Why is it easier for some people to lose or gain weight than others? Chalk it up to differences in your metabolism.
Everyone’s body burns energy differently. Fast-working metabolisms burn more calories for everyday tasks like breathing and blood circulation, while slow ones tend to be thriftier with their energy usage and stock up a greater number of unused calories at the end of each day.
Why do these differences exist? Your physiology deserves some of the credit, but the most significant factor might be your lifestyle. By making small changes in your daily routine, you can dramatically affect how your body burns calories, and even make strides towards achieving your ideal weight.
Try these simple lifestyle changes to help coax your body into burning fat more efficiently.
1. Do Explosive Exercises
Is your daily walk not doing it for you anymore? Your metabolism might have adjusted to the effort level, meaning that you now need to kick things up a notch to maintain the benefits.
Muscle is denser than fat, and it requires more calories for normal functioning. By focusing your exercise routine on building muscle, you can boost your metabolism and get in shape faster.
A smart solution? Focus on high-intensity interval training several times a week. The explosive movements it requires will build up your muscle tone
2. Prioritize Sleep (Every Night)
Most of us know what a difference quality of sleep makes on our health, but few realize how important it is to be consistent with your sleep. For instance, one study found that chronic sleep debt can adversely affect hormone functioning and your overall carbohydrate metabolism.
Catching up over the weekend isn’t going to cut it: a healthy metabolic rate requires that you aim for at least eight hours every night.
3. Stop Dieting
It’s strange, but true: following a diet can sabotage your attempts to lose weight by wrecking your metabolism. Dieters often experience “adaptive thermogenesis,” or a process where their base level metabolic rate (the energy the body burns at rest) goes down, meaning that they actually burn fewer calories over the day.
If you’ve found yourself plateauing or even gaining weight while following a diet, it might be time to switch things up and give your system a reset.
4. Sip a Cup of Tea
All those detox diets based on tea are on to something: drinking tea can rev up your metabolism and help you lose weight. Perhaps surprisingly, green tea might not be best. One study of Japanese womenfound that oolong tea raised their energy metabolism by 10 percent, increasing their overall metabolism rate in the process.
The compound responsible? Polyphenols. This group of over 500 phytochemicals gives plants their color, and they act as powerful antioxidants for your health.
5. Try Intermittent Fasting
One proven way to boost your metabolism is by giving it a scheduled rest. Intermittent fasting is the practice of refraining from eating for specific portions of the day so that your body spends a period of time in a “fasted” state. In this state, your low glucose levels cue your body to burn stored fat, helping to overcome weight loss plateaus.
One popular method of intermittent fasting is Lean Gains, in which you fast for 16 hours and then eat for eight throughout the day. Fasting times can be flexible, but many people prefer to eat from 1 pm to 8 pm and fast through the night and morning.
6. Eat Every Three Hours
If fasting isn’t your style, consider adopting the opposite approach for improving your metabolism: small, frequent meals throughout the day. Eating more often boosts your metabolism — so long as you refrain from filling up on heavy, calorie-rich options. Instead, it’s best to stick to your standard caloric intake, and split that food into multiple meals. Try to fit your first meal in within an hour of waking up, and finish your last meal before 8 pm.
7. Stay Away from Refined Carbohydrates
When it comes to carbs, their origin matters. Unlike the complex carbohydrates found in fruit and whole grains, refined carbs are pre-processed for easy digestion, meaning that they give your system quick energy. However, refined carbs take little energy to process, and any you don’t burn become body fat. Give your digestive system (and your metabolism) a better workout by sticking to complex carbohydrates instead.
8. Keep Iron Levels High
Low iron levels aren’t something you should willingly live with. Lean meats and leafy greens contain copious levels of this critical compound, so keep them in your diet to ensure you have enough iron to carry oxygen to your muscles and burn away fat.
Maintaining a high metabolism need not be complicated. Tiny tweaks in your daily routine can change how quickly you burn calories, so experiment with these tips to start living your healthiest life.