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How To Improve Your Metabolism

Make sure you get daily aerobic activity like walking, swimming, or cycling (at least 30 mins/day!). Tank up on lean protein from seafood, poultry, eggs, beans or nuts. Snack on something spicy and caffeinated beverages (but, don't go overboard!) and keep yourself well hydrated. You could also try acupuncture and/or ayurvedic remedies like fenugreek seeds, triphala.


Is your skin a little dry? Are you sensitive to the cold? Is your blood pressure low? Do you have high body fat levels? Are you perennially exhausted? Is constipation a common complaint?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you probably have metabolism that could do with some reviving. With a combination of some lifestyle changes, a tweak to your diet, and a healthy injection of activity, your metabolism will soon be back where it should be.


Get Moving

According to the National Health Services, UK, a surefire way to speed up metabolism is to exercise and get moving. It is even considered far more effective than relying on a food source to do the job for you. Specifically, focus on aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, or cycling. Aim at getting in about half an hour of exercise five days a week. If you also hope to lose weight, you will need to work out longer.1

Build Muscle

Fat burns fewer calories than muscle does, so to boost your metabolism you may need to increase the ratio of muscle in your body.2 Lifting weights, using your body weight in exercises like situps or pushups, or working out using resistance bands are good ways to achieve this. If that’s not your style, see if Pilates or tai chi holds your interest. Even yoga has been found to help improve your metabolic indicators, so why not try it out?3 If dedicated exercise time is not something you can commit to, take heart because a hobby like gardening can pay off too. All that heavy digging in your yard does count as exercise!

Get The Right Food Into Your System

Your body is fueled by what you eat. Certain foods can help your metabolism along, so it may be a good idea to increase your intake of these in your diet. Whole grains can help with insulin metabolism and are great for overall health due to their vitamins B and E, selenium, copper, magnesium, zinc, as well as fiber content.4 The capsaicin in chilies is useful in improving energy metabolism and can be safely added to your meal if you can tolerate the spicy heat.5 Tank up on lean protein from seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, or nuts. Eat smart to build more muscle and you’ll speed things along nicely, especially if you couple this careful eating with exercise.

Your beverage choices could also matter. Caffeine in coffee is said to increase metabolic rate in those of normal weight as well as in obese individuals, according to one research study. Just be careful not to overdo it. A couple of cups a day should be fine, but take care to stay hydrated or this will be counterproductive as dehydration adversely impacts metabolism.6 Another study found that a regimen that included green tea polyphenols given as a supplement, paired with tai chi for exercise, yielded promising results and improved muscle strength of test subjects.7

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can instantly slow your body down as it tries to conserve water for vital functions. Drink up your daily recommended intake of water, as appropriate for your activity levels, gender, age, height, and weight. As one study found, not getting enough water can interfere with glucose metabolism.8

Explore Alternative Therapy

Ayurveda offers a range of treatments for helping those with metabolic problems. For those with diabetes-linked carbohydrate metabolism problems, consuming a decoction of Eugenia jambolana (jambolan or Indian black plum) and Tinospora cordifolia (guduchi or heart-leaved moonseed) has been seen to help by influencing metabolic enzymes.9 Another remedy is guggulu or myrrh oleoresin, which destroys toxins in the body and also revs up your metabolism.10 Fenugreek seeds or triphala can also help to boost glucose metabolism.11

Go Under The Needle

If you want to be a little more radical, you could try acupuncture to boost your metabolism. A therapist typically targets points connected to the stomach, hunger, endocrine, and Shen Men (stress reducing and calming point), all present on your ear. The needles help lower heat at these meridians while also stimulating regions that are responsible for hormone and neurochemical production, thus influencing your metabolism. However, research suggests these effects on lowering your basal metabolic rate and reducing your appetite are temporary. For sustained results, you will need to keep up the acupuncture therapy as recommended by a trained acupuncture specialist.12

References   [ + ]

1. How can I speed up my metabolism, NHS.
2. Muscle cells vs. fat cells, US National Library of Medicine.
3. Cohen, Beth E., A. Ann Chang, Deborah Grady, and Alka M. Kanaya. “Restorative yoga in adults with metabolic syndrome: a randomized, controlled pilot trial.” Metabolic syndrome and related disorders 6, no. 3 (2008): 223-229.
4. Slavin, Joanne L., David Jacobs, Len Marquart, and Kathy Wiemer. “The role of whole grains in disease prevention.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 101, no. 7 (2001): 780-785.
5. Shin, Ki Ok, and Toshio Moritani. “Alterations of autonomic nervous activity and energy metabolism by capsaicin ingestion during aerobic exercise in healthy men.” Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology 53, no. 2 (2007): 124-132.
6. Acheson, Kevin J., Barbara Zahorska-Markiewicz, Philippe Pittet, Karthik Anantharaman, and Eric Jéquier. “Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 33, no. 5 (1980): 989-997.
7. Shen, C-L., M-C. Chyu, J. K. Yeh, Y. Zhang, B. C. Pence, C. K. Felton, J-M. Brismée, B. H. Arjmandi, S. Doctolero, and J-S. Wang. “Effect of green tea and Tai Chi on bone health in postmenopausal osteopenic women: a 6-month randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Osteoporosis International 23, no. 5 (2012): 1541-1552.
8. Keller, U., G. Szinnai, S. Bilz, and K. Berneis. “Effects of changes in hydration on protein, glucose and lipid metabolism in man: impact on health.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 57 (2003): S69-S74.
9. Grover, J. K., V. Vats, and S. S. Rathi. “Anti-hyperglycemic effect of Eugenia jambolana and Tinospora cordifolia in experimental diabetes and their effects on key metabolic enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 73, no. 3 (2000): 461-470.
10. Sumantran, Venil N., Asavari A. Kulkarni, Abhay Harsulkar, Asmita Wele, Soumya J. Koppikar, Rucha Chandwaskar, Vishakha Gaire, Madhuri Dalvi, and Ulhas V. Wagh. “Hyaluronidase and collagenase inhibitory activities of the herbal formulation Triphala guggulu.” Journal of biosciences 32, no. 4 (2007): 755-761.
11. Modak, Manisha, Priyanjali Dixit, Jayant Londhe, Saroj Ghaskadbi, and Thomas Paul A. Devasagayam. “Indian herbs and herbal drugs used for the treatment of diabetes.” Journal of clinical biochemistry and nutrition 40, no. 3 (2007): 163-173.
12. Shen, Ein-Yiao, Ching-Liang Hsieh, Yung-Hsien Chang, and Jaung-Geng Lin. “Observation of sympathomimetic effect of ear acupuncture stimulation for body weight reduction.” The American journal of Chinese medicine 37, no. 06 (2009): 1023-1030.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.