There many different ways to fire up your metabolism, but there's one important truth that unites them all: firing up your metabolism is the key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. And with obesity being one of the main health issues in western society, learning how to kick that metabolism into high gear—and keep it that way—should be a high priority for everyone.
If you want to fire up your metabolism and reach a healthier weight, try incorporating these habits into your daily life:
1. Drink two large glasses of ice water as soon as you wake up
- 1. Drink two large glasses of ice water as soon as you wake up
- 2. Get more sleep
- 3. Eat lots of spicy foods
- 4. Cook with coconut oil
- 5. Use cinnamon
- 6. Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 3 meals
- 7. Build relaxation into your day
- 8. Eat garlic
- 9. Abandon processed foods
- 10. Up your fiber intake
- 11. Drink green tea
- 12. Eat more salmon
- 13. Eat plain, all-natural Greek yogurt
- 14. Eat celery
- 15. Avoid fad diets
Not only will the cold of ice water give you the wake up kick you're used to relying on caffeine for, water has countless other benefits. It gets your blood flowing to your organs right away and can instantly increase your metabolism by 1-2%. The cold of the ice water also makes your body work harder to warm you back up, helping you lose an extra 50 calories a day—which ends up being 5 pounds a year even if this is the only change you make.
And if all that isn't enough, water also helps fill your stomach so you won't be as tempted to over eat.
2. Get more sleep
Tired of hearing about how sleep is the best way to get rid of all your health problems? Well, too bad, because we're going to go on saying it. Your body is like a machine that needs to be rebooted each night to function optimally. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts your cognitive functions, lowers your energy level and reduces your metabolism.
Getting enough sleep can be difficult, but there are many different strategies you can try. Keep trying different strategies—or building strategies on top of each other—until you find something that works.
3. Eat lots of spicy foods
Hot peppers in particular have been proven to increase your metabolism and blood circulation. Cayenne pepper is one of the best choices as it also helps to improve digestion, increases your energy level and provides a high concentration of vitamins A and C.
Try incorporating a little bit of cayenne pepper into every meal to reap the health rewards.
4. Cook with coconut oil
Coconut oil is comprised mostly out of medium chain fatty acids(MCFAs) which are considered the healthiest fats. Incorporating more of these fats into your diet is said to improve your concentration, creativity and energy levels. This works because MCFAs are easily digested and absorbed right away, giving you an instant energy boost.
Try to stick with extra virgin coconut oil so you get the purest product possible. Use coconut oil any time you would use another oil, especially at breakfast time, to see the best results.
5. Use cinnamon
Want to add some healthy flavour into your life? Cinnamon is great for improving your metabolism and keeping your energy levels steady throughout the day because it doesn't spike your blood sugar levels. It can also reduce the negative effects of high fat meals if you consume enough of it.
Try sprinkling cinnamon on top of your tea or coffee and add it to meals whenever possible for best results.
6. Eat 5-6 small meals instead of 3 meals
The three meals per day system most of us follow is actually not particularly good for your health. Your body will have a much easier time digesting five or six small meals throughout the day. Eating smaller meals more often will also help keep your energy levels even throughout the day so you're less likely to over eat at dinner time.
Try to make breakfast bigger than your other meals so you get the biggest energy boost at the start of the day. Many people eat the largest meal for dinner, so their body is often still digesting when they go to sleep, and this is bad for both your metabolism and the quality of sleep you get.
7. Build relaxation into your day
Stress could quite literally be killing you and your metabolism one slow day at a time. Regular relaxation can help you clear your mind, see areas of your life you can change for the better, reduce your desire to binge and help you get better sleep, impacting your metabolism in a huge way.
Try to set aside at least a few minutes for quiet contemplation and at least a half separate hour for one of your favourite relaxing activities. Meditation and yoga are both great ways to relax.
8. Eat garlic
Do you love garlic? Well you'll be thrilled to know that this herb is actually a nutritional powerhouse. It has tons of vitamin B-6 and vitamin C as well as some calcium, iron and magnesium. All of these nutrients together make garlic a great way to balance your energy levels and increase your metabolism.
Skinning and finely chopping real garlic might be irritating, but it's definitely worthwhile. Garlic powder has the same taste but lacks many of the nutrients you'll find in an actual bulb of garlic.
9. Abandon processed foods
Speaking of avoiding garlic powder, you should try to avoid all kinds of processed foods. Always try to eat food that is as close to the original products as possible. Processed foods usually contain all manner of additives which your body might not know how to digest.
Cooking whole meals from scratch might be time consuming but the health benefits you will receive are endless.
10. Up your fiber intake
Your body automatically works harder to digest fiber and a high concentration of fiber can also help your stomach process sugar more quickly(this is why eating fruit is great but fruit juice from concentrate isn't).
Some great high fiber foods are wild rice(this can contain twice as much as regular brown rice), whole wheat pasta and legumes. Try to eat at least one high fiber meal per day.
11. Drink green tea
Are you one of those people who drinks coffee all day long? Switch it out for green tea and not only will you still get your daily dose of caffeine, you'll also increase your calories burned by 90 or more calories a day, depending on how much green tea you drink.
Remember to switch to decaf green tea in the afternoon so you can still get the good night's sleep you need for your body to continue working optimally.
12. Eat more salmon
Salmon and many other kinds of fish contain high levels of healthy fats which have been proven to help you digest other fats. These high concentrations of healthy fish have been known to improve complexion and energy levels as well as giving your metabolism a nice boost.
Try to incorporate high quality fish into one meal each day or at least every other day for the best health effect.
13. Eat plain, all-natural Greek yogurt
You might hate hearing this, but most yogurt isn't actually all that great for you. Flavoured yogurt almost invariably uses sugary syrups to gain flavour. The sheer amount of sugar in many brands of yogurt outweighs the nutritional benefits. Unflavoured yogurt is pretty healthy, but Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as normal yogurt and is also an excellent source of protein.
And don't fret about the taste. Adding a handful or two of fresh or dried fruit to half a cup of Greek yogurt and you'll be thrilled to eat it every day. This makes a great mid-day snack.
14. Eat celery
Celery is actually made out of mostly water, so you spend more calories eating celery than you actually get from it. This makes it a particularly great solution if you have a constant need to snack, because you'll actually be burning calories while you do it.
15. Avoid fad diets
Have you noticed that fad diets don't work? That's because most of them really just turn your metabolism into a yo-yo. Diet pills in particular are detrimental to your body, especially when you're also taking certain medications.
You'll have a much easier time increasing your metabolism by sticking to some simple food rules—avoid high sugars, eat as close to the source as possible and incorporate more spices and healthy fats into your diet.
Developing healthy habits isn't always easy but once you've begun your journey to health and noticed how much better your body feels you'll never want to go back to your old way of life.