Wouldn’t it just be great if we could all have fast metabolisms forever? Whether you have what seems to be the world’s slowest metabolism, or maybe you’re like me and worried that it’s just about to start catching up to you- it’s something a lot of us think about! I may not be able to hand you the metabolism of a teenager on a platter, but there are a few things that you can keep in check to make sure your metabolism keeps moving!
Amp up your training! Including interval training or adding more intense workouts a few days a week, will add to something called post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is basically when your body keeps working after you’re done exercising to return back to normal levels. During this time your body is still working harder than normal and burning calories! The more intense your workout is, the longer EPOC is going to last. So maybe stray from your nice walk every now and again.
Lift Weights. You may not see a huge change in your metabolism by just lifting weights once, but over the course of the year your metabolism can be increased by small increments. Lifting weights alters body composition from fat tissues, to lean muscle tissues- which raises resting metabolic rate, and therefore calorie burn by small amounts. Not to mention gives you nice and toned muscles.
Add in Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are good for a variety of purposes- heart health, low cholesterol, low blood pressure, and metabolism! Insulin is what takes in and stores blood sugar; but by adding Omega 3’s into the system, insulin in the bloodstream is reduced. I recommend adding it into your diet rather than adding in supplements (2-3 times a week is perfect). Excess Omega 3’s can promote excess bleeding- internally and externally, so consult your doctor about proper amounts when it comes to supplementation.
Green Tea? Aside from boasting incredible antioxidants, in a new small study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who took green tea along with their meals as opposed to no green tea, increased overall energy expenditure by an average of 4.5%. Basically if you’re consuming 1,500 calories, that’s about a 60 calorie burn. Not much, but every little bit counts!
Maintain calories! This is when everyone asks….”wait what?” Some people think that to lose weight they need to just not eat much at all. It just so happens that when we drop our diets below what’s necessary for our resting metabolic rate (or whatever energy we would expend just laying in bed all day- i.e. for me, 5’8” 130 lbs, that’s around 1500 calories)- our body goes into starvation mode. Thinking it needs to protect what’s left in the system, metabolism slows to a crawl. Keep eating throughout the day, and give your body what it needs!
Snack instead of gorge! Since you’re going to keep eating now that you read #5, it is best to eat in smaller amounts more times a day, than to gorge yourself only three. When you eat a huge meal, and then don’t eat for hours, and then gorge again, your body goes through huge insulin spikes. Whereas with small, grazing snacks, your body can maintain more of a normal level or insulin and blood sugar! I try to go for six smaller meals a day. Plus since I love eating, so it’s awesome because I get to eat more often.
Don’t forget breakfast! My mom always told me this as a kid, and it turns out she was right! Starting off the day, getting your body and systems moving is a good idea. If you don’t feed your body and your cells after the whole night of mini hibernation, what is your body going to do? Once again, think it’s in starvation mode. It’s true, our bodies are so nice and thoughtful to us when we don’t eat, they know to slow your metabolism down to help you survive! So feed your body after that night of starvation, and it will be even nicer to you, by bringing that metabolism back up!
That’s all I got! So, please don’t think you are going to lose a ton of weight doing these things. But adding these smaller things into your habits is relatively easy, and so good for you! It’s good to pair exercise with these nice things, as we learn to better take care of our bodies. I want to encourage you, you’re doing a great thing by taking steps daily to be kinder to your body. Keep doing it, your body is worth every ounce of kindness.
Keep up all your hard work,
PK Fitness Program Coordinator