Can You Actually Increase Your Metabolism?
“5 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism Right Now” or “How to Improve Your Metabolism and Lose Weight Fast.” Do any of these titles sound familiar?
Headlines flash about increasing your metabolism, but is it actually possible? And what does metabolism mean exactly? Perhaps you’ve been trying to lose weight for a while. Or you have one bad meal and it shows right around your waistline. What gives?
Well, if you’re racking your brains trying to figure it out, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll dive into what metabolism actually means, as well as how increasing it truly works. Do the headlines ring true? Should the goal increase your metabolism be your fitness inspiration? Keep reading!
What Does Metabolism Mean?
Ultimately, your metabolism comes down to the interactions between your hormones, environment, and your behavior or actions. It’s every chemical process that occurs in your body and is required to maintain your life.
Your metabolism also has a genetic variable. You may have noticed this in certain people who seem to be able to devour whatever they want but don’t gain an ounce.
As to what exactly determines how fast or how slow your metabolism is, it may be very complex.
Yet, it is possible to change it.
How to Increase Your Metabolism
Long story short, you can increase your metabolism. However, it takes time and persistence. It also maybe shouldn’t be the focus of your fitness goals.
So, if you’re looking for a bit of fitness inspiration, instead, focus on changing your weight set point. Your weight set point is where your body sits at a healthy weight and also where it’s easy to maintain.
This is also why many people struggle to lose weight. Your body wants to maintain a particular set point. And when it has extra weight, the survival sirens kick in and it doesn’t want to get rid of it.
After all, your body and its systems are designed and built to help you survive. And unfortunately, these systems evolved many years ago. And even though many of us are nowhere near starving or running out of food, your body doesn’t know that!
However, again, it is possible to change this set point.
How Do You Change Your Weight Set Point?
Now, we’re talking!
While it’s never recommended to focus on your weight in particular (this can lead to an unhealthy obsession with the scale), changing your weight set point can lead to an increased metabolism; It’s easier and much more basic than you think.
You’ll want to start changing any unhealthy habits you have and focusing on gradually introducing healthier habits into your life.
New Habits to Increase Your Metabolism
1. Eat Proper Portion Sizes and The Right Foods
This requires educating yourself. You need to become aware of what you’re putting in your body and what your body really needs. It may even be beneficial to hire a nutritionist if you’re really not sure.
Eventually, you’ll want to make small changes - one step at a time - to your diet.
2. Get Moving
Make exercise a key part of your lifestyle. It builds muscle and by building muscle, you’ll increase your body’s energy needs. Muscle requires more energy and more calories to maintain.
3. Avoid Skipping Meals & Restrictive Diets
Aim to eat about every 3-4 hours. You’ll avoid becoming too hungry (and possibly reaching for unhealthy food choices) and it will also regulate and stabilize your blood sugar better. This will prevent you from becoming moody as well.
This further lets the body know that it doesn’t need to conserve fat since it gets used to having incoming energy every few hours.
4. Find Ways to Reduce Your Stress
High cortisol levels won’t help you improve your weight set point. It’ll cause the opposite. Instead, your body will hold onto fat and store more fat. This relates to the ‘fight-or-flight’ mode that the body goes into for survival.
Further, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. A lack of sleep can actually increase stress in the body. Establish a set bedtime and sleep routine.
Try one of the 8 Guided Meditation Apps to get relaxing!
5. Be Patient
Contrary to what certain articles say (such as doing one workout to increase your metabolism), changing your weight set point and increasing your metabolism isn’t an overnight fix. It takes time, hard work, discipline, and dedication.
You have to commit to a total lifestyle change. But you’ll want to change these habits slowly and gradually. Don’t rush it or you may become overwhelmed, which is one of the main reasons why people give up when working toward their health goals.
You Can Do This!
Increasing your metabolic rate is entirely possible. However, healthy habits are critical in making that happen. Remember to surround yourself with people who support you and your goals. Maybe even grab a friend who wants to improve their life (and their metabolism) as well! Then, start making those changes - one baby step at a time!
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