Do you feel like your metabolism is stuck? Been trying to lose a few extra kgs but with no luck? Don't worry it happens to the best of us! The good news is that there are ways to get around this.
So here are a few tips on how to turn your body into a calorie burning machine!
1. Eat more not less.
My oh my, if I had a penny for each time I had to try talk someone into eating more to speed up their metabolism I'd be RICH. If eating X amount of calories isn’t helping you lose weight, the standard thinking is that you need to trim that number back even further, right? Wrong. Eating too little triggers a hormonal reaction in which your body starts to burn fewer calories and stores away more of them as fat. But when you eat a lot of nutrient-dense food, your body relaxes, realizes the emergency has passed and starts burning fat for fuel again. There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendation for how many calories you should be eating for optimal weight loss. It’s individualized based on things like your age, activity level and even previous dieting history.
2. Not all calories are created equally.
Weight loss isn’t just about how much food you eat. It’s also about what kind. A diet that is heavy in refined carbs and sugar can spike micronutrient deficiencies, which can lead to metabolic dysfunction. That’s why it’s so important to stick mainly with whole, minimally processed foods. That means lean proteins and plenty of nonstarchy veggies, healthy fats and complex carbs. They’re rich in nutrients that feed your metabolic processes, helping your body burn calories more effectively.
3. Make snacks part of your plan.
If you tend to reach for cookies and crisps in between meal then you need to prepare yourself for these moments of weakness. Snacking strategically on wholesome foods keeps your metabolism revved — so you keep burning fat all day long. Try to space your meals and snacks out so you’re fueling up every two to four hours (except when you’re sleeping, of course). That might look like breakfast at 7:00 a.m., a snack at 10:00 a.m., lunch at 1:00 p.m., another snack at 4:00 p.m. and dinner at 7:00 p.m. Raw nuts, fresh fruit or veggies and nitrate-free jerky are all good choices. If you are not a snacker then well done you! You can just focus on your main meals!
4. Pump up the protein.
Of all the food groups, lean protein might be the most important for weight loss. It delivers the amino acids that your body needs to build and repair muscle tissue — which is crucial for keeping your metabolism running at top speed, Pomroy says. So you should never skimp. In general, you should aim to have four to five ounces of protein at each meal. (Lean ground turkey, boneless, skinless chicken breast, tuna and salmon are good choices.) And try to pair proteins with green veggies whenever possible. They contain alkalizing compounds that work with the protein to promote a speedy metabolism.
5. Carbs are not the enemy.
Yes, protein is really, really important. But that doesn’t mean that carbs can never pass your lips again. The key is sticking with complex carbs (like brown rice, sweet potatoes or chickpeas), which deliver fiber to slow digestion and keep you full and energized for longer. Also, don’t just have them whenever the mood strikes. Use a systematic rotation of targeted foods, including carbs on specific days at specific times to maximize weight loss. For instance, having carbs with breakfast can give you an energy boost by raising your blood sugar after not eating all night.
6. Don't stress.
Nonstop worrying doesn’t just wear you out. It can actually get in the way of your weight loss. When you feel stressed, your adrenal glands start pumping out the hormone cortisol. That’s not a big deal if it only happens temporarily. But if you’re chronically stressed or anxious, your cortisol levels will stay elevated. As a result, your body goes into fat-storage mode so that it’s ready for a crisis.
I also like to start my day with a glass of warm water and lemon and end my day with hot water with cinnamon and honey. Oh, and drink loads of water during the day!
Happy Healthy Living,