Do you struggle to lose extra pounds even though you eat healthy(ish) and keep yourself physically busy? Do you have unexplainable sugar cravings? Maybe you have dry skin and brittle nails. Let’s not forget about frequent headaches and chronic fatigue. Does that sound like something you are experiencing at the moment? Chances are pretty high you are affected by something called “slow metabolism”. Do not fear, because you are not the only one. Before you run to see your MD, let me explain more about “slow metabolism”. Additionally, I will introduce you to delicious foods that will ignite slow metabolism and help you burn that stubborn fat.
Before we speak about “slow metabolism”, let me explain what “metabolism” means.
Metabolism is a set of chemical reactions taking place to keep your body (and any living organism) alive. Metabolism can be divided into two categories:
Anabolism, or constructive metabolism, is all about building and storing. It supports the growth of new cells, the maintenance of body tissues, and the storage of energy for use in the future.
Catabolism, or destructive metabolism, is the process that produces the energy required for all activity in the cells. In this process, cells break down large molecules (mostly carbohydrates and fats) to release energy.
Your body naturally burns 1,800 (women) to 2,400 (men) calories each day simply while at rest – functions like your heart pumping, breathing, and your blood circulating throughout your body keep it busy.
What Causes Slow Metabolism?
Some things are out of our control when it comes to metabolism. Genetics, age, and gender, all play a role in how your body uses energy and maintains weight. Your body hormone production and genetics (age and gender) walk hand in hand with the choices you made regarding your food and fitness. If you have any of this (not the best of) habits, you might be causing your metabolism to slow down:
1. Significantly Reducing Calories.
Eating too few calories can cause a major decrease in metabolism.
By eating less than your body requires, you’re unintentionally training your metabolism to slow and store calories!
The reason for that, your body believes it’s preparing for starvation.
In a four-day study of 32 people, the resting metabolic rate of people who ate 1,114 calories per day slowed more than twice as much as of those who consumed 1,462 calories daily. However, weight loss was similar for both groups.
2. Skipping Breakfast.
Your metabolism decreases while you sleep, so if you start your day without eating, your metabolism continues at a lower rate.
Begin your day with a healthy breakfast and plan balanced meals and snacks throughout your day!
3. Inadequate Rest.
Sleeping fewer hours than you need may increase your risk of a number of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression.
Several studies have found that inadequate sleep may also lower your metabolic rate and increase your likelihood of weight gain
In other words, when you’re exhausted from stress and lack of sleep, your body has trouble completing its daily functions.
4. Low Water Intake.
Staying hydrated through the day and drinking enough water will increase your metabolism.
Dehydration causes your body temperature to drop, and your body will want to store fat to increase temperature.
5. A lack of resistance training.
Resistance training increases muscle mass!
The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns during “rest” periods. ( YES! even when you sleep!)
Working out with weights is a great strategy to keep your metabolism from slowing down and keeping yourself healthy.
Ignite Slow Metabolism Naturally.
You know by now, there is no easy way to lose weight. There are a few things you can use to ignite your slow metabolism. Exercising regularly and getting plenty of sleep are two of the best things you can do. However, there are also plenty of foods that fire up metabolism naturally! Adding metabolism boosting goodness to your diet may give you the extra “something-something” to lose more weight. How amazing is that?
1. Hot peppers
Jalapeno, habanero, cayenne and other forms of spicy peppers directly boost metabolism and circulation. Eating hot peppers not only speeds up your metabolism, but it also reduces cravings. (this is related to its capsaicin content.) Capsaicin is a compound that stimulates pain receptors in your body. That temporarily increases blood circulation and metabolic rate.
Studies have shown that eating hot peppers can boost metabolism by up to 25%, with the spike lasting for up to 3 hours.
Broccoli is rich in calcium (a known weight reducer) and vitamins C, K, A. Calcium activates your metabolism, while vitamin C helps you absorb more calcium. Broccoli packs serious nutritional power in just a few calories per bite. This super vegetable has high water and fiber content, a combination that helps you
feel full AND increases your body’s ability to burn fat by as much as 30%.
3. Foods High in Omega-3’s
Eating foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to boost your metabolism. These acids reduce the production of a hormone called leptin, a natural chemical that lowers your metabolism.
Great nutritional sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish (mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines, etc.) many nuts and seeds. Hemp oil and flaxseed oil are both great additions to your diet because they are naturally high in essential fatty acids.
4. Apples and Pears
Studies show that these two super fruits help fire up your metabolism and speed up weight loss.
Research performed by the State University of Rio de Janeiro found: women eating three small apples or pears daily lost more weight than women who did not.
Popeye had it right: spinach really make you stronger!
Popeye’s taste for a can of spinach before a fight has a genuine scientific basis. Researchers have found: the leafy green vegetable really can boost your muscle power. It was thought the iron content of spinach accounted for its status as a superfood.
Spinach contains almost everything that your body needs: vitamins, fiber, minerals and other components that do well for your health.
If you’re strength training, spinach will help your muscles recover. How amazing is that?
6. Cold Water
Water can help you lose weight and keep it off!
It increases your metabolism and helps fill you up before meals.
German researchers found that drinking six cups of cold water a day can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily—enough to shed five pounds in a year. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature.
7. Dark Chocolate
The monounsaturated fats in dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) boost your metabolism which stimulates your body to burn fat.
People who eat dark chocolate have fewer cravings for foods packed with sugar, salt, and fat.
A study published in “Science Daily” found: dark chocolate slows digestion. As a result, you feel full for a longer period of time!
Aren’t you happy you decided to find out more about foods that increase metabolism?
8. Coconut Oil
Yes, there are some fats that help boost your metabolism. Sounds shocking? Not to me.
Coconut oil is high in medium chain fatty acids – which a more easily converted into energy than other kinds, so they help increase your metabolism and are less likely to get stored as fat.
You can eat coconut oil plain, but can also use it as cooking oil. I, personally, love to add coconut oil to my morning coffee.
Seaweed’s iodine content makes it a great metabolism booster. Regularly consuming seaweed can help you meet your iodine needs and keep your metabolism running at a high rate.
Just be careful not to over-consume seaweed and risk iodine poisoning. Three times a week is plenty.
Grapefruit boasts naringenin. This antioxidant has been found to help your body use insulin more effectively.
Naringenin helps keep your blood sugar in check and boosts calorie burn. In fact, eating half of a grapefruit before each meal can lower levels of insulin, which can lead to weight loss.
The Bottom Line
Having a higher metabolism can help you lose weight and keep it off while giving you more energy.
It is up to you to make that first step that will lead to greatness.
Make a decision today!
Decide to put your health first, to become the best version of yourself. Foods that will ignite slow metabolism, help you lose weight and make you feel like the star that you are!