The key to boosting your metabolism in an effective and long term way is to make sure that you're getting enough of the right nutrients, so it’s about shifting the focus towards adding certain foods to your diet and removing others such as ones that are processed and therefore slowing down your body. It also means making sure that you're getting enough protein, which is essential for repairing and building muscle tissue. I'll give more detail below as to why protein specifically plays an important role in speeding up metabolism, even without a workout routine.
Exercise is still important, but it's not the key to boosting your metabolism. When you exercise, your body burns calories for energy but when you're done exercising, your metabolism goes back to its normal resting state. So if you're looking to extend your metabolism boost throughout the day, focus on getting the right nutrients rather than just exercising more.
It’s important to note that there are many ways to increase your metabolism, but if you want the best results it's important that find out what method will work for YOUR body. In this article I share 5 different methods so no matter which one sounds good or fits into any other diet plan comfortably-you'll be able make progress!
1. Eat More Healthy Fats
A bit counter-intuitive, right? Eating healthy fats can help boost your metabolism in several ways. First, they help to increase your metabolism by improving the way your body uses energy, allowing it to be better able to burn calories and fat.
Do you have cravings that pop up on a daily or regular basis that feel out of your control? Healthy fats help to keep your blood sugar levels stable and this is important because stable blood sugar levels aid in preventing cravings and overeating.
Another great benefit of healthy fats is that they help to reduce inflammation in your body. Inflammation can lead to weight gain and other health problems and by reducing inflammation, these healthy fats can help you to maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall wellness.
So, if you’re looking to boost your metabolism and improve your health, be sure to include healthy fats in your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are a great place to start. You can find them in fish, nuts, and seeds.
2. Up Your Quality Protein Intake
Regardless of what you eat, your body is burning calories simply through the process of digestion. This counts towards 10% of your energy expenditure and is known as the thermetic effect of food (TEF).
However, you do burn the most calories digesting protein more than any other food group. During digestion, between 20% and 30% of the energy in protein is used. That compares to between 5% and 10% for carbohydrates and up to 3% for fats.
Adding more high quality proteins to your diet may help you take advantage of the thermetic effect of food and therefore burn more calories (even at a resting state!) compared to a diet higher in carbohydrates.
Check out our ultimate metabolism boost and recipe guide to get all of our top 10 recommendations to rev up your metabolism, as well as recipes for each meal of the day to get you inspired!
3. Heal Your Gut
Everyone responds differently to food, and one of the components that creates this effect is the makeup of our gut microbiome. You have more gut bacteria in your body than cells!
A healthy gut contributes to good mood, strong immune system, restful sleep, effective digestion, and so much more. It controls how you process food and how many nutrients and benefits you are able to absorb from the food you eat.
Conversely, having a gut imbalance can lead to sugar cravings, unintentional weight gain, fatigue, and digestive issues- the body is simply unable to get many of the nutrients from the food being consumed, even if the food is considered healthy!
Did you know that over 60-70% of Americans report suffering from gastrointestinal issues? That’s a huge number of people who are struggling with digestive problems on a daily basis who are not able to absorb all the nutrients from their food!
Inflammation is a big problem when it comes to gut health because it can lead to all sorts of other issues such irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, and even food allergies. And all of these problems can further contribute to a sluggish metabolism.
So, how can you lower inflammation and heal your gut lining?
Anti-inflammatory foods include celery, flax seeds, blueberries, garlic, omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish), and olive oil. Stress management also plays a big role.
You can also try supplements like fish oil, turmeric (curcumin), ginger, probiotics, (bone broth) along with making sure to get enough exercise to help to lower inflammation levels in your body.
One of the most important ways to heal your gut while reducing inflammation is…
4. Identify and Limit Processed Foods
This one can be tough. Many of us unintentionally start eating processed foods at a young age (think about school lunches!) and those eating habits can shape how we eat as adults as well, leading us down a dark path of "comfort" eating decisions.
Processed foods are very inflammatory and this inflammation can have a big impact on your metabolism. When your body is inflamed, it can lead to a condition called "metabolic endotoxemia." This occurs when toxins from the gut enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body.
This inflammation can then lead to a whole host of other problems such as insulin resistance, weight gain, and even type 2 diabetes. It's very important to keep inflammation under control in order to maintain a healthy metabolism.
Give yourself time to transition to whole foods, and away from processed foods, and if you're struggling to make the switch to healthy eating, don't be discouraged! Remember that moderation is key, and any elimination is progress.
I outlined some anti-inflammatory foods and supplements to add to your diet earlier, so here is a list of inflammation-causing and processed foods for you to identify in your life and consider eliminating:
- Refined carbs (such as white bread and pastries)
- fried foods
- soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks
- processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)
5. Get Moving!
There’s been a big emphasis on what goes into the body in this article, but exercise does definitely play a part in an optimal metabolism (and lower inflammation!).
Exercise can help to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of sugar that your muscles use for energy. When you exercise, your muscles need more energy and they will break down sugar to get it. This helps greatly with managing and overcoming cravings!
Did you know that one pound of muscle burns three times the calories of fat at a resting state (according to estimates)?
Additionally, exercise helps to increase insulin sensitivity. This means that your body will be better able to use insulin to lower blood sugar levels.
So how much exercise is needed to boost your metabolism? The answer varies person-to-person, but good news: walking or jogging even 20 minutes per day will make a positive difference.
If you can get your body moving at least once an hour, even for a few minutes at a time, you will boost your metabolic rate for the day, essentially burning more calories while doing what you were already going to be doing.
Yes, walking can also help with inflammation! It's a low-impact form of exercise that is anti-inflammatory and can help give a boost to your metabolism as well. Additionally, walking can also help to increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels, so for those who have diabetes or prediabetes, walking can be a great way to help manage your condition.
I hope that this article has shown you that the key to boosting your metabolism isn’t about starving yourself or spending hours in the gym. Phew! Instead, make sure that you're adding the right foods to your diet- including plenty of protein- and steadily saying goodbye to processed foods.
And don't forget- for more ideas and tips, we've put together comprehensive guide full of top metabolism-boosting foods and ingredients plus delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that will help get you started! Take the stress out of deciding what to eat and download it for free today.