. Staying hydrated also reduces headaches and fights fatigue.
- Add essential oils to your water throughout the day. Essential oils such as Lemon, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Lime, Peppermint, and more can accelerate cleansing, speed up your metabolism, reduce cravings, assist digestion, shrink fat cells, and can greatly increase your energy.
If you want to speed up your metabolism the natural way just follow the above suggestions. It may take some planning, dedication and perseverance but before long you will begin to lose weight permanently and naturally, and feel healthier with an optimum running system. And best of all, you will have a clearer understanding of what makes your body feel and work better for years to come.
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Start today…. increase your metabolism and burn more fat! I’m here to help!