“I have a really high metabolism” This phrase can be frustrating for us. How often do we hear this phrase with the thought that metabolism is simply the burning off of calories that we consume. Metabolism is so much more. Your metabolic health affects every aspect of your body. Your metabolic health has to do with creating balance in your body and working with your metabolic system in order to discover that balance. When your metabolic system is working the way that it should, you will see improvements in overall wellness.
Ways to Boost Your Metabolic Health
There isn’t a “simple fix” for an improved metabolic health. However, there are some simple things that you can do to help get you on the right path.
1. Test Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
It’s very difficult to start any journey unless you understand the starting point. Knowing what your metabolic health currently looks like will help you understand where improvements need to be make. Taking an RMR test will give you the information that you need to understand your own body and what you can do to improve your metabolism.
Not only is a RMR test helpful, but a DXA scan will also help you on your fitness journey. Understanding your body composition helps you understand how complex your body is. It will help you understand how much fat you actually need to lose as well as how much muscle mass you need to gain. Improving your metabolic health has less to do with losing weight and more to do with finding the right body composition to help you achieve balance.
2.Don’t Skip Meals (Especially not breakfast)
It can be very tempting for people to think that skipping meals is a quick way to lose weight. This thinking is actually doing more harm than good. When you cut too many calories, your body convinces itself that you are running out of food and it needs to create fat stores to conserve energy. It is important to consume the right amount of calories to match your Resting Metabolic Rate. This is another reason why taking an RMR test is vital.
Breakfast is important because it improves your metabolism in the morning and keeps you energized throughout the day. You will feel fuller throughout the day and your body will not crave highly caloric foods that provide short bursts of energy, but will leave you feeling sluggish.
3. Drink Some Green Tea
Green tea has been found to help improve your metabolic health. Green tea is high in Catechins, which have been found to improve fat oxidation, reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and improve your thermogenesis (the number of calories that your body burns while it digests) Green Tea also provides a healthy amount of caffeine, which will give you a nice boost of energy throughout your day.
4. Build Some Muscle Mass
When it comes to weight loss and quickly burning calories, cardio is generally the faster route. While cardio is an important aspect of anyone’s fitness regimen, weight training should not be ignored. Your muscle cells will burn more calories than your fat cells will. So when you build muscle mass, you are also improving your metabolic health by boosting your Resting Metabolic Rate. Make sure that you hit the weights for a few minutes every time you hit the treadmill or the fitness cycle. This will help increase your muscle mass and will steadily increase your metabolic health.
5. Mix Things Up with Interval Training
When you do your cardio, don’t just go at the same pace the entire time. While this is helpful to burn calories, your metabolism gets a real boost when you add sprints into your workout. Some studies have shown that you may reduce body fat faster if you work out for a shorter period of time, but you are incorporating intervals into your workout, you may lose weight faster than if you workout for longer, but at a constant pace.
6. Add More Protein to Your Diet
Protein is important because, in comparison to other energy providers such as carbohydrates or fat, it takes longer for your body to fully digest it. This will help you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Protein helps keep you energized and helps decrease cravings. Also, it boosts your thermogenesis. Protein also helps increase your muscle mass, which as discussed earlier boosts your metabolic rate.
7. Don’t Forget to Eat Some Fish
When we want you to add some protein to your diet, we want to make sure that fish is included. Fish is full of healthy and satisfying omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are known to send triggers to your brain to help you feel fuller for longer. This will help lower your calorie intake and help you feel energized throughout the day.
8. Drink More Water
Drinking at least 48 ounces of cold water a day has also been found to help boost your Resting Metabolic Rate. When you drink cold water, the body will need to use energy in order to bring the water up to your body temperature. It has been estimated that drinking this much water a day could boost your Resting Metabolic Rate about 50 additional calories daily. That can make a huge difference over the course of time, helping increase weight loss and it will improve your metabolic health as a whole.
9. Put Down the Bottle
While a drink every once in a while is okay, drinking too much can greatly decrease your metabolic rate. Drinking up to 2 martinis can decrease your metabolic rate up to 73% because your body begins to use alcohol as fuel rather than the fat and other calories that your body should be using as fuel. Simply be careful about how much alcohol you consume and don’t overdo it.
10. Get a Full Night’s Sleep
Sleeping has found to have a profound influence on your metabolic health. When you are sleep deprived, your entire metabolic system is thrown out of balance. This is due to the fact that your sleep contributes to your body’s glucose regulation, which is thrown out of balance when you do not get a full night’s rest. This makes it more difficult for your body to metabolize your glucose leading to weight gain. Also, your sleep impacts your hormone levels as well, which have a great impact on your metabolic health. A number of studies have shown an increase in cortisol levels in evening after just a single night of sleep deprivation.
Valuing Your Metabolic Health and Starting Your Fitness Journey
As we discussed earlier, there is never going to be a quick fix to improve your metabolic health and it’s not going to just improve overnight. Improving your metabolic health is a lifetime commitment, but you need to start your journey today. It’s important to understand where you are starting from so that you understand where changes need to be made in your life. This is why body composition tests and RMR analysis tests are so important. Once you fully understand your body, you can begin to create a fitness plan that improves your metabolic health and helps you reach your fitness goals. Your fitness journey is never over. It is about finding the right balance of food, exercise, and other health factors to create a body that is balanced and healthy than that you will love for the rest of your life.