At some point or another, you’ll probably look for a way to lose weight. While diet fads and new workout regimens come and go, your metabolism is here forever. The stronger your metabolism, the easier it is to lose weight and more importantly, keep it off. In this article, we will go over why you may have a slow metabolism, the food you can eat to boost your metabolism, and other natural ways to boost your metabolism.
How Do I Know If I Have a Slow Metabolism?
Your metabolism is how your body converts the food you eat into energy. Essentially, it’s the number of calories you’re able to burn. That’s why the higher the metabolism - the better. However, that’s a very simplistic way to describe a very complex body mechanism. Fortunately, there are things we can do to tweak our metabolism, allowing us to strengthen it. The first step in doing so is recognizing when you may have a slow metabolism. Here are some slow metabolism symptoms:
- You are gassy
- You crave sugar
- It’s difficult for you to lose weight
- You have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
- You’re always feeling bloated
- It’s much easier for you to gain weight
It’s important to note, a slow metabolism can be caused by underlying health issues. If you believe you may have a slow metabolism, it’s important to speak to your doctor to get to the root of the issue.
What Causes Slow Metabolism?
The causes of a slow metabolism range anywhere from family history, to unhealthy lifestyle choices, to disease. While most experts believe the most common reason for slow metabolism is unhealthy choices, it’s not a bad idea to know all of the causes. Here are some common slow metabolism causes:
- Your genes
- A poor sleep schedule
- Overly restrictive diets
- You don’t drink enough water
- Being nocturnal
As you can see, your metabolism can be quite delicate. While some of these may be out of your control, there are things you can do to strengthen your metabolism.
How Do You Treat A Slow Metabolism?
When it comes to boosting your metabolism, the number one thing you can do is implement healthy lifestyle choices. Before beginning the journey remember, it’s just that - a journey. Expecting overnight results is unrealistic and can often lead to burnout. By implementing some of these healthy lifestyle changes, you can boost your metabolism:
- Lift weights - Your body burns calories even when you’re sitting around doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in those with muscle
- Drink more water - Your metabolism will slow to a screeching halt if you are even moderately dehydrated. Studies have found that adults who drink eight or more glasses of water per day burn more calories than those that drink four glasses of water
- Black coffee - Coffee can provide a short-term rise in your metabolic rate
- Avoid crash diets - We know that crash diets can be trendy, but they can also harm your metabolism. Even if these diets can help you lose weight quickly, it comes at the expense of good nutrition. This will ultimately backfire in the long run since you will lose muscle which in turn slows your metabolism
- Snack more - This may seem counterintuitive but snacking more can actually help your metabolism; of course this is assuming the snacks are healthy. Studies have found that your metabolism slows down between meals, so eating multiple small meals or snacks throughout the day can help with your metabolism
The best part about implementing these lifestyle changes into your daily life is that they provide numerous benefits - not just boosting your metabolism. These habits will help you live a longer, healthier, and happier life.
Which Foods Increase Metabolism?
Just like with pretty much everything that relates to your health, what goes into your body is incredibly important. To help boost your metabolism, you need to find foods that keep you full, won’t cause major spikes in your blood sugar, and will support a healthy metabolism. Here are foods that increase metabolism:
- Iodine-rich foods - Table salt, egg yolks, milk, and other dairy products
- Legumes - Beans, peas, and lentils
- Water - We will continue to harp on the importance of water
- Calcium - Low-fat dairy, broccoli, and salmon
- Whole grains - Such as brown rice instead of white rice
- Low-glycemic foods - Green veggies, chickpeas, fruits, beans, and bran breakfast cereals
What Vitamins Should I Take To Speed Up My Metabolism?
One of the big reasons why you may be experiencing a slow metabolism is due to nutrient deficiencies. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t get the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins they need through their diet. In this instance, it may be best to seek out supplements. Here are some vitamins for metabolism:
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
In an ideal world, you would get all the nutrients you need through your diet and the great outdoors. Unfortunately, that can be next to impossible for some due to food allergies and other outside factors.
Supplements May Help
A healthy lifestyle extends beyond your diet. Pairing your healthy lifestyle with exercise and a regular supplement regimen can help enhance the positive effects of dieting and fasting. While fasting your body enters a process known as autophagy, a cellular renewal process that cleans out damaged or dead cellular material, improving your cells’ overall function and health. Spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine, aids in inducing autophagy. While you can reap the benefits of spermidine through a spermidine-rich diet, it can be difficult to meet the recommended daily dose of spermidine through diet alone. This is because spermidine content varies widely between foods. Spermidine supplements can help ensure you meet your daily intake of spermidine.