If I had a dollar for every person who complained their metabolism was slow, or dead, I’d be a rich woman!
But here’s the thing: your metabolism isn’t really slow or fast. It’s healthy or damaged. And if it’s damaged, you can heal it. Isn’t that great news?!
But before I tell you a little about how to do that, let’s discuss some of the factors that cause the damage.
1. Age. There’s nothing you can do about this one, but it’s better than the alternative! We just don’t want to age prematurely, more destructively, or more rapidly than we have to. It is harder to keep your metabolism revved as you age, but NOT impossible.
2. Dieting. As unfair and paradoxical as it seems, dieting is one of the worst things you can do to your metabolism, particularly if you have gained and lost repeatedly through the years.
3. Thyroid. An underactive thyroid makes it much more difficult to lose weight. Even if your lab work is in the “normal reference range” your thyroid can still be under-functioning and slowing down your metabolism.
4. Exhaustion. Too little sleep, too much caffeine, sugar and refined carbs all slow your metabolism, as your body tries to conserve energy and preserve itself under stress. Plus, when we are tired, the brain demands more of those non-nutritious foods that give your blood sugar a quick spike and then drop it precipitously, leaving you with cravings, and in worse shape than before.
Here’s Your Re-Boot
Each of these suggestions has been shown in research to help boost metabolism.
1. Healthy fats. Include Omega 3s and MCT from coconut oil every day. They help you burn fat faster and balance blood sugar, as well as decreasing inflammation.
2. Green Tea. Either drink several cups of green tea daily, or supplement with EGCG, the compound in it that increases fat burning.
3. Sleep. If you suddenly grew a muffin top, you might be surprised to find that getting 8 hours of sleep a night can help it shrink.
4. More Fiber. Adding fiber to your diet slows stomach emptying time and, along with healthy fats, helps you burn your fuel for longer. Try adding 2 cups of lightly cooked, non-starchy veggies to both lunch and dinner. And don’t be afraid to add some (pastured) butter!
5. HIIT High Intensity Interval Training is far more effective than long aerobic exercise when it comes to losing fat and getting in shape, without the wear and tear on your body, and in much less time. For more on this, see any of my previous columns on this subject.