Feeling sluggish and low on energy? Do you feel like you work and work toward your weight loss goal and never seem to make any dramatic improvement? You could be suffering from a slow metabolism.
This does not have to destroy your weight loss efforts. You can dramatically improve your metabolism and boost energy without taking supplements.
Your metabolism simply refers to the conversion of food to usable energy by the body. It is the biological process by which energy is extracted from food or how fast or slowly the body burns calories.
A few steps you can take to improve your metabolism naturally are:
1. Drink Cold Water – Water is great to drink and you should be drinking a minimum of 8 to 10, glasses daily, of course, more is better. It will help increase your metabolism and remove toxins and fat. Drinking ice cold water before meals will shrink your stomach so you feel full quicker, and the cold water also helps to increase the metabolism.
2. Eat Every Three Hours – Eat a small balanced meal every three hours, including snacks. Meals and snacks should be balance, meaning they should contain a complete protein, carbohydrates, as well as natural fat. Failure to eat consistently can lead to a slower metabolism and fat storage. Skipping meals slows down your metabolism. To ignite weight loss you need to be consuming the right foods throughout the day in a balanced manner.
3. Don’t Skip Breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as it gets your metabolism running in high gear. You wouldn’t drive to work on an empty tank and you shouldn’t start your day without adequate nourishment. Your first meal sets your metabolism for the day and keeps it going as long as you eat every three hours. If you get up early and eat a late breakfast, you missed out on several hours of burning calories.
4. Don’t Fear Fat – Fat has a bad rep. Many think fat makes you fat. This is false. The type of fat and how much fat you eat impact your body fat composition. Fat is needed by the body. Those who follow a very low-fat diet have a harder time ridding their body of fat. Choose natural healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados, various nuts, flax, and natural peanut butter.
5. Omit Trans Fat – Trans fat is the bad fat, the cause of weight gain, low energy, depression, cancer, and heart disease. You will never get the body you desire by eating "healthy" fast food, frozen dinners, etc. If it’s man-made, it’s not the best choice. Go with the foods Mother Nature provided to meet your fat loss goals.
6. Be Active Daily – Stay active at least six days a week. You can easily cycle cardio and weight training so it’s balanced and not overbearing. In addition to that, take the stairs when possible or park further out to get that little bit of extra movement and keep the heart and lungs working optimally. Studies show little movements such as tapping your toes while working also helps to burn calories.
7. Do Cardiovascular Exercise – Cardio is heart and lung healthy. It also burns calories. Doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty can tap into fat stores and keeps the body burning calories at a high rate for about an hour after cardio is finished. If you fail to eat adequately daily, this can work against you. Doing morning cardio on very low calorie die can burn muscle. Another good time to incorporate cardio is in the evening, after your last meal. This allows you to burn calories so you are not sleeping on them. You do not have to implement a morning and evening session, choose one or the other or cycle between the two to prevent staleness and boredom.
8. HIIT It – Blend some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your cardiovascular program from time to time to give your body and metabolism a good shock. The body is programmed to adapt. Therefore, the same cardio day in and day out can become stale real fast. Take one or two days a week and implement some HIIT to give the body an added shock.
9. Weight Train – Resistance training builds muscle, which is metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you acquire, the faster your metabolism. Muscle will put curves in the right places and allow you to eat more calories a day.
10. Listen to Your Body – Killing yourself with workouts is just as dangerous as not working out at all. Listen to your body and get proper rest. Don’t train if you are ill or just simply too tired. Training in such a state can cause more problems than it solves.
If any of the above fail to prove results in 4 to 6 weeks, there could be an underlying problem, such as a food allergy, acidic pH, sluggish thyroid, hormonal imbalance, etc. If so, I recommend searching a natural healer in your area to determine the cause and work from there. For the most part, proper diet and herbs can correct any ailments.
About Author: Karen Sessions has been in the fitness industry since 1988. She embarked on weight training to overcome an eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa in its early stages. She overcame the eating disorder, received her personal training certificate, competed in many local bodybuilding contests, and qualified for Nationals. Since then she’s went on to write six e-books (weight loss, female bodybuilding, contest preparation, leg training, figure/fitness secrets, and cellulite removal). She writes articles for several fitness websites, as well as her own, www.theelitephysique.com, and also distributes a monthly e-newsletter. She has a very active and lively forum, filled with positive and supportive people with informative content. Karen’s sole goal is to educate others and help them apply that knowledge.