Now that we’re through December and well into January and heavy, holiday foods have left us feeling bloated and sluggish, it’s time to figure out how to get back in the swing of things. And, if you’ve set New Year’s Intentions that include healthier eating and activity, then starting with a kick start to your metabolism can help make the difference to living your intentions well.
These are some of our favourite ways to get your metabolism back into gear:
Even if you’re trying to lose a few extra pounds that appeared over the holidays, staying fairly full is key to your success in managing your metabolism and your weight. Eat slowly, until you’re about 90% full, and then stop. This will allow you to determine if you really do need more sustenance or if you’re just eating out of habit.
Try adding more gaps to your meals instead of eating every few hours. This may seem counter intuitive but every time you eat (especially meals higher in carbs and sugar), you spike your insulin levels which signals the body to store fat. If you eat bigger meals but space them out with more than 3-4 hours between them, then you give your body a chance to go into a fat burning zone. This means you can try eating 2-3 meals a day maximum without snacking. This type of eating isn’t for everyone especially if for example you suffer from hypoglycemia or are pregnant so speak to your naturopath or physician first.
Whether via glasses of water or broth based soups, giving your body quality fluids is essential to having a well-hydrated metabolism. Water helps keep nutrients flowing into your cells, carries toxins out of your body, and is key to a happy digestive systems. It also keeps you feeling full, and can help you burn more calories by keeping your metabolism higher over time! Moreover, the extra nutrients found in broth based soups are ‘soup-er’ ways of digesting much needed vitamins and minerals with minimal taxing of the digestive system. And, after a season of indulgence, that’s something from which we can all benefit!
The antioxidants and small amounts of caffeine found in green tea are beneficial to revving up your metabolism and keeping it chugging along healthily. Make sure you chose organic tea because it’s highly sprayed. One or two cups a day can provide the most beneficial amounts without going overboard. And, even better, adding herbal teas such as fennel, mint, or ginger tea after a meal can assist your digestion processes, helping meals to settle better and digest more easily - without added caffeine.
Studies show that adding spicy hot peppers or hot pepper sauces can help to increase your metabolism! Studies are showing that the thermogenic properties of peppers and capsaicin, a compound in chiles, can temporarily increase your body temperature, helping it to burn more calories in short bursts of time. It’s also a great way to stay warm in the winter. So, try adding some extra spice to those soups or other foods, and see what benefit you might derive! Though avoid these if you suffer from heartburn.
Any form of exercise can be bolstered with the addition of the short bursts of cardiovascular activity also known as ‘Interval Training’. Adding in 2-5 minute bursts of jumping jacks, skipping, or burpees seem like they’re ‘in the moment’ kick starts but they’re all great ways of building long lasting metabolism increases. Just make sure your adrenals are not too depleted and always include muscle strength training. Your muscles will burn fat even at rest.
It’s been long understood that high levels of stress hormones like cortisol can result in a slowed metabolism and eventual weight gain. The opposite is also true: by turning down the stress in our lives we can help our brains, hormones, and bodies relax, a natural reboot for our metabolism. Add yoga and meditation to your daily practice to balance out your nervous system.
If you consistently experience symptoms like heaviness after a meal, acid reflux, or bloating, food allergies, undigested food in stool, flatulence, or even nausea after taking supplements you might be suffering from low stomach acid which, in turn, can result in lowered metabolism. Stomach acid, or HCL (hydrochloric acid) is a core requirement to digest effectively is one of the essential building blocks to a well-functioning metabolism. Try stimulating your stomach acid with beneficial celery juice or apple cider vinegar and see how much better you feel.
Experiencing digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation but also other symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain and hormonal imbalances can all stem from eating foods that one is sensitive to. When you eat foods that you shouldn’t, inflammation in the gut ensues and results in the inability to lose weight Testing your blood for food sensitivities can help you figure out what you should and shouldn’t eat.
The quality of your sleep doesn’t just affect your moods and alertness, it also has a profound effect on your metabolic state because deep REM sleep, is the body’s time for rest and repair - and that includes how the body manages stress hormones, blood sugar levels, and growth hormones - all of which play critical roles in our metabolism. We’re still learning much more about how important consistent sleep and rest are for our health, but what we do know for sure is that a sleep deprived body is slower and more lethargic which means weight management is harder. So if you choose just one of these tips to follow, make it to get more sleep, more often, first!
Looking for personalized assistance in maintaining a healthy metabolism? We can help you navigate this and provide you with a fully customized plan for your better health. To book your appointment click on this online booking link: https://willowwellnessclinic.janeapp.com/#staff_member/1
Dr. Cecilia de Martino, ND
Willow Wellness Clinic, Waterloo, ON