It's Never Too Late To Boost Your Metabolism
You may not have inherited a fast metabolism like your best friend, but there’s still good news: You can trick your body into having a faster metabolism, simply by following a few easy rules. According to Gary Hunter, PhD, professor of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, you can take control of your metabolism slowing down due to age—and actually reverse 50 percent of the slow-down—simply by doing activities such as strength training twice a week.
Kick up the intensity. Instead of trudging along slowly on the treadmill or stair-stepper, add intensity to your workouts in short bursts, or intervals. Not only will the time go by faster, you will force your body to take in more oxygen and work harder to burn energy. According to Mark Hyman, MD, an integrative and functional medicine specialist in private practice in Lenox, Massachusetts, “you increase the number of mitochondria and how efficiently they burn throughout the day." This in turn allows you to work out for a shorter period of time while boosting your metabolism.
Don’t forget your omega-3s. These fatty acids are essential for good health—and a faster metabolism. They help to regulate blood sugar and decrease inflammation, which does wonders for your metabolism. If you take them in supplement form, Hyman recommends taking 1,000 to 2,000 mg a day—and you can also get your daily dose from flaxseed oil, walnuts, and omega-3-fortified eggs. Since the best sources of omega-3s are seafood, wild Alaskan salmon, tuna, and herring might be good choices for your next grocery trip.
Hit the gym. For strength training, that is. A woman in her 30s that strength trains twice a week for at least 30 to 40 minutes can increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories every day. That means that after you finish a weightlifting session, you will continue to burn calories throughout the rest of the day.
Sip some tea. Sounds easy enough, right? According to researchers, dieters who drank green tea were able to lose more weight than the ones who skipped the tea altogether. This is due to green tea’s active (and metabolism-boosting) ingredient: Catechin. One study suggests drinking five eight-ounce cups every day to up your energy expenditure by about 90 calories every day. As a bonus, you’re getting a tremendous amount of antioxidants in each cup.
Watch your calories. But not in the way you might think—cutting too many calories can actually slow down your metabolism in the long run. Your body will back off on burning fat due to the lack of calories being distributed in order to conserve energy. If you are going to cut calories, it’s important to do it properly—your daily intake of calories should match your resting metabolic rate.
Post-exercise oxygen consumption. After a tough workout, your body might take some time to recover—and during this period of time, your body burns more calories than usual. However, if you’re in good shape, your body may replenish itself quickly enough to avoid this phenomenon—which means you’re not burning as many calories. According to Walt Thompson, PhD, professor of kinesiology and health and nutrition at Georgia State University, you can mend this by working out more often or with increased intensity.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.