So how do we increase metabolism? Let’s start with the basics. Metabolism is the process in which some substances (in this case, foods) are broken down to provide energy for the body. Your rate of metabolism influences how many calories your body can burn. Age, diet and nutrition, activity level, and overall health help determine your metabolism rate. Here are several things you can do to increase your metabolism.
Getting your body “started” with a healthy breakfast will increase energy and your metabolism. It is important to get that jump-start in the morning to give your body energy to perform the many tasks you need it to undertake everyday. Think of it as a car – you can’t drive without gas! So don’t “run” your body without food!
Increase Muscle Mass
Muscle tissue burns more fat than fat tissue even at rest, so weight bearing exercise is beneficial to increasing metabolism. Exercises involving free weights, weight machines or elastic tubing help build muscle tissue. Also exercises that use your own body weight can increase your muscle mass. These exercises are also beneficial in overall fitness such as running, walking or calisthenics.
Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Eating smaller meals more frequently can increase your level of metabolism. Your body craves fuel (i.e. food). It likes to have different foods that can provide it with the energy it needs to perform all the tasks we require of it everyday. Again, starting out with breakfast and eating snacks in the mid morning and late afternoon along with lunch and dinner provide your body with plenty of food to help increase your body’s metabolism rate.
Eating foods that are as natural and fresh as possible make for the best fuel for your body. Processed foods tend to have chemicals and additives that may result in a decreased metabolism because they tend to be sugary and are often fried. Since these foods require minimal energy, they are sent into storage instead of being used for fuel or energy.
So a piece of fruit, some fresh cut vegetables or a piece of lean protein makes for the perfect snack. Make sure your meals include a protein, a carbohydrate (such as a sweet potato) and a good source of fat such as olive oil, almonds, corn or soy.
Increase Your Workouts
Adding additional time in the gym or doing things you enjoy that burn calories is a good way to increase your metabolism. The more active you are, the happier your body will be. The body is like a machine. It craves to be active and doing things to keep it strong and running well. It is often the limits of our daily lives that condition our bodies to do less. This condition can be reversed. If you are not working out currently, get started. Take a walk around your neighborhood after dinner, take the train instead of driving in to work if you can or join a local tennis, swim or basketball team or league.
Working out doesn’t have to be something you do because you have to; it can also be fun! Just get started! And remember, I’m pulling for you!