If you ever feel like your metabolism just isn’t what it used to be, you’re not alone! There are many different things that can affect the way we burn calories and metabolize food. In this post I have put together 10 ways to naturally boost metabolism and get back on track with your wellness goals!
Tip #1 Determine your Metabolism Type
Before you can naturally boost metabolism, it is so helpful to know which type of metabolism you have. There are some easy clues that can help you figure this out, and you can read all about it at this blog post “Discover Your Metabolism Type and how to use it to lose weight.”
Once you know which type of metabolism you have, you can start using that to your advantage! Eat and move in a way that strengthens your body and maximizes your metabolic ability.
Tip #2 Choose an eating window that supports your body
I often get this question from many of my clients: is intermittent fasting good for me? And my answer is a resounding yes! Intermittent fasting allows the body time to heal, rather than having to focus on digesting what we eat.
But the problem for women, especially over the age of 35, is that if we don’t use intermittent fasting strategically, we can really harm our metabolism.
As women, we are the ones that carry on the population. It’s plain and simple. We have babies and that keeps the population going. But research has shown that when women are malnourished or starved, their chances of miscarrying or not being able to get pregnant increases significantly. In fact, women who are malnourished and pregnant actually have a much higher risk of death! So because of this, our bodies are wired to resist weight loss and starvation much differently than men are.
There is a great book by Dave Asprey called “Fast This Way: How to Lose Weight, Get Smarter, and Live Your Longest, Healthiest Life with the Bulletproof Guide to Fasting.” In this book, he goes over all of the amazing benefits of intermittent fasting and even provides tips that are specifically for women!
But the bottom line is this: we can get amazing benefits from intermittent fasting, it just has to be done the right way so that it naturally supports our metabolism, prevents our body from shutting down and thinking that it is starving, and also maximizes our weight loss potential.
Tip #3 Listen to your hunger cues
There is a phenomenon referred to as leptin resistance, which is something that can significantly affect our metabolism. Simply put, leptin and ghrelin are two hormones that regulate our hunger cues.
You know that growling sensation that you get in your stomach when you’re hungry? Yep, that’s due to the hormone ghrelin. So what happens when we feel fullness? Well, that’s because of the hormone leptin.
But remember, as women, our bodies want to stay nice and chunky! So when we have diets that are high in sugar or processed foods, and we start to develop insulin resistance, our hunger hormones get out of whack. (if you want to know more information about insulin resistance, check out the blog post “Identify Insulin Resistance and Uncover 11 Secrets to Reverse it Naturally”)
Leptin resistance is when leptin is unable to bind to the receptors in the brain that tell us that we are full (because insulin is hogging that receptor). And this definitely affects our metabolism and hunger cues! So by correcting insulin resistance, and listening to our hunger cues, we can maintain our metabolism much more easily. (for the full information about hunger cues and leptin resistance, read the blog post here)
Tip #4 Do the home pulse test
Our body does not function optimally when we have high levels of inflammation, and one of the ways that our bodies become inflamed, is as a reaction to the food that we eat. Each one of us is wired differently and has different sensitivities to the foods that we eat.
Research has shown that all of us have some type of reaction to diets that are high in sugar and processed foods, but there are other things that can cause food sensitivities as well. And really all that this means is that there are certain foods that we eat that irritate our body and increase inflammation. This can make us feel groggy, run down, bloated, and even give us body aches!
By decreasing inflammation, we allow our bodies to function optimally and maintain a healthy metabolic rate. So if you want to boost metabolism, one way to do it is to keep inflammation down in your body by controlling the foods that you eat and avoiding ones that cause sensitivity.
You can try this home sensitivity test or perform home lab testing without a doctors order.
Here’s how the home pulse-sensitivity test works
You place one ingredient on your tongue, measure your pulse, and compare it to your resting pulse rate. If your pulse significantly increases or decreases, the food is stressing your nervous system and altering your heartbeat.
Step 1: Sit down in a calm, relaxed environment. Have the foods that you want to test next to you before you sit down to relax. Bring a pen and paper as well (for recording). Do not do this within 2 hours of your last meal, caffeine consumption, or after strenuous activity.
Sit for 10 minutes and then measure your pulse/resting heart rate. This is how many times your heart beats in 1 minute and you want to measure for a full minute. You can do this with a simple watch or FitBit tracker. Record this number.
Step 2: Next, move very slowly to prevent increase in heart rate/pulse and select which food you would like to test. Place the food on your tongue and chew it/move it around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Do not swallow. Then take your pulse again for a full minute.
A pulse increase of four or more beats per minute indicates a sensitivity or allergy to that food. The greater the pulse increase, the more toxic the food you are testing is to you. Record your results.
Step 3: Spit out the food and rinse your mouth out. Then drink water and start again at Step 1 to repeat testing with other foods.
