Your metabolism is the rate at which your body uses the calories you are eating. And we've all heard that if you're eating more calories than you're burning, this is what causes your body to store fat and gain weight. So the key is to get your body burning through those calories quickly and efficiently. You will have more energy, think more clearly and have a lean and trim body without excess fat. Follow these tips to learn how to speed up your metabolism naturally:
- Eat every 2 or 3 hours. When you keep a constant supply of calories running through you, this signals to your body, “Food is in abundance. I don’t need to store fat.” This encourages weight loss. It also allows your body to quickly burn through all those calories that you are feeding it steadily throughout the day. You are literally giving yourself more "fuel" to run on, so end up with more vibrant energy. It's just like adding more coals into a steam engine so the train can go faster. When you put in a steady supply of calories, your body processes speed up and runs at a faster level. And by eating throughout the day, you are constantly burning calories by digesting the food. Most people don't know that digestion is one of the biggest calorie-burning functions your body performs.
- Do some kind of activity EVERY day. Your body is designed to move. Movement and activity used to be a part of every human’s daily life until we invented cars and machines to do all the work for us. Our ancestors used to have to build shelter, climb over cliffs to search for food, and walk for long distances to find safe places to live. So in other words, the environment required the human animal to be active DAILY. Just because our modern environment has taken out the need to walk, climb and lift heavy objects in order to survive, it does not mean that your body wants to stay still. Your body CRAVES movement. That’s why you release all those endorphins - the “feel-good” hormones when you do it. This is your body’s way of rewarding you. And by having some kind of daily activity (even if it’s just walking up flights of stairs on your lunch break), your metabolism will speed up with all the activity because you're burning through calories at a much faster rate. This is why athletes eat all day long and stay so lean. They are actively burning up all those calories and not storing them as fat. But you don't have to have the same activity level as athletes - just have SOME activity every day.
- Do some kind of weight-bearing exercise a few times per week. Muscle cells are very “hungry” for calories. And that means that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn even while you are just sitting there doing nothing, and even while you are sleeping! So the key is to get more muscle cells. But the problem with our modern environment is that your muscles are never used. And if you’re not using them, your body will get rid of your muscle cells fast – especially if you are not eating enough calories to keep them alive. So this is one of the main reasons why “starvation diets” never work. When you cut down your calorie intake, the first thing your body thinks is, “Oh no - I don’t have enough calories to stay alive. I have to get rid of these calorie-expensive muscle cells fast.” And this is why the old-fashioned method of dieting slows DOWN your metabolism by getting rid of all your muscle. So the way to train your body into keeping its muscle around is to USE IT.
Do some kind of weight-bearing exercise 2 or 3 times per week. Weightlifting is a great way to build muscle, but if you don’t like going to the gym, yoga is also a great exercise system that uses your own body’s natural weight resistance (That’s what all those arm balances, downward-facing dogs and planks are doing – you’re using your body’s own weight to build strength by building muscle.) And when you use your muscle, you are telling your body, “I can’t get rid of this muscle, in fact…I need to make MORE muscle because I’m using it every few days.” Your body will respond to this weight-bearing exercise by making more muscle cells while you sleep, and this in turn will increase your metabolism.
- Practice meditation and breathing exercises. Meditation and breathing exercises calm your mind and are great ways to boost the metabolism. Now you may be wondering, “How does a calm mind affect my metabolism?” Well, science is proving more and more that the mind-body connection has a greater impact than we previously thought. The yogis have known this for thousands of years, which is why every yoga practice ends with a meditation. When your mind is stressed out and cluttered, it sends a signal to your body that you live in a “dangerous” and stressful environment. This wreaks havoc on the health of your body. Stress is a defense mechanism that has evolved over thousands of years for us humans to AVOID situations where we feel stress. It used to be that when the stress signal kicked in, we had 2 choices: fight or flight. In other words, we would stay and fight whatever was threatening us or we would run away to avoid the situation. So if the fight or flight signal is kicked on, your body deals with nothing else. This is THE most important thing because your life is in danger. And when your body and mind are focused on survival, your entire life energy gets drained and out-of-whack, including the rate at which you burn calories.
It used to be that your body would only remain in this stressed-out situation for maybe a few hours or days ON OCCASION, but now our modern society fills us with stress EVERY day of our life. Your mind and body do not know that this traffic jam is not a group of panicked humans running away from a saber-toothed tiger…your body and mind literally think you are running for your life or why else would you be feeling so much stress? So the way to undo all this stress-causing panic that fills us each and every day is to make time for conscious relaxation by learning the ancient science of meditation and breathing exercises. By calming your mind, you return to your natural state of bliss and peace and your body can return your metabolism to its healthy function by speeding it back up.
Now you know how to boost your metabolism naturally. In addition to getting the right amount of exercise, you may also want to try eating foods that speed up your metabolism. So the next time you are considering buying any of those pills that promise to increase your energy, remember that they, too, are a modern invention trying to mask or cover up the symptom of why your metabolism is shutting down in the first place. Trying to cover up the symptom never works because it never gets to the root cause. By re-creating the same environment your body is designed to live in – with calorie-burning boosters such as an abundance of food, healthy activity and lack of stress – your metabolism will return to its natural healthy state of burning through the calories you eat and not storing fat.