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10 Natural Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Metabolism describes the biological processes your body carries out to use energy from food, regenerate cells and tissues, and function appropriately in the environment. It’s essentially everything your body does to keep you alive, and there are ways to boost your metabolism.

The metabolic process consists of two major features: catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism means “to break down,” and this term characterizes your body’s ability to digest food for energy, among other jobs. Anabolism involves the “building up” of the body by repairing cells, using energy from food, and recovering muscles.

Optimizing your metabolism is a practical step to enjoying lifelong health and wellness. The nutritional and lifestyle choices you make can have a direct impact on how well your body functions and how well you manage your weight. Since one of the primary jobs of your metabolism is to convert energy into food, you can boost your metabolism by making healthy nutritional choices. You can also implement positive lifestyle choices to improve your metabolism.

Implement these 10 tips to boost your metabolism and achieve overall health and wellness.

Eat Enough Protein

A higher protein diet helps regulate the hormones that make you feel hungry or satiated. Plus, when you eat enough protein, you feel satisfied longer. This leads to an overall reduced calorie intake. Protein also has a higher thermic effect than carbs, meaning your body burns more calories in order to effectively digest and metabolize protein. As a result, protein consumption boosts metabolism. Enjoy these effects by including protein-packed plant-based foods in your diet like legumes, nuts, avocado, and leafy greens like spinach.

spicy foods boost metabolism

Eat Spicy Foods

The compound called capsaicin found in chili peppers has been shown to offer a metabolic boost. Consuming spicy foods with this compound jump-starts the body’s fight-or-flight response, this lends a temporary boost in metabolism. Add chili peppers to a few meals per week to reap the benefits.

Select Organic Produce

Enjoying a plant-based diet is advantageous for health in general. But you could be interfering with metabolic functioning when you choose non-organic produce. Researchers found that pesticides found in non-organic foods may actually stall metabolism. Review the most recent Environmental Working Group list of fruits and vegetables with the most contamination, and buy these produce choices organic.

Add Iron to Your Diet

If you are iron deficient, as many women are during menstruation, your muscles cannot get the necessary energy to support a healthy metabolism. Iron-rich foods include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, legumes, dark leafy greens like kale, and whole grains like quinoa.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea has recently been publicized as a superfood, ranking second only to water as the most-consumed beverage around the world. And for good reason: Green tea contains EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) antioxidants known as catechins that boost metabolism.

Drink Water

A state of dehydration actually slows down your metabolism, so staying hydrated with water is key. Research shows that adults who drink at least eight glasses of water per day burn more calories than those who don’t. Bonus: If you drink cold water, your body has to expend more energy to bring it to your core body temperature.

Eat Breakfast

Never skip breakfast, as doing so can slow your metabolism for the remainder of the day. Eating early kick-starts your metabolism and fires up other essential processes like blood sugar regulation and digestion. After a hearty breakfast of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, keep your metabolism going by eating every three to four hours. Regular meals help burn more calories throughout the day.

green vegetables boost metabolism

Get Plenty of Vitamin D

Experts reveal that individuals deficient in vitamin D tend to gain weight faster and have more trouble burning calories to efficiently lose weight. The best way to get this crucial vitamin is by including it in your diet through foods like almonds, oranges, and mushrooms. If you have trouble eating enough vitamin D-rich foods, consider supplements.

Get Regular Exercise

Be sure to get regular activity through cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and high-intensity interval training. Regular exercise helps the body burn calories and maintain weight. However, you should also incorporate strength training activities into your regimen. As you increase your muscle mass, your body uses more energy (i.e., burns more calories) even when you’re at rest. High-intensity interval exercises also promote metabolic function by increasing fat-burning for hours after the workout is complete.

Get Enough Rest

Studies have shown that a general lack of sleep reduces metabolic functioning. When you rest, your body carries out vital processes to maintain a healthy metabolism. If you’re sleep deprived, your metabolism is probably sluggish, which means you may have a harder time getting rid of those extra pounds. Aim for seven to nine hours per night. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual with activities like light reading, bathing, and listening to calming music to help you get to sleep easier.

This story originally appeared on Well Within Beauty. It has been reprinted with permission.

Photos: Alexander Mils, Yelena Yemchuk, Xsandra

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