Tip #5 Stay hydrated to Boost Metabolism
Water is essential to our metabolism, however it can be so difficult to remember to drink it! Research has shown that drinking water stimulates metabolism by increasing the energy that your body uses! Your body needs to use energy to “heat up” the water (so the colder, the better!) which boost metabolism.
By drinking just 2 cups of water before a meal, you may actually feel “full” more quickly as well, which can help prevent overeating and also benefits metabolism and weight loss! And beyond that, there are a million little ways that water helps the body with its daily functions: everything from increased energy to helping with digestion!
You may find these water bottles helpful to make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day (LINK)
Tip #6 Build more lean muscle (basal metabolic rate)
You may have heard the term basal metabolic rate. This is the rate at which your body burns calories if you do nothing except lie on the couch for 24 hours. (If you would like to do your own calculations, click here: basal metabolic rate calculator)
Now, I’m not a fan of counting calories when it comes to health and wellness. However when you have more lean muscle, your bones and joints are better supported for every day activity, and you naturally boost metabolism!
Studies show that 1 pound of fat burns between 2-5 cal per hour, but 1 pound of muscle burns 7-9 cal per hour. This means that just having 1 extra pound of muscle burns can burn an extra 200 calories per day! When you increase the amount of lean muscle mass that you have, you’re increasing the overall amount of calories that your body needs to spend for energy and to function optimally. And you also boost metabolism while lifting weights!
Tip #7 Biohack your body
So what the heck is “biohacking?” Well, biohacking is a term that really just means doing things that optimize your body. Each one of us is different, so there are at-home-biohacking tests that you can do to learn more about your individual health. And if you want to try some of these on yourself, Dave Asprey has a great post that lists home testing!
Other things optimize the body in general and can be used by everyone to “biohack” performance! I tend to use the “lazy girl” method when it comes to metabolism….which means I want the biggest impact with the least amount of effort!
One biohacking trick that I love is to perform 30 minutes of HIIT training just three times per week. The reason I love this is because it not only uses energy while you’re doing the activity, but it boosts your metabolic rate for the next 24 to 48 hours. This is different than other exercises, like going for a long slow run, in which you only have an increase in metabolism while you’re doing that specific activity.
Tip #8 Stabilize glucose and insulin
For your body and metabolism to function properly, you need to be able to convert what you eat into a usable form of energy. There’s a bunch of science behind this and I have a great blog article and video that goes over everything in depth, if you want to read “Identify Insulin Resistance and Uncover 11 Secrets to Reverse it Naturally.”
But basically, when you are stabilizing the way that your body takes what you eat and converts it into usable energy, your body is able to maintain metabolism. However, if you constantly flood your body with sugar, processed foods, and large meals all hours of the day, you overload your body and can break the way that your body converts food into energy. And this will significantly slow your metabolism, cause you to be more hungry, and increase weight gain.
So if you want to boost metabolism, focus on stabilizing the way that your body uses energy and stabilize your glucose levels during the day.
Tip #9 Focus on Sleep to boost metabolism
Sleep seems like such a simple habit that you may not think about it when you consider your metabolism. However, research shows that just one night of poor sleep can cause your metabolism to slow down and actually cause your body to gain weight.
Sleep provides a time to heal and regenerate, to solidify memories, and to prepare you for the next day. Some days are so busy that you just crash into bed. But if you don’t give your body a chance to unwind, your sleep can be disruptive.
By having a consistent bedtime routine, and allowing yourself the chance to relax and unwind from the day, you are training your body for restful sleep.
Some ways to promote a healthy sleep routine to boost metabolism include focusing on consistently getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, going to bed around the same time every evening and waking up the same time every morning, and having a good nighttime routine.
Tip #10 Relax and unwind
When you are constantly on the go, you may be in a state of chronic stress, which elevates the hormone cortisol. When this hormone is chronically elevated, it can do things like caused increased abdominal fat, prevent weight loss, and even set you up for chronic medical diseases.
By incorporating time into your day to relax and unwind, you are naturally supporting hormone levels within the body, so that your metabolism can function normally and your body has a chance to repair from the craziness of the day. This can be something as simple as journalling before bed to “brain dump” all of the ideas and thoughts from the day so that they are out of your head, written on paper, and not stressing your brain!
So there you have it! 10 ways to boost metabolism naturally
I hope you have found some great information and tips that you can start using today to boost metabolism! As you read through these 10 ways to naturally boost metabolism, if one of these tips jumped out and you thought “hey! That’s me!” don’t be afraid to give it a try. The key is finding something that works for YOU. If you are looking for a complete resource for fixing a broken metabolism, click here to get your FREE copy of the eBook “The Best Way for Women over 40 to Reset Metabolism.”