What exactly is our metabolism, we hear you say? Good question. In its simplest form metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that take place in the body that turn calories to energy. We need this process to take place in order to breath, move, work out – do anything. Metabolisms start to slow as we get older, which in turn means that we store fat more easily but there are ways in which we can give it a boost by what we eat and how we live. Here are our top 8 game-changing habits that will boost your metabolism!
Maximise Your Workout
Ever feel like you’re working super hard at the gym, but just aren’t feeling the benefits you think you should? This could be down to not working-out efficiently enough. Next time, try interval training, which makes you consume more oxygen, resulting in a higher metabolic rate. As Mark Hyman, MD explains; “The next time you run, swim, or even walk, ramp up the intensity for 30-second intervals, returning to your normal speed afterwards. Using this strategy will help you consume more oxygen and make your cell powerhouses – the mitochondria, work harder to burn energy”. Another metabolism-boosting workout is strength training, which Gary Hunter, PHD, a professor of Human Studies at the University of Alabama, states doing this just a few times a week can reverse 50% of the seemingly inevitable metabolism slow-down that comes with age.
Make A New Morning Ritual
One thing we are loving at the moment is brewing a cup of Pukka Herbs’s new Lean Matcha Green tea before our morning workout. Tea might not feel like a natural pre-workout drink but this new blend is the perfect way to boost your workout and fire up your metabolism. Containing green and oolong tea as well as spices and herbs like cinnamon, ginger and fennel this tea works at increasing fat burning, igniting your metabolism and it will also aid digestion and control your blood sugar levels too. It’s a quadruple treat!
No a fan of hot drinks? No worries! You can enjoy it during or after your workout cold-brewed! To top it all off, Pukka’s Lean Matcha Green is made with all-natural and organic, sustainably sourced ingredients. This is definitely a ritual we’re planning on sticking with! Pukka Lean Matcha Green costs £2.79 for a box of 20 tea bags, available from Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stores nationwide.
Be An Ice Queen
Try exercising in the cold – an easy one if you happen to live in the UK! It may sound unpleasant, but it has quite a few benefits, as well as boosting your metabolism, it has been known to also lower blood sugar. Taking cold showers will jump-start your metabolism too and will leave your hair and skin shining, plus just think of your energy bills!
Our favourite metabolism-bosting superfoods include pineapple, simply because this delicious fruit takes a significant amount of energy to burn, whilst providing you with essential nutrients at the same time. Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit are also amazing, due to their vitamin C content which helps metabolize fat faster. Chillies are also great for raising our metabolism, so make sure you aren’t just feeling the burn in the gym, but add them to your meals too! Omega-3s are also fantastic, they balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, which in turn helps to regulate metabolism. Besides the obvious oily fish option, flaxseed oil, walnuts and winter squashes are good sources of Omega-3.
Power Up with Protein
Studies have shown that people who follow a high-protein diet burn twice as many calories after a meal as people who follow a high-carbohydrate diet. In addition, eating protein helps to preserve muscle mass during weight loss, keeping metabolism running at full speed. Besides the obvious choice of meat, nutrient-dense quinoa, lentils and eggs are all great high-protein options. We love lentils thrown into chillies and curries to provide a yummy dose of protein.
Cut The Trans Fats
This one may seem obvious, but put that Krispy Kreme down! Trans fats physically bind themselves to fat and liver cells which slows our metabolism right down. Consuming trans fats can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, which can both wreak havoc on our metabolic rate.
Do not cut your calorie intake down, especially if you’re exercising. Just ensure that when you do fill up, you do so on nourishing, tasty, whole-foods. Professor Hunter, lecturer of the University of Alabama explains that a common mistake people make when they believe their metabolism is slow is to slash their calorie intake. But this can actually have an adverse effect, due to our metabolism then going into ‘survival mode’ and so it stops fat-burning, in order to conserve energy. It is also important to graze throughout the day, to keep your metabolism regulated and fired up. So try eating every two and half hours or so – (we don’t need telling twice!).
Ditch The Pesticides
As well as hosting a bunch of health-harming factors, the chemicals found on non-organic produce also stop your metabolism- by interfering with your thyroid. Your thyroid is the body’s thermostat and determines its metabolic speed. We totally get that buying organic is more expensive, but your body will thank you for it, honest!