Now that we’re through December and heavy holiday foods have left us feeling bloated and sluggish, it’s time to figure out how to get back into the swing of things. If you’ve set New Year’s intentions that include healthier eating and more activity, then beginning with a kick start to your metabolism can help make the difference to living your intentions well.
These are some of our favourite ways to get your metabolism back into gear:
1. Stay Satiated
Even if you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds that appeared over the holidays, staying fairly full is key to your success in managing your metabolism and your weight. Eat slowly, until you’re about 90% full, and then stop. This will allow you to determine if you really do need more sustenance or if you’re just eating out of habit. Even if you’re aiming to reduce your caloric intake, starving will only make your metabolism slower as it tries to store the limited energy its being provided with; that’s the opposite of our goal.
2. Commit to Breakfast
It’s not surprising that those who don’t eat breakfast often gain more weight over time. That’s because those who skip this meal tend to make up for it (and more) by overeating at lunch, snack times, and dinner. After a good night’s rest, your body is primed to accept the fuel it needs to move through the day. In fact, it needs more fuel because your metabolism has gone hours in resting mode! Try a breakfast that’s high in protein, has some complex carbohydrates and a bit of fat to jumpstart your metabolism and keep you satisfied until lunch time.
3. Up That H20
Whether it be via water or broth based soups, giving your body quality fluids is essential to having a well-hydrated metabolism. Water helps keep nutrients flowing into your cells, carries toxins out of your body, and is key to a happy digestive system. It also keeps you feeling full and can help you burn more calories by keeping your metabolism higher over time! Moreover, the extra nutrients found in broth based soups are ‘soup-er’ ways of digesting much needed vitamins and minerals with minimal taxing of the digestive system. And, after a season of indulgence, that’s something from which we can all benefit!
4. Add Tea or Coffee
The antioxidants and small amounts of caffeine found in black, green, and white tea as well as coffee, are beneficial to revving up your metabolism and keeping it chugging along healthily. One or two cups a day can provide the most beneficial amounts without going overboard. Even better, adding herbal teas such as fennel, mint, or ginger tea post-meal can assist your digestion processes, helping meals to settle better and digest more easily without the added caffeine.
5. Spice Is Extra Nice
Studies show that adding spicy hot peppers or hot pepper sauces to your meals can help to increase your metabolism! The thermogenic properties of peppers and capsaicin, a compound in chilies can temporarily increase your body temperature, helping it to burn more calories in short bursts of time. So, try adding some extra spice to those soups or other foods!
6. Include Intervals
Any form of exercise can be bolstered with the addition of the short bursts of cardiovascular activity also known as ‘Interval Training’. Adding in 2-5 minute bursts of jumping jacks, skipping, or burpees seem like ‘in the moment’ kick starts but they’re all great ways of building long lasting metabolism increases.
7. Turn Down Stress
It’s been long understood that high levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, can result in a slowed metabolism and eventual weight gain. The opposite is also true; by turning down the stress in our lives we can help our brains, hormones, and bodies relax, a natural reboot for metabolism.
8. Stimulate Your Stomach
If you consistently experience symptoms like heaviness after a meal, acid reflux, bloating, food allergies, undigested food in stool, flatulence, or even nausea after taking supplements, you might be suffering from low stomach acid which, in turn, can result in lowered metabolism. Stomach acid or HCL (hydrochloric acid) is a core requirement to digest effectively and is one of the essential building blocks to a well-functioning metabolism. Try stimulating your stomach acid with beneficial celery juice and see how much better you feel.
9. Excel With Enzymes
Sometimes there are particular foods that make us feel sluggish, heavy, bloated, or uncomfortable. In that case it might be time to consider digestive enzymes which help break down food to make it more digestible and the nutrients within it more absorbable. Try adding enzyme rich foods like fermented foods, papaya (which contains papain), pineapple (which contains bromelain), mango (which contains amylase), and honey (multiple enzymes). Interested in supplements instead? Look for the ones that help with your food difficulties: protease for proteins, amylase for help with carbohydrates, lipase for help digesting fats, cellulase for breaking down fiber, and maltase to help convert complex sugars from grains into glucose.
10. Sleep Soundly
The quality of your sleep doesn’t just affect your moods and alertness, it also has a profound effect on your metabolic state because deep REM sleep is the body’s time for rest and repair; this includes how the body manages stress hormones, blood sugar levels, and growth hormones, all of which play critical roles in our metabolism. We’re still learning much more about how important consistent sleep and rest are for our health, but what we do know for sure is that a sleep-deprived body is slower and more lethargic which means weight management is harder. So if you choose just one of these tips to follow, make it to get more sleep, more often!
Looking for personalized assistance in maintaining a healthy metabolism? We can help you navigate this and provide you with a fully customized plan for your better health. To book your appointment call us at (905) 257-5888 or book a Naturopathic appointment on the
To your good health,
Dr. Lisa Vecchi, ND