People often talk about having a slow metabolism that makes it tough to lose weight. But what exactly is metabolism? It’s the breakdown and processing of nutrients from the foods we eat and their transformation into energy.
Metabolic rate, which differs from person to person, is influenced by a number of factors, such as genetics, body composition, hormones, and gender. If you have a fast metabolic rate, you’re one of the lucky ones who can eat without gaining a pound. However, a sluggish metabolism can make weight loss and even maintaining normal weight an epic battle.
But even if you haven’t been blessed with a fast metabolic rate, there are ways to boost your metabolism naturally:
- Drink green tea. Green tea is a natural, mild thermogenic agent that can be taken as a pre-meal beverage or supplement. I recommend green tea instead of strong stimulants, which can raise blood pressure and heartbeat, alter heart rhythm, and cause nervousness and insomnia in some people. Drink one cup of green tea or take 100 mg of a standardized green tea extract, one to three times daily, before meals.
- Exercise. You probably know that your metabolism shifts into high gear while you are exercising. But did you know that your metabolic rate remains elevated even after you kick off your walking shoes and collapse on the sofa? Studies have shown that regular exercise resets your body’s thermostat for hours after you stop exercising—which is precisely what you want. Shoot for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity, most days of the week.
- Drink water. Water is a crucial element for sustaining all the body’s processes. It also acts as a natural appetite suppressant. You should drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of pure, filtered water each day. Try drinking a glass before each meal as well. This aids in appetite control and helps keep you hydrated.
- Eat less food, more often. When you eat less, the body burns those calories for fuel. If you gorge yourself, excess calories are stored as fat. Consuming smaller meals more often throughout the day gives you a steady stream of energy and allows your metabolism to stay engaged.
- Check your thyroid. If you are following a healthy diet and exercise plan, using the metabolism boosters mentioned above, and still not losing weight, you may need to take a look at your thyroid function. If you exhibit other symptoms of hypothyroidism—fatigue, cold hands and feet, dry skin, hair loss, constipation—talk to your doctor about a trial of natural thyroid.