Simply put—metabolism is the digestive process that turns food into fuel. This fuel is then used by your body to function—consider your hormones, bones, skin cells, nails, flesh, neurotransmitters, and organs—they all need energy.
The resting metabolic rate (RMR), a measure of metabolism, slows down by 2-3 percent each year after a woman turns 30 years of age—as a result of the natural aging process. Women who don’t take preventative measures to keep their RMR up will find themselves gaining weight (especially in the mid-section) and feeling sluggish.
But, don’t fret if you’re there already, it’s not all dire—there are many things you can do to reverse a slowing metabolism—and lose that excess weight. Follow the tips below to see how, with just a little effort, you can re-boost your metabolism and keep your body burning fat efficiently.
1. Schedule in regular exercise
Exercise doesn’t just burn calories—it actually changes your DNA to boost your metabolism immediately. Experts recommend up to an hour each session for 4 times a week to see these benefits. To make absolutely sure you squeeze in these sweat sessions, schedule them ahead of time. And if you include a friend during these sessions, you’ll be held even more accountable.
2. Strength training is crucial
Muscle is a fat-burning powerhouse, so always include a strength-training routine in your exercise sessions. Aim for 30 minutes of strength training each session: You can try a total-body workout circuit with weights to build muscle, or do a TRX workout to strengthen your muscles the next time you hit the gym.
3. But still, don’t neglect cardio
Yes, we’ve said for you to include strength training in your workouts, but at the same time we didn’t say to get rid of cardio. Cardio is crucial for keeping your metabolism running smoothly. In one study, researchers found that cyclers increased their metabolism for 14 hours after a tough one-hour workout.
If you do just three to four vigorous bouts of exercise per week for an hour each time (for argument’s sake, splitting it with half cardio and half strength training), you could lose a pound of fat every two weeks from the combination of calories expended during exercise plus what you burn afterward. The key point to takeaway is – you continue to burn calories while you’re resting, long after you’re done your workout – nice, isn’t it?
4. Always start your day with breakfast
After a long night of fasting, your body needs fuel to rev up its metabolism. Skipping breakfast can slow down your body’s ability to burn fat as it tries to conserve energy, so make sure you eat a healthy breakfast within an hour of waking up. But at the same time, don’t overeat to a point such that you’re looking for a morning nap right after. We like starting our day with a nice bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and bananas – simple and satisfying!
5. Don’t skip meals
You might think that passing on dinner would translate to a slimmer waistline, but it does just the opposite. Skipping meals can make your body think it’s starving so it stores extra calories instead of burning them. Eat up to six small meals a day to fend off hunger, keep blood-sugar levels steady, and help your metabolism function properly.
6. Finds ways to de-stress
Stress can do more than drive you crazy — it can actually slow down your digestion and thwart any goals of having a high metabolism. The stress hormone cortisol is to blame—when cortisol levels are too high, it inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat. So, take a few moments to breathe deeply or flow through a calming yoga sequence to keep your metabolism in check. If you’re not into yoga, we find aromatherapy massages help too.
7. If you’re short on time, do a quick, high intensity workout
Short on time? You can still fit in enough exercise to burn 200 calories. A recent study showed that a very short 2.5 minutes burst of intense exercise can lead to an after-burn of 200 calories throughout the day. So even if you don’t have time for a full workout, working up a sweat for a just few minutes is a lot better than nothing! What we like doing is as many air squats in good form as quickly as we can for a minute, rest 30 seconds and repeat that 3 times.
8. Eat a snack before you head to bed
This isn’t a joke. A 100- to 200-calorie bedtime snack will help keep your metabolism cranking so you burn more calories while you sleep!
9. Eat whole grains
Packed with fibre, whole grains such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, and millet fill you up more than other foods with the same number of calories. This doesn’t just leave you with less room for second helpings—high-fibre foods tend to be more difficult to chew, and when your mouth works harder, the act of eating in and of itself can burn up to 10 per cent more calories. That’s what I call pleasure eating.
10. Mix up your routine with intervals
If you log cardio at the same pace every day, you could be making better use of your time. Adding high-intensity intervals into your cardio will help burn more calories during each sweat session and in turn, help you achieve a high metabolism. And let’s not forget, make your workout more fun and less mundane.
11. Make your food spicy
Cayenne pepper is known for its pungent flavour and healing powers, but the spice can also boost your metabolism by increasing your body’s core temperature. Don’t worry about smothering your food in hot sauce—a small amount goes a long way. But if you’re feeling a little daring, try dipping your baked chicken breast in some habanero hot sauce.
12. Indulge with dark chocolate
Dark chocolate is a healthy dessert for many reasons. One of them: It can boost your metabolism, thanks to two of its ingredients: caffeine and the antioxidant catechin. Just make sure you stick to a small square a day so the sugar and calories don’t negate dark chocolate’s fat-burning potential.
13. Keep Things Simple
One of the biggest mistakes that many women make, which makes them fail to make changes, and thus lose weight is that they overcomplicate things.
With weight loss, often times, simplicity is best.
If you don’t know any proven diet system that can help you lose weight quickly, then I would strongly recommend you try what my girlfriends swear by—the 1-Week Diet program by Brian Flatt.
With the 1-Week Diet program, you lose weight by learning how to use your own body’s natural bio-chemistry to burn fat. You don’t lose weight like what fad diets tell you to—which is by adding more work and stress to your life with grueling cardio sessions, endless gym time, starving yourself and making yourself miserable.
The best part of the 1-Week Diet program is that you can lose weight without having to eat less food or eat food that taste like cardboard or choke down diet pills. You even get to eat the foods you love. All stress free.
The 1-Week Diet is entirely safe (and healthy), and it has to date helped 94,521 people lose up to pounds of pure unhealthy body fat in just 7 days.
If you want that proven diet system to lose weight quickly after enjoying some extra turkey during Thanksgiving and Christmas or whenever you go to a buffet, you should really give the 1-Week Diet a try.