We all understand theoretically that in order to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we take in. But most of us tend to focus on what we eat and forget that what happens after we eat is just as important. Our metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert our food into energy, and a healthy, efficient metabolism plays a key role in fast weight loss. Although some people are “blessed” with a more efficient metabolism than others, envying them will not change the number on the scale. The good news is that there are things you can do, and eat, to help boost your metabolism and lose weight. Here are 12:
1. Eat enough food
Even though it would make sense that the less you eat, the more weight you lose, this way of thinking can work against you. Eating too little can actually slow your metabolism.
2. Sleep enough for your body to know when it is full
Studies show that insufficient sleep increases your appetite by disrupting the hormones that signal you are full. Not getting enough sleep also decreases your insulin sensitivity so your body cannot properly use the foods you are consuming.
3. Build muscle to help you burn calories faster
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Experts say that one pound of muscle burns 6 calories at rest, while one pound of fat burns 2 calories at rest. Strength-training exercise not only builds muscle, but it also keeps your metabolism elevated long after your workout.
4. High-Intensity Interval Training
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) consists of alternating 30 seconds of high-intensity exercise with 1-2 minutes of slow recovery. Exercising in this way spikes your metabolism and keeps it raised for hours after each workout session.
5. Prioritize eating protein to feel full longer
Protein is an important part of any weight loss program because it helps you maintain and build muscle, preserve lean body mass, and feel full longer. Protein takes more calories to digest than carbs or fat, so a high-protein diet can significantly boost your metabolism.
6. Eat avocado to stimulate fat burning
Avocado is a nutrient-rich source of monounsaturated fat. Don’t let the word “fat” scare you away. The “good fat” found in avocado enhances your metabolism and stimulates fat burning and energy production. It also helps you absorb the nutrients in the other foods you eat.
7. Eat salmon to prevent fat accumulation
The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon help to normalize leptin levels so you stay full longer. They also help to reduce inflammation and prevent fat accumulation.
8. Cheat with unhealthy food weekly
Regularly breaking free of your healthy weight loss diet may be a key to losing weight. Experts say that 90% of your calorie intake each week should come from healthy whole foods while the other 10% should come from your guilty pleasure foods. Think French fries or chocolate cake. Not only can your weekly cheat meal help provide an incentive to keep going, but it may also help regulate your body’s levels of leptin, the appetite suppressing hormone.
9. Drink green tea to increase your hormone levels
The caffeine and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea increases the levels of hormones that help your body break down fat. This is particularly beneficial when you exercise because it helps to maximize the impact of each workout, even after you leave the gym.
10. Drink water to avoid dehydration
Drinking water combats dehydration, which even at its mildest can slow your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces of water boosts your metabolism by 30% for more than an hour after drinking it. Additionally, drinking water before a meal can aid in weight loss by helping you feel full faster.
11. Cut back on alcohol to help improve your metabolism
Alcohol has more calories than carbs, and those calories do nothing for you nutritiously. Not only can the empty calories in alcohol thwart your weight loss efforts, but drinking alcohol can also slow your metabolism. While your body is busy metabolizing the alcohol, it can’t metabolize other sugars and fats efficiently. One study showed that the fat metabolism of test subjects slowed by up to 73% for several hours after they consumed 2 drinks containing just 90 calories each.
12. Move more, sit less to lose weight
Long hours of sitting have been linked to a number of health issues including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. If you work at a desk all day or have an otherwise sedentary lifestyle, your metabolism and your general health will thank you for getting up and move around as often as possible. Take the long way to the water cooler. Get a standing desk. Park far away from the entrance at the grocery store. You’ll not only burn more calories every day, but you’ll also boost your metabolism and enhance your general health.
Struggling to lose weight? Medarts Weight Loss Specialists can help
Knowledge about weight loss is one thing, getting results is another. If you’re struggling to turn the above ideas into action, we can help. At Medarts Weight Loss Specialists in San Diego, we offer personalized weight loss programs that address the particular needs of each client who comes through our door. From nutritional support to pharmaceutical tools to vitamin injections, our programs are designed with your optimal health and weight loss goals in mind. Give us a call at (619) 866-3333 to schedule a consultation today.