by Jenny Smiechowski –
Ever had a friend who could eat pizza, bread, ice cream, and chips all day long without gaining a pound? It’s amazing how some people can defy the laws of dieting like this, isn’t it? But it’s also frustrating…especially if you’re nibbling on carrots and celery all day and still struggling to zip up your favorite skinny jeans.
It hardly seems fair that some people are blessed with a speedy metabolism that allows them to eat whatever they want without packing on the pounds, while most of us have to watch our diet like a hawk to keep extra weight from sneaking up on us. But there are things you can do to level the playing field with those people in your life who seem to have a magical metabolism.
Because the fact is, your body’s metabolism—how fast it burns calories—is influenced by a variety of factors (1). Sure, your genes have something to do with it. So does your age (1). And you can’t change those things. But there are other factors you can control…as long as you know a few simple tricks for firing up your metabolism in a safe and natural way. And this three-step metabolism-boosting plan is the perfect starting point:
Step 1- Master Your Metabolism through Diet
I know part of the appeal of having a speedy metabolism is that you don’t have to watch what you eat. But the truth is, people who eat junk food all day long and stay thin are a metabolic anomaly. The laws of nature dictate that if you’re taking in more energy (i.e. calories) than you’re expending, you’re going to gain weight (2). Besides, even if your friend who eats pizza and doughnuts every day doesn’t pay for his bad eating habits with excess weight, eating an unhealthy diet causes other health issues…even in people who appear to be “in-shape.”
Does that mean you have to go on a diet to have a healthy metabolism? Not necessarily. Just eat foods that your body metabolizes well, and know what foods can provide a little metabolic boost when you need it.
As a general rule, fried foods (like potato chips) and foods filled with refined sugars (like candy and soda) are more likely to turn into fat in your body (2). Nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruit, on the other hand, are easier for your body to burn as fuel (2).
You can also turn to healthy staples that are proven to pump up the amount of calories you burn throughout the day, like:
- Fiber-filled foods (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes)
- Protein-rich foods (fish, chicken, nuts, beans, meat, and dairy)
- Iron-filled foods (meat, shellfish, spinach, beans)
- Vitamin D-filled foods (fish, meat, dairy, eggs)
- Calcium-rich foods (dairy, seeds, beans, and leafy greens)
- Caffeinated beverages like coffee or tea
- Cold water
- Organic foods (pollutants from pesticides hamper your metabolism)
When it comes to diet and metabolism, I have one more crucial tip for you…don’t deprive yourself. Studies show that limiting calories too much can actually slow down your metabolism (4). So eat plenty, just choose wisely.
Step 2- Make Time for Metabolism-Boosting Exercise
Certain types of exercise can keep your body burning calories long after you’ve left the gym, like high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In high-intensity interval training, you alternate between high-intensity exercise and less intense recovery periods (5). An example of a HIIT workout would be alternating between running for three minutes and walking for three minutes (5). Research shows that combining high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods can help your body burn more calories all day long (6).
Strength training is an important part of any metabolism-boosting plan too because having more muscle tissue causes your body to burn more calories (1). Two people could weigh the exact same amount, but if one person had mostly muscle tissue and the other person had mostly fat tissue, the person with more muscle would naturally burn more calories throughout the day…even when they were resting (2). So try to squeeze in strength training at least two days per week (7).
Step 3- Get a Helping Hand from Herbs
Once you start practicing diet and exercise habits that support a healthy metabolism, you’ll probably notice a big difference in how you look and feel—all because your body’s burning calories more efficiently.
Of course, it may take a while for these changes to have an effect, so if you want to give your metabolism a helping hand in the meantime, you can try safe and effective herbs that support a healthy metabolism.
Research shows that dandelion root, for example, encourages the breakdown of fat and cholesterol and stimulates healthy gastric juices that aid digestion (8). Cayenne also has metabolism-supporting abilities. Research shows this spicy pepper assists your body’s fat metabolism (9). Ginger is another herb that can aid metabolism and weight loss. Studies show that ginger promotes thermogenesis, a process in which your body burns calories to create heat (10). It also eases feelings of hunger (10).
If giving your metabolism extra herbal support sounds like a good idea, consider trying Native Remedies’ EcoSlim™. It contains dandelion root, cayenne pepper, and ginger, along with other herbs that encourage a healthy weight and metabolism. Native Remedies’ DetoxSlim™ also contains dandelion root and ginger, as well as nettle leaf, burdock root, Oregon grape root and other herbs that promote healthy digestion and elimination, both of which support your metabolism.
These three steps should get your metabolism back on track. But if for some reason you notice that no matter what you do, you’re still gaining weight, take a trip to your doctor. There are certain health issues that can cause an unnaturally slow metabolism, like hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome, pituitary gland disorders and Cushing’s disease (2). You’ll want to get these health issues taken care of sooner rather than later so you can keep your body—and metabolism—functioning at their best.
- “Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories.” Mayo Clinic. 30 Aug. 2017. Web 7 Nov. 2017. <https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508;.
- “How Metabolism Really Works.” Rush. N.D. Web 7 Nov. 2017. <https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/how-metabolism-really-works;.
- Yeager, Selene. “11 Eating Rules To Rev Your Metabolism All Day Long.” Prevention. 3 Nov. 2011. Web 7 Nov. 2017. < https://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/diets/boost-metabolism-high-metabolism-diet;.
- Girdwain, Jessica. “6 Ways Your Diet Is Messing with Your Metabolism.” Shape. N.D. Web 7 Nov. 2017.
- Kravitz, Len. “High-Intensity Interval Training.” American College of Sports Medicine. N.D. Web 7 Nov. 2017. <http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf;.
- “Minutes of hard exercise can lead to all-day calorie burn.” ScienceDaily. 10 Oct. 2012. Web 7 Nov. 2017.
- “How can I speed up my metabolism?” National Health Service. 31 Oct. 2017. Web 7 Nov. 2017. <https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/Pages/how-can-I-speed-up-my-metabolism.aspx;.
- Koithan, M. “Using Herbal Remedies to Maintain Optimal Weight.” Journal of Nurse Practitioners. 2010 Feb; 6(2): 153–154. doi: 1016/j.nurpra.2009.12.005. Web 7 Nov. 2017.
- “Studies of Cayenne & Metabolism.” San Francisco Chronicle. N.D. Web 7 Nov. 2017. <http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/studies-cayenne-metabolism-5561.html;.
- Mansour, M.S., et al. “Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot study.” Metabolism. 2012 Oct; 61(10): 1347–1352. doi: 1016/j.metabol.2012.03.016. Web 7 Nov. 2017.