Tell Us The Truth: Will Getting More Sleep Actually Boost Our Metabolism?

Our metabolism keeps all systems running smoothly. When it slows down everything else follows suit. What can we do to boost metabolism naturally? Functional medicine excerpt, Dr. Josh Axe, is sharing five simple and holistic changes to make now…

We tend to think a lot about our metabolisms — whether we’re wondering why we can’t seem to drop those last few pounds or wondering why some of our friends seem to be able to eat an entire pizza without gaining an ounce. But your metabolism plays a much larger role in your health than just helping you shed weight.

Metabolism encompasses all of the chemical reactions that happen in humans (and other living organisms) to help them stay alive. In fact, it’s our metabolism that’s responsible for turning the calories we consume into energy that our bodies use as fuel. Because every system in the body — from our digestive system to our nervous system — depends on our metabolism, having a healthy one results in more than an ability to look good sans clothes. A properly functioning metabolism is critical for keeping our immune system functioning properly, maintaining a healthy sex drive, supporting lean muscle mass and lots more.

Our metabolisms naturally slow down at around 40 years old, but some people may experience a sluggish metabolism before then and for a variety of reasons. Low activity levels, low muscle mass or genetics can all contribute to a slower metabolism and cause fatigue, irregular periods, feelings of cold, mood disorders like anxiety or depression and difficulty in losing weight. If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, they could be signs that your metabolism could use a boost.

Here are five ways to give it a natural kick-start…

How To Boost Metabolism Naturally

Stop dieting | For people trying to lose weight, restricting calories is often the go-to approach — even though it can be detrimental for your metabolism. When you severely limit calories, your body doesn’t have enough of the nutrients required to operate optimally, and because your body believes it’s starving, it holds on to the precious few calories it’s given. In the process, and to conserve energy, your body’s fat-burning ability comes to a screeching halt.

Instead of slashing calories, focus on nutrient density. This means ensuring that the calories you are eating are from whole, unprocessed foods that provide your body with the variety of nutrients it needs. This could be three larger meals, or several smaller ones, scheduled throughout the day in order to prevent your body from hitting “starvation mode.”

Hit the snooze button | It’s recommended that adults sleep between seven and nine hours each night. If you’re regularly getting less sleep, your metabolism may take a hit. If your body is fatigued or doesn’t have enough time to do its overnight maintenance, your metabolism will compensate by slowing down, in an effort to conserve what precious energy you do have. Explore these functional tips for getting better sleep.

Add HIIT workouts to your routine | If you haven’t tried high-intensity interval training (HIIT) yet, now’s the time to start. The workouts — which combine bursts of all-out effort with short rests — jump-start your metabolism more than steady-state workouts, like jogging, can. HIIT workouts are especially useful for older adults who may be short on time, but want to keep their exercise volume — and metabolism — up.

Start lifting | Don’t be scared of weights! Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat. That means extra muscle mass can rev your resting metabolic rate long after your workout is over. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, lifting weights or using dumbbells at home can all help build muscle.

Stock up on metabolism-loving foods | Some foods support a healthy metabolism better than others. Protein, for instance, not only helps you feel full longer, but it also keeps energy levels stable and builds muscle mass (which, as discussed, will use up more calories than fat). When you eat protein-rich foods — like cage-free eggs, wild-caught fish, and grass-fed beef — your body is forced to use more calories to digest them than it does with carbs. Swapping your coffee for a cup of green tea can help too. Thanks to its antioxidants, the drink is considered a natural metabolism booster.

Yoga is another amazing tool to help boost metabolism naturally.
Give this simple daily yoga practice a try.

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 program. 

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