Your metabolism is something that fluctuates with age and health. The choices you make can be huge factors in how that fluctuation works!
I recently saw a guy wearing a t-shirt that said, “I’m not fat, I’m just big-boned.” That may be politically correct, but as a chiropractic doctor where my job requires me to know all about bones, I can only say I’m sorry; bones don’t jiggle.
In chiropractic school, a couple of my courses required human dissection. On the first day of class, we had to choose the cadaver we were going to work with that semester. One of my classmates selected the largest one available thinking that the organs and skeleton would be larger by the same ratio. As we got into the dissecting, he was really disappointed to discover that in reality, he had to spend a lot more time and work getting through the layers of fat tissue to get to the average-sized internals. There were no big bones or big organs.
When it comes to weight, it’s not our bones that are the problem. If it was, we couldn’t do anything about it. The reality is, in most cases, the problem is our metabolism, and we can do something about that. So, let’s take a look at what we can do about our metabolism.
Metabolism refers to the number of calories our body assimilates and burns each day to maintain life. How easily we gain or lose weight is very individual, and though it is definitely influenced by heredity, there are some common factors that have a major impact on this process. There are a number of things besides genetics that can make your metabolism more sluggish. Since I don’t know anyone that wants to slow down their metabolism, I will only mention these factors without much detail.
- Age. Things start slowing down after age forty
- Sedentary Lifestyle
- Scrimping on Calories and Skipping Meals
- Deficiency of Calcium or Iron
- Under Active Thyroid
- Sleep Deprivation
All of the above can hurt or slow down your metabolism. But even with hereditary issues, there are steps you can take to boost and turn up your metabolism.
Aerobic exercise increases metabolism in the short term, while strength training boosts it long term by as much as 50%. Muscles burn over 15 times more calories per day than fat. The more intense the workout, the more it resets your thermostat and the longer it lasts. 30 to 45 minutes, two to three times per week should be sufficient.
Eating Smaller Meals More Often
Eating smaller meals more often helps avoid insulin spikes, cravings, and overeating. Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast jumps starts your metabolism and keeps it going. Four out of five people that lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast. Skipping meals can cause the body to go into starvation mode which slows down metabolism to conserve fuel. One study found that people who skipped breakfast were 5X more likely to be obese
Eat Plenty of High-Quality Protein
Protein digests slowly and requires up to 25% more energy in the process. Protein helps build muscle, which burns more calories, even when you're resting.
Drink Plenty of Water
A University of Utah study found that a dehydrated person burns 2% fewer calories. At a minimum drink 1 glass of water before each meal.
Consume plenty of high-quality Omega 3
Omega 3 is important in balancing blood sugar and regulating metabolism.
Keep High-Energy Company
People who have close friends who are high energy and practice metabolism boosting habits “inherit” these qualities, and, of course, the reverse is also true. So watch who you hang-out with, it’s contagious.
Thus, if you want to rev up your metabolism, you need to hydrate, consume plenty of low calories, high protein foods, build muscle, and keep moving.