Our metabolisms efficiency is important for weight management and maintaining our shape for life.
Our genetics determine the rate at which our metabolism churns every single day. As we age, our metabolism can take a step backwards. Most of us find this frustrating. However, if we pay attention to the signs that occur during our lifetime, we can alter our behaviours and habits to offset the slowing down of our metabolism. We may not get away with the same nutritional decisions in our 20’s, and a lot more care and consideration will have to go into our food and activity choices. Not all is lost, though. It doesn’t take much effort to manipulate our food and activity to start igniting our metabolism. But, once you know a few secrets, you will be well on your way to fighting flab as you age and keep the metabolism chugging away nicely.
If we can maintain this during our lifetime, we will always be lean, somewhat athletic and, of course — healthy! Let’s not underestimate how important a healthy lifestyle is for longevity and quality of life.
Here are 7 of the essential habits to adapt that keep our metabolism going strong.
Habit One: Lifting Weights
Lifting weights is one of my favourite exercises, and I’d like all of you ladies reading this to embrace the powerful benefits of weight training in your life.
Think of muscle in this aspect — it’s metabolically active tissue.
That tissue uses calories to repair and grow every time you use it. So the more you use it, the more it grows.
Muscle regenerates when you are at rest — meaning that even when you’re sitting on the couch, muscle is still using calories.
So suppose you think about muscle as one of the main benefits in your body that require calories every day.
In that case, you will be a lot more enthusiastic about lifting weights regularly and maintaining that precious muscle. In addition, lifting weights will see you as a slim, strong and healthy individual well into old age.
Habit Two: Being active throughout the day
Unfortunately, too many of us lead a sedentary lifestyle.
First, we go to work — sit down, then go home and do the same thing.
Standing, walking, and even shuffling about can burn extra calories per day.
Instead of using the phone or email, how about getting up and having a conversation with someone?
What about walking to and from work instead of sitting in peak hour traffic?
This is what we call “Incidental Exercise”, and it’s very effective in altering your caloric burn rate during the day and igniting your metabolism consistently.
It all leads up to weight loss and maintenance during your lifetime.
Habit Three: Drink coffee (or caffeine beverages)
Drinks like coffee and green tea can boost your metabolism and promote fat burning.
However, a surprising piece of research I found when writing this is that the effect of coffee as a fat-burning strategy works better for lean women than those who are obese (1).
Drinking a few cups of coffee and green tea during the day can contribute to weight loss and maintenance, as well as increasing your metabolism.
Habit Four: Eat your greens and protein
As you may have guessed, protein increase your TEF (Thermic effect of food) because protein requires extra calories to digest, absorb and process.
Therefore, protein helps you feel full and decrease your chances of snacking and overeating during the day.
If you combine your sources of protein with greens, then that becomes a match made in nutritional heaven.
Protein & veggies are your complete meal that serves all of your dietary needs, as well as helping boost your metabolism.
I would add broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, cucumber and anything else high in water content and fibre. Make it colourful and creative.
Habit Five: Try drinking cold water
It should be pretty evident that if you swap sugary or even alternative sweetened drinks with water, you will see a dramatic change in your energy levels and results in fat loss.
Water is known for its place in temporarily speeding up your metabolism. However, cold water has an even more significant effect.
Coldwater supercharges your body towards using energy to heat it to body temperature.Although it doesn’t take a super huge amount of calories, imagine doing this several times a day for weeks on end. Everything adds up.
Usually, it’s those small changes that make a massive difference throughout a lifetime.One magical aspect of water is that it reduces and diminishes your appetite. Try drinking 2–3 glasses of water before you eat, and watch yourself consume fewer calories.
Habit Six: HIIT workouts regularly
HIIT is known for its intense burst of activity. HIIT is so effective because you still burn calories despite your workout ending hours ago.
HIIT is also known for its strong association with eliminating belly fat.
So although it burns overall body fat, it helps target those stubborn fatty areas we find most troubling.Integrate HIIT 2–3 times per week for only 20 minutes per session. After your training session, you should feel utterly spent.
That’s a description of how intensely you have to work. Pushing yourself to this type of intensity will yield you the best metabolic boosting and fat burning results. Throughout my fat loss journey, I have realised that the more strategies you use during the day, the more successful you will be when boosting the efficiency of your metabolism and losing weight.
It’s not something to stop and start regularly but requires conscious effort on your part every day.
For instance, I would walk a certain amount of KM’s every day, drink a few cups of coffee, stay relatively active and fast daily.
These tools help me maintain my weight loss, increase muscle, and keep my health in check.
It’s a matter of experimentation and seeing what works best for your body long term. But more importantly, it’s something that you can maintain and enjoy doing for the rest of your life.