If you've been feeling like your metabolism has been a little sluggish and needing a boost, there are some shifts you can make to see what your body responds to. Here are some great ways to improve your metabolism so you can continue to feel energized and healthy.
Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an effective way to burn energy for a long time. HIIT workouts require you to do intense, cardio-based exercises— such as jumping squats and burpees— for a short interval, then take a short break and repeat. One of the most beneficial aspects of HIIT workouts is that the body continues to burn calories well after you finish your workout because it increases your metabolism. The workouts are also short, meaning you can fit them in during your free time.
Lift Some Weights
Along with your HIIT exercises, incorporate some weightlifting into your fitness routine. Muscles use up more calories in a day than fat, so you will also improve your metabolism by lifting weights and building muscle. This increased energy expenditure is not just limited to when you're doing the exercises— even when you're resting, your body is still burning calories for basic life functions. If you have more muscle, you'll burn more calories.
Get Enough (Good Quality) Sleep
Getting a good night's sleep is so important for overall health, but it also improves metabolism. Lack of sleep disrupts the hormones responsible for regulating appetite, blood sugar levels, stress, and metabolism. When we don't sleep enough, we don't give our bodies enough time to rest and recover, and we cannot function optimally. This means that our metabolic rate slows down and is not as efficient. Stress levels also increase, which can lead to emotional eating and mindless snacking.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to improve your metabolism. Some studies report that drinking cold water is even more effective at increasing metabolic rate because the body works harder to warm it up, thus burning more calories. However, this amount is not significant. You should drink approximately half of your body weight in ounces of water each day.
Have Some Green Tea or Coffee
Green tea and coffee also improve metabolism. Both of these drinks contain caffeine, which is known to increase metabolic rate and help burn fat. Green tea is also rich in antioxidants that aid in fat loss by encouraging the liver to burn fat for energy. Make sure you don't overdo it on the caffeine, but it could be beneficial in moderation.
Eat Enough Protein
Certain nutrients, such as proteins and fats, are not as easily broken down as others, such as carbohydrates. This means that our bodies need to use more energy and work harder to break down and metabolize these foods. Because it takes longer to metabolize, protein also keeps you full for a long time. If you exercise and lift weights, you need to eat enough protein to maintain (and build) muscle mass, which also improves metabolism.
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