Hello divas! I hope that your week is going well so far. The weather here in Tennessee has been a little up and down with some seasonal days followed by rain followed by cold. Add to that my healing foot (I’m off crutches!) and you get that I am even more limited on the workout front. Thank goodness I have been working on my nutrition in order to keep some of the weight loss momentum up. Today I am talking about something that it a constant struggle in my life – metabolism and weight maintenance. My husband and I have been dealing with infertility for over 4 years now thanks to my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is basically a hormonal imbalance that causes all kinds of issues, including higher weight due to low metabolism. Which can be an issue when you are trying to live a fit and healthy life (like I am). While I am happy with how I look and feel (most of the time), it would be nice to lose some weight as it could improve some of my PCOS symptoms. But this can be difficult due to my lower metabolism. So today I am sharing 5 ways to naturally increase your metabolism.
So what is metabolism anyway? Basically it’s how your body breaks down proteins, carbs and fats to produce energy to maintain itself. Your metabolism rate depends on the amount of calories you consume, the amount that are worked off during exercise and the calories you burn based on your own genetics. In my case, I am 5’2″ and have been diagnosed with PCOS. This makes my metabolism on the slower side. So here are some ways to help give your metabolism a boost.
- Weight train. One of the first things my doctors ask me during my check-ups each year is if I exercise and am I weight training as part of that regimen. Weight training builds lean muscle. This is great for vertically challenged people like myself (who knew my height was a factor for osteoporosis later in life?) as well as anyone who has a slower metabolism. Just 5-10 lbs. of lean muscle can increase the number of calories your body burns to maintain itself by 100 calories a day. And it is great when you have a foot injury because there is quite a bit you can do not standing up.
- HIIT. I have shared in the past the benefits of high intensity interval training. HIIT helps you maximize the amount of calories you burn after your workout is over, thus revving up your metabolism. One of my favorite workouts is my build your own HIIT routine.
- Sleep. Adequate sleep is very important when trying to increase your metabolism. A lack of sleep can decrease the amount of calories your body burns just resting and performing the basic necessities of life like pumping blood or repairing tissue. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night.
- Eat often. Growing up, I always heard that you need to eat three meals a day. Well that is not exactly true. While this works for many people, you really need to be eating every 2-3 hours in order to boost your metabolism. Each time you eat, you stimulate your metabolism for a short period of time. This feeds muscle and starves fat. It also reassures your body that you aren’t going to starve and keeps it from storing fat.
- Eat right. Eating this often doesn’t mean mindless snacking, though. I always try to eat as “clean” as possible. You will want to eat mini-meals such as a serving of vegetables with a healthy protein (think eggs, chicken or nuts for example). Adding high fiber foods such as veggies is a great way to up your metabolism as fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate. The body tries to break it down anyways, thus using up energy and boosting metabolism.
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