No matter your lifestyle, it’s likely you’re looking to optimize your energy levels. Whether you want to get super-technical with the metabolic calculations below or just pick up a few basic tips to keep your energy high, we’re talking about metabolism-boosting foods and routines that will help you feel your best with our friends at Food Matters.
Your metabolism is the sum of the physical and chemical processes that produce energy to allow your body to do all it needs to do. As your metabolism is a whole range of processes producing energy in your body, it needs to be told how fast or slow to do them.
To keep your metabolism, and therefore all the processes in your body, running smoothly you need to make sure that you’re giving your body the fuel it needs – energy. Each metabolic process in the body requires energy to occur. In fact 60-70% of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), calculated according to your age, gender, weight, height, and physical activity levels, is used up by vital metabolic functions. That’s your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
13 Daily Habits To Support Your Metabolism
There’s a lot of different theories surrounding metabolism. From what it is, ways to boost it, and what lifestyle choices actually make a difference to how it works. So we’ve found out all the essentials you need to know to help make sense of your metabolism!
There are some foods that do help to fire up your metabolism, but the effect is minimal and only for a short period of time. These include spicy foods such as chili because of its heat, caffeinated beverages due to their stimulatory effects, and high protein foods as they take longer to digest. However, it’s much more important to focus on a healthy diet and lifestyle in general. This includes…
Clean Up Your Diet. Eat a whole food based, minimally processed diet.
Stay Hydrated. Drink plenty of water each day.
Fill Up With Fiber. Eat plenty of vegetables to boost nutrient intake and dietary fiber.
Un-refine Your Tastes. Reduce intake of refined foods such as sugars, flours, processed, packaged foods, and fast food.
Focus on Lean Proteins. Opt for lean protein sources that fit your dietary needs e.g. lean meats, beans, and legumes.
Befriend Healthy Fats. Consume healthy fats from whole food sources including nuts, seeds, olive and coconut oil. Fish, hemp seeds and chia seeds are also fantastic sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
Eat Mindfully. Eat mindfully to feel satisfied, not full. Monitor your portion sizes and try to eat slower to give your body a chance to tell you you’re full before overdoing it. A healthy weight is important for a healthy metabolism.
Find Iodine-rich foods. Foods such as seaweed and seafood are rich in iodine, which is an essential nutrient required by the thyroid gland to manufacture thyroid hormones. However, both iodine deficiency and excess iodine can be a problem, so iodine supplementation is generally not helpful and can often exacerbate any issues that may be present.
Max Out On Minerals. Consume a source of selenium regularly is important as it’s a necessary nutrient for proper thyroid function. Brazil nuts, tuna, crab, and lobster are high in selenium, but you can also get some from sunflower seeds, lean meats and mushrooms.
Limit Your Soy Intake. Avoiding processed, non-organic soy products and limit organic soy products to minimize their potential goitrogenic effect on thyroid function.
Cook Your Cruciferous. Consuming cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts cooked. Heating them denatures much of their potential goitrogenic effects.
Spend Time Outside. Spending 10-15 minutes in the sun getting Vitamin D to prevent deficiencies commonly associated with thyroid issues.
Do Something Active Daily. Exercise helps to boost your metabolism, manage your weight, and reduce your risk of a whole range of health conditions that can be even harder to manage with a thyroid condition.
Don’t Skip Strength Training. Make sure to include weight-bearing exercises to boost your muscle-to-fat ratio. The more muscle you have, the more energy you need to burn to function and maintain that muscle mass daily so your metabolism gets a boost!
More About Your Metabolism…
Your metabolism can be affected by a range of things including: age, gender, body composition i.e. muscle-to-fat ratio, diet, physical activity, and overall lifestyle.
Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns energy to function. There are a few ways you can increase your metabolic rate. But first, let’s break down how the energy, or calories, from what you eat typically gets used:
60-70% vital functions such as breathing, heart rate, and body temperature (this is your BMR – the amount of energy you need just to survive if you did nothing but sleep very still)
15-30% usually goes towards daily activities such as physical activity, housework, gardening, gym workouts, etc
10-15% to your digestion – the functions associated with the breakdown of the food and drink you eat into compounds the body can use to repair, rejuvenate and function optimally
As you can see, the majority of the energy we consume is burned up just by existing! You can increase your metabolism by exercising and moving more, and eating regularly, but they won’t make as big of an impact as you may have originally thought!
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.