An active metabolism is part of the key to reaching and maintaining a healthy weight. No supplement exists that will magically speed up your metabolism; however, there are plenty of simple things you can do to help boost your metabolism and live a healthier lifestyle.
Get active. Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic nutritionist, suggests that people actually give metabolism too much credit. According to Zeratsky, a medical issue that slows metabolism is rarely to blame for excess weight gain. Rather than focus on metabolism, she suggests including more physical activity in your daily routine.Not only will you temporarily boost your metabolism, but becoming physically fit will also increase your basal metabolic rate (the rate at which your body uses calories) over the long term.
Build muscle. Zeratsky also emphasizes the importance of strength-training exercises that build muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat tissue, even while at rest. Strength training is especially important for older adults, because we tend to lose muscle mass as we age. You don't need heavy weights and a gym membership — fitness basics like using resistance bands, doing push-ups and even practicing yoga can strengthen muscles.
Eat breakfast. If you're looking to cut calories, skipping breakfast might seem like a good idea, but an early morning meal is essential for keeping your metabolism in shape. Eating breakfast jerks your body out of hibernation mode and cues your metabolism to jump into action. Breakfast skippers also tend to eat more calories later in the day. For best results, start your day with some lean protein and fruit or some whole-grain toast.
Eat more frequently. Eating more frequent meals can also help keep your metabolism going throughout the day. Think of your body like a furnace — it's going to burn hotter and stronger if you give it some fuel every few hours, while the flame will start to dwindle if you only feed it two or three times per day. Eating small, healthy meals every three to four hours is a surefire way to keep your metabolism going strong all day long.
Drink more water. We all know that drinking enough water is vital for good health, but drinking plenty of H2O may also help your metabolism work more efficiently. Aim for eight eight-ounce glasses per day or more if you workout.
Relax. Stress can slow down your metabolism by throwing your hormones out of whack. Less time at work and more time in bed is better for your overall health and could potentially boost your metabolism. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night, and find healthy ways to eliminate stress, such as meditation or a hot bath.
Visit your doctor. If you're following all of the advice discussed above and you still feel like your metabolism isn't as speedy as it should be, schedule an appointment with your physician to rule out any underlying health conditions. In rare cases, a medical condition like hypothyroidism could be to blame for a sluggish metabolism.