A lot of people who want to lose weight torture themselves with one diet after another, with none ever leading to the desired results. The pounds just stick. In cases like these, sometimes being overweight isn’t always a matter of the wrong diet or not enough exercise. Sometimes it’s about having a slower metabolism. Whether you gain or lose weight quickly is dependent on how well your metabolism functions, among other things. These eight tips will help you boost your metabolism simply and naturally, making it easier to lose weight. And above all, you’ll feel livelier and more energetic.
1. Don’t do uber-strict diets
Starving makes you fat. How can that be? When you drastically reduce your calorie intake, your body goes into starvation mode. That means slowing down your metabolism and storing fats so that your essential organs will be able to keep working, through the period of deprivation. That leads in turn to the infamous yo-yo effect after the diet when you start eating normally again. Better to adjust your diet accordingly.
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Avoid fast food, processed food items, and sweets. Focus instead on lower-calorie foods such as fruit, vegetables, and legumes (they have more calories than veggies but are so packed with vitamins and proteins that you don’t have to eat as much to feel full). Lean meats, fish, and milk products as well as nuts should also be part of the mix. When it comes to carbohydrates, stick to whole grains: they have more protein and fiber, and they take longer to digest, helping you stave off hunger and stimulate your metabolism! That includes brown rice, whole grain bread, and more unusual grains like millet.
2. Eat three meals a day!
Eating regularly not only prevents hunger attacks but can also speed up your metabolism. It’s been shown that three proper meals a day is better than lots of smaller ones. Apparently the protein that generates our compulsion to move — Foxa-2 — is inhibited by the insulin release during meals: so when you just eat three times a day, you’ll have a great need for movement and it’ll be easier to get yourself exercising. This was demonstrated in a study at the Swiss Federal Technical University in Zurich.
Also take care to drink a lot of water or unsweetened tea every day (at least 8 cups).
3. Make sure to get enough sleep
Getting too little sleep leads to being tired throughout the day and difficulty concentrating. It can also considerably affect your weight. Lack of sleep slows down your metabolism. Plus, not getting enough rest leads to the munchies and often causes people to eat more fatty, salty, and sugary foods than they otherwise would. So be sure to sleep seven to nine hours a night whenever you can. (This often means setting a deadline for turning off your devices, but more on that another time!)
4. Do weight training
If you specifically want to speed up your metabolism, it helps to move a lot during your everyday life. Endurance sports are great, but you can get even better results with targeted muscle building. It’s possible to increase your resting metabolic rate by a full 5 %: the resting metabolic rate, or RMR, is basically how many calories your body needs just to survive. If you’ve done some training, you’ll keep burning more calories throughout the day as well.
5. Drink green tea
Green tea contains caffeine and catechins which boost metabolism and can help you lose weight. They also improve digestion which burns more calories.
READ: The Surprising Effects of Green Tea on Growth Hormone
So treat yourself to a cup of green tea every day or switch to a cup of coffee if you need a change of pace. A strong cup of coffee is also great for giving your metabolism an extra jump start.
6. Try some chilli
Researchers disagree about whether or not chilli actually helps to speed up metabolism. Some studies show that chilli can increase fat burning by up to 30%, but there are other studies that don’t support this claim. The best thing is to try it out for yourself by enjoying a bit of hot and spicy food once in a while. If you don’t feel that it’s helping and you’re not enjoying it, then you can simply stop. In any case, you shouldn’t overdo it.
READ: Why You Should Eat Spicy Food
You can become immune to the positive effects of spicy food in the same way you can become immune to the beneficial effects of coffee. Spicy food can also be hard on the stomach and can lead to severe heartburn and other complications.
7. Make sure you get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D improves your mood and helps your body burn fat faster. The human body cannot synthesize vitamin D, so you have to get it through your diet and enough exposure to sunlight. If you find it difficult to lose weight or that you’re gaining weight quickly, it could be the result of a vitamin D deficiency. An easy cure is to spend at least half an hour outside every day. Eggs, fatty fish such as halibut, tuna or salmon, and milk products are also great sources of vitamin D.
READ: Don’t Ignore These 8 Warning Signs Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
8. Use coconut oil
Need to fry something or make a salad dressing? Coconut oil is a terrific substitute for other kinds of oil. Unlike other types, it contains medium-chain triglycerides which are easily metabolized and do not build up in the body. Coconut oil can actually increase metabolism and lower cholesterol levels. Make sure to use the cold-pressed, organic variety.
READ: How Coconut Oil Can Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat
Although there are many things we can do to adjust our metabolism, sometimes there are factors at work that are beyond our control. Illnesses such as hypothyroidism can cause weight gain despite a healthy diet. This type of unexplained weight gain combined with other symptoms such as fatigue and concentration problems are warning signs that should not be ignored and if you notice them, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
If you really want to lose weight, you should focus on a healthy lifestyle. A fresh, vitamin-rich diet, lots of exercise, proper sleep and the avoidance of stress are all important factors in the calorie-burning process. So try it out for yourself and watch the pounds melt away!