Exercise is an important part of managing your weight, but it isn’t the only factor to consider when you’re trying to drop a few pounds. What you eat and how your body processes the calories you take in can make a big difference in how quickly you shed those unwanted pounds.
Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. The faster your metabolism, the faster your body turns calories into energy (and doesn’t store those calories as fat). If you have a slow metabolism, losing weight can be a struggle. The good news is there are many things you can do to boost your metabolism.
Want to burn more fat? Embrace these daily habits.
Drink ice water first thing in the morning. Drinking cold water will help you wake up and get your blood flowing, which boosts metabolism. Your body must work harder to warm up cold water, which also burns more calories. Don’t just drink water in the morning; keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. The less water you drink, the slower your metabolism will be.
Stand more, sit less. Sitting doesn’t require the use of any muscles, but simply standing requires muscles in your body for stability, which boosts your metabolism. If you have a desk job, consider investing in a standing desk. If a standing desk isn’t an option, make a point to stand while you’re talking on the phone; get up from your desk and walk to speak with colleagues rather than emailing or calling them; take the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator; and take a walk on your lunch break.
Set a sleep schedule. Your body needs the right amount of sleep to stay healthy. Adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Any more or less, and you could be doing yourself a disservice in the weight loss department. If you want to feel better inside and out, set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
Eat more fiber. Consuming more high-fiber foods will result in higher caloric burn as your body works extra hard to break down the fiber, which is actually indigestible. If you want to get more fiber in your diet, eat foods like whole grains, oats, apples, avocados, legumes, broccoli, raspberries and almonds.
Don’t skip meals. If you want to lose weight, be sure you’re eating regular meals. If your body isn’t sure when the next meal is coming, your metabolism will slow down as your body stores more calories as fat rather than burning them for energy.
Lift weights. The more muscle you have, the faster your body will burn calories because muscle requires more calories than fat during the day, even while you’re resting. Incorporate strength training activities into your daily routine, whether that’s weight lifting at the gym, doing bodyweight exercises in your living room, swimming or paddle boarding. Find an activity you enjoy and make a habit of it.
Even if you were born with a slow metabolism, incorporating these habits into your daily life will help boost your metabolic rate, resulting in greater fat burn over time.