Sometimes it can feel like you’re doing everything you can to lose weight: you make it to the gym regularly, you eat healthily and only allow yourself the occasional treat, and you nearly always take the stairs instead of the elevator. So why is it that the excess weight doesn’t seem to shift as fast as you’d expect considering all the effort you put in? Well, your metabolism could hold the answer to that particular conundrum! So, without further ado, let’s take a look at five simple things that anyone can do to kick start a stubborn metabolism.
The spice of life
Surprisingly, your kitchen cupboard may hold the answer to boosting your metabolism: spice - in particular chili and cayenne peppers. Your metabolism is given a helping hand by something called thermogenic expenditure – and consuming cayenne pepper increases this considerably. Other benefits of spicing up your meals include a curbing of the appetite as well as an increase in fat oxidation, which is good for burning fat.
Like cayenne, caffeine also helps rev up your metabolism and increases fat oxidation. Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s also good for getting you pumped before your workout or gym class. Of course, you can get your caffeine fix from your regular cup of coffee, but if you’re not a coffee drinker or the thought of downing a mug before you hit the gym leaves you feeling a little queasy, drink green or oolong tea instead. Not only do they contain caffeine but they’re also packed with powerful antioxidants. Best of all these will continue raising your metabolic rate for a couple of hours after you drink them.
Catch more zzz’s
If you’re not getting enough sleep your body can have serious issues regulating both your hormones and your metabolism – something that happens once you’ve nodded off for the night. If you’re suffering from a lack of, or from poor quality sleep, your insulin resistance may be depleted and you might find that you have an increased appetite. Therefore if you are one of those people who seem to spend more hours staring at the ceiling than you do happily snoozing in dreamland, it’s important that you find a remedy for your sleepless nights so that your metabolism is properly regulated.
The salad days
Actually, we’re not just talking about loading up at the salad bar; any fruit and vegetables that have a high content of potassium are great for anyone wanting to kick a sluggish metabolism into gear. Studies have shown an undeniable link between eating fruits and veggies that are rich in potassium and a higher lean body mass percentage. Why potassium? It’s thought that it can lower the body’s acidity which is caused by a typically American diet. Acid can cause bloating, inflammation and imbalance; all of which mean we’re not running at our peak performance - which in turn has a detrimental effect on our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Become more intense
No we’re not suggesting you become brooding and overbearing – we’re hinting that you should take your training to the next level and incorporate HIIT into your workout routine. High Intensity Interval Training has been proven to be more effective at burning fat than a steady rate of cardio. HIIT will get your heart racing, will challenge your body by keeping it guessing, and ensures that you expend more energy for longer once you’ve finished working out. And yes, you’ve guessed it – that keeps your metabolism ticking over nicely.
So you see, if you’re despairing of being able to shift those last few pounds or you’re fed up of not seeing any change when you look in the mirror despite all your hard work and clean living, your metabolism might be at fault. Take it to task by implementing one or all of the above ideas into your lifestyle and you may well see a welcome change.
If you’re sick of hearing yourself playing the “I have a low metabolism” card, talk to us today. We are always happy to advise you on ways to become a better you, whether that’s through nutrition, working out or just good, sound advice.