Many of us find ourselves with desk jobs that require us to spend the majority of our days sitting in front of a computer. Unfortunately, this has led many of us to live a less-than-healthy lifestyle. If this is you, the good news is that there are ways you can boost your metabolism naturally to help reduce the side effects of putting your body on the back burner.
1. Don’t skip breakfast
While you may think you’re reducing a few pounds by skipping breakfast, it actually has the opposite effect on your metabolism. Your body’s metabolic rate is at its highest in the morning and starts to decline as the day progresses. Research has shown that skipping breakfast will in fact cause you to gain weight. Whether you prefer granola, oatmeal or even just a plain yoghurt, you need to eat something at the start of your day.
2. Eat more protein
When you eat protein-heavy foods such as low-fat cheese, lean meats, chicken and egg whites, the hormone glucagon is released in response. Essentially, this means more fat is burned and more weight is lost the more you eat protein.
3. Stop eating refined grains
Food products made from refined grains such as many processed breads, pasta, and cakes cause people to over-secrete the hormone insulin. Insulin has the opposite effect of glucagon. Essentially, when the body consumes too many of the wrong types of carbohydrates, such as those refined white sugar and/or white flour, excess insulin is secreted to handle the sugar. Ultimately, excess insulin results in excess fat.
4. Drink green tea
Instead of having your morning cup of coffee, choose to consume green tea instead. Green tea has many healthy benefits from helping to fight diseases such as cancer and heart disease to aiding in weight loss. Studies show that the antioxidants found in green tea help increase fat burning. Research has also shown that green tea may lower blood sugars by inhibiting enzymes that allow the absorption of starches, and it may reduce the absorption of fat from the intestine.
5. Eat lots of fish
Fish such as salmon, herring and tuna are rich with omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation which help to regulate metabolism. If you don’t like eating fish, fear not, you can still get your Omega-3s by consuming flaxseed oil, walnuts or eggs fortified with omega-3s.
6. Build some muscle
Muscle not only weighs more than fat, but it uses more energy. The average woman in her 30s who strength trains 30 to 40 minutes, twice per week for a minimum of four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day.
7. Cut down on the trans fats
You’ve been warned about the dangers of trans fats, but do you know what they actually do to your body? One of the most detrimental aspects of trans fats is that they slow down the body’s ability to burn fat. Eating foods that are heavy in trans fats - such as fried foods, packaged cookies, cakes and coffee creamers - can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation. Both of these lower metabolism and can cause weight gain.
8. Choose organic
Eating organic produce grown without pesticides keep your metabolism running at full throttle because they don’t expose your thyroid to toxins. Nonorganic produce blocks your metabolism by interfering with your thyroid.
9. Use olive oil
It may seem strange, but some oil actually helps you lose weight. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which is considered a “smart fat.” Not only does olive oil lower your cholesterol and improve your cardiovascular health, but they are also more likely to be burned as fuel.
10. Limit your alcohol consumption
Thinking of having a pint or two before dinner? Having a drink before a meal causes people to eat approximately 200 calories more during their meal. Drinking with dinner should also be a no-no as research has found that the body burns off alcohol first. This means the calories in the rest of the meal are more likely to be stored as fat.