I don’t want to get all scientific and put everyone to sleep here, so I’ll make this straight-forward and basic: your metabolism is the amount of calories your body burns doing nothing in a single day.
We all inherit our baseline metabolism; it’s genetic. It also relates to our gender and our age, and as you know, we can’t change our age. While you could get gender-changing surgery, it’s a little extreme and it’s not going to increase your metabolism!
Once we accept the fact that our metabolism slows down with age, we can actually start to do something about it.
The good news is, there are ways to increase your metabolism. Check it out.
Metabolism Booster #1: Exercise
Exercise and building muscle are incredible ways to boost your metabolism. Each pound of muscle burns 6 extra calories per day. And while 6 calories per day doesn’t sound like much, if you add 5 lbs of muscle to your frame, that equals 30 calories per day. Now that’s pretty awesome!
And hear me out…..Do NOT worry about getting bulky. That’s a whole other (mythical) conversation that you don’t need to worry about.
Besides muscle building, another great way to increase your metabolism via exercise is to step up the intensity. This doesn’t mean that you need to go do box jumps if you have bad knees. It’s about increasing the intensity that you can do. So, if you’re a walker, integrate 30-second sprint-walks into your workout. Walk as fast as you can, and then go back down to your normal pace. Repeat these intervals.
Metabolism Booster #2: Drink More Water
Water has been proven to speed up the metabolism and flush toxins out of the body. Would you believe that “researchers estimate that over the course of a year, a person who increases his water consumption by 1.5 liters a day would burn an extra 17,400 calories, for a weight loss of approximately five pounds”? It’s true!
Metabolism Booster #3: Increase Your Protein Consumption
Your body takes longer to digest protein than it does other foods, like carbohydrates. When you choose a protein over French fries, you get a double-bonus: not only are there fewer calories in the protein, but your body and muscles are getting nourished in the process.
Of course, I would never tell you not to eat French fries because I’m the Queen of Planned Indulgences but I’m saying being strategic. Have protein at each meal and eat that first. (I have so much more to say on this, that’s for another day).
Metabolism Booster #4: Get Lots of Sleep
One would think that lying in your bed, sound asleep doing nothing for 8 hours would slow down your metabolism. In fact, there are studies that show that getting the right amount of sleep will increase your metabolism and help you eat the right amount of foods at the right time.
The one BIG DON’T: do not undercut your calories and know your macronutrient needs. Everyone has heard about Starvation Mode, and it’s real. The bottom line is that your body will slow down your metabolism to conserve its resources because it doesn’t know when you are going to get your next meal. Not only that, but your body will eat your muscles for fuel. And guess what ….your heart is a muscle! YUP!! Ok, I may be getting dramatic, but my point is ladies, we have to stop starving ourselves skinny. It does damage long term and our bodies need nourishment and muscle, especially if you want to make it to your later years with vitality.