Do you feel like you’re crushing your workouts, but the results aren’t what you expected?
Slow metabolism could be the culprit, but doesn’t have to destroy your weight loss goals. You can dramatically improve your metabolism and boost your energy levels without taking supplements.
Your metabolism is simply the conversion of food to energy by your body. It’s the biological process, by which energy is extracted from food and how fast – or slow – the body burns those calories.
Here’s the steps you can take to naturally improve your metabolism:
You should be drinking around 8 glasses of water daily, possibly more if you exercise regularly. It helps to increase your metabolism and flush out sodium, toxins and fat from your body. An added benefit, is drinking water before meals will help make you feel full and prevent overeating. Avoid sugary sodas and drinking coffee, teas and sugary juices in excess.
Eat Small Every 3 Hours
Eating smaller meals more frequently – about every three hours – will train your body that food is in abundance and it doesn’t need to conserve fuel. The meals and snacks should be balanced, with a complete protein, carbohydrates, as well as a little natural fat. Failing to eat consistently can lead to a slower metabolism and fat storage. Also, skipping the occasional meal will also slow down your metabolism. So, to jump-start fat loss you need to be eating the right foods all throughout the day.
Stop Skipping Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gets your metabolism going early. You wouldn’t drive to work on an empty tank, so don’t start your day without first fueling your body. A well balanced breakfast can set your metabolism for the rest of the day, as long as you continue to eat every 3 hours.
All fats aren’t created equal, and the good fats have developed a bad reputation. Many people think eating fat makes you fat, but this isn’t the whole story. The ‘type of fat’ and ‘how much fat’ you eat has a greater impact on body fat composition than just simply eating eat. Some fat is needed by your body and you’ll notice that people on a very low-fat diet have a harder time trimming body of fat. But choose wisely, natural healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and flax are the healthiest fats.
Be Active Daily
Stay active at least six days a week. This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym daily, but on days you’re not working out, choose to take the stairs when possible or park further away to get a little bit of extra movement in your day. The more movement you get daily, the better you’ll feel overall.
Cardio exercise is necessary for a healthy heart and lungs. Plus, it also burns calories. Getting in a cardio workout first thing in the morning – on an empty stomach – can help to reach the stored up fat in your body. It will also keep your body burning calories for about an hour after you’re finished. But keep in mind, as we discussed earlier, if you fail to eat adequately throughout the day, cardio first thing in the morning cardio on an empty stomach can work against you.
Another good option is a late evening cardio workout, after your last meal. This allows your body to burn calories, so you are not sleeping on them.
Blend some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), like this one, into your cardio workout to give your body and metabolism a good shock. The body is programmed to adapt to its surroundings. That means doing the same workout every day can become less effective over time. Take one or two days a week and implement some HIIT workouts to give the body a needed surprise.
Resistance training builds muscle, which is metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be. Period. Adding more lean muscle to your body will put curves in the right places and allow you to eat more calories each day. Unfortunately, many women skip the strength training in fear it will add too much bulk, but that’s just not the case.
Listen to Your Body
Lastly, killing yourself at the gym is just as dangerous for your body as not working out at all. Pay attention to how your body is feeling and make the proper adjustments to your daily routine, as necessary. Also, make sure you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily and don’t train if you’re sick or still incredibly sore from your last workout. This could lead to more problems than it solves.
If all else fails after 4 to 6 weeks, you could be an underlying problem, like a food allergy, thyroid issue, hormonal imbalance or something else altogether. If you think that might be the case, speak to a medical professional to help identify the cause.