5 Ways to speed up your Metabolism!
Updated: Jun 9
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When most people think of metabolism, they simply think of how fast the body burns calories. This is true, but it’s FAR from the complete picture! The metabolism is a major health marker! The function of our metabolism is a reflection of overall health. Many people also falsely assume that their metabolism is purely a genetic trait, and cannot be altered. The metabolism can be altered! The way we eat, sleep and move determines our metabolism!
If you’re looking to speed up your metabolism, here are 5 Ways to do that!
This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it, because at one point in my life, I needed to hear it! Eat enough food! You cannot have a burning hot, fast metabolism without eating plenty of calories! A grown woman typically needs a minimum of 2,000, and a man probably needs about 2,500! Unsure, how many calories are you eating? Track your calories for a few days just to see. Many people, women especially, under-eat without realizing it. I just recently did this. Just out of curiosity, I entered all my calories into a tracker for the day and discovered I had only consumed 1,200! That is FAR too few! Of course, I went immediately and had a large snack.
Food is fuel for our body. It’s that simple. Fueling our body is vitally important, and without adequate fuel, the metabolism will slow way way down.
Skipped breakfast? Your metabolism will slam on the breaks because your body needs to conserve the energy it does have. Eating keto? Same thing. Our body needs protein, fats, AND carbohydrates to function! When the body does not have the fuel it needs, it will begin producing more and more stress hormones, just to keep things functioning. You may feel great after you skip breakfast one morning! That’s because your body dumped a load of cortisol into your system to keep things running. This is NOT healthy in the long run. It puts a huge drain on our adrenal glands which can lead to a whole other host of health issues (hormonal imbalances, mineral deficiencies, and even thyroid issues).
To give your metabolism and your body time to adjust, increase your calories slowly, over the course of a few weeks, or months. Listen to your body. I used to skip breakfast. When I began eating breakfast, I found that eating a regular size meal was too much for me. Any more than about 350 calories left me feeling slightly sick like I had overeaten. Even increasing your calories slowly, you’re likely to gain a bit of weight. Don’t freak out and cut your calories! A little weight gain is normal and is not difficult to lose later on, (if you actually need to lose weight). See my post here for how to lose weight eating a pro-metabolic diet.
2. Focus on High-Quality Foods
Eating the right foods is just as important as eating enough food. Today, much of the food on the grocery store shelves is highly processed with added seed oils, colorants, and preservatives. Our fruits and veggies are genetically modified and sprayed with pesticides. The animals that produce meat and dairy live in terrible conditions and are fed a steady diet of G.M.O., corn, and soy, and then given antibiotics and hormones to keep them growing and live long enough to slaughter.
It. is. a. mess.
As I’m sure you can imagine, the food I described above is not good for us. Again, food is fuel, and so we need to be putting good food in our bodies! Try to buy organic or straight from the farmer (with good farming practices). Meats should be from healthy animals, with diets appropriate for their species (not corn and soy). Cows are ruminants, therefore grass-fed beef is the best. Chickens are foragers, so look for free-range chicken. Try and buy organic. Grow it yourself! See my article here for 5 Vegetables to Grow to Reduce your Grocery Bill.
There’s a LOT to say about this topic of eating high-quality foods! Instead of cramming it all here in this little blog post, I’m going to direct you toward the best resources I’ve found. See my post here for 5 books that led me to an ancestral diet. And see my post here for what is an ancestral diet.
3. Keep blood sugar balanced
Again, food is fuel, and the body needs steady fuel to run efficiently. Steady fuel for the body means balanced blood sugar. The key to balancing blood sugar is to eat a balanced meal or snack regularly (every 2-4 hours). A balanced meal/snack includes both a carb and a protein. Fat is also necessary, but most of the time, there is plenty of fat in the carb or protein to suffice.
See my post here for 5 pro-metabolic snacks! I keep snacks in my desk drawer, car, and bag! The snacks I keep are whole foods, and bio-available.
Do NOT drink coffee on an empty stomach in the morning. This spikes stress hormones while keeping blood sugar low. Do NOT eat keto or intermittent fast! These are two other fad diets that do not promote stable blood sugar. Women especially need carbs.
4. Stick to a good sleep schedule
A good sleep schedule is recommended by everyone, but is so often overlooked! The body must feel safe for the metabolism to run hot. Creating safety in the body means the body must be well-rested. Shoot for 7-8 hours a night, but listen to your body. Feel fatigued after only 8, try to go to bed really early for a few nights or sleep in a bit later to get more sleep.
Be consistent with your sleep schedule. Create a good nighttime routine to help you wind down for bed and fall asleep. Limit blue light in the evenings. Switch out your bulbs for red lights, or try some blue light-blocking glasses. Despite what you may have heard, don’t skip that bedtime snack! If you’re hungry, eat! When you go to bed for the night, you’re entering into a 7-8 fast. No reason to prolong that by not eating in the evening.
5. Strength train
Strength training is THE exercise to speed up your metabolism! It is so so good for you body! The purpose of strength training is to build muscle.
The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism runs. It’s that simple. Of course, to build muscle, you must be eating enough food. If you’re in a caloric deficit (meaning you burn more calories daily than you consume), your body will have a HARD time building and maintaining muscle.
Other forms of exercise such as cardio and HIIT are fine overall, but not actually metabolically supportive. Running for example actually slows down the metabolism. Most runners have low resting heart rates. This is a huge indicator of a slow metabolism! Running for a long distance is a stress on the body. When the body is stressed, it’s going to do anything possible to conserve energy. The more runners run, the easier it gets. The body adapts and slows down the metabolism to conserve energy. I’m not saying you should not run if that’s what you enjoy, BUT if you’re running to be healthy and/or lose weight, you will find much higher success in strength training to build muscle!
Eating a pro-metabolic diet should really be just normal eating, but in today’s world of processed food and fad diets, we need a name for this kind of eating. A healthy metabolism is dependent on the safety that the body feels. That’s a strange sentence. In other words, the body must feel safe in order to run a hot metabolism. The body needs plenty of high-quality fuel and adequate nutrients in order to feel safe. The body needs rest and muscle. Eating to speed up your metabolism is eating to support your body and overall health!
Did you learn anything from this article? Let me know in the comments!