5 sure-fire ways to fire up your metabolism

5 sure-fire ways to fire up your metabolism 1

We all know those lucky people who eat whatever they want without putting on any weight, while the rest of us have only to glance at a chocolate éclair and the kilograms jump straight on to our hips or thighs. It’s just metabolism, we say. It’s either slow or fast and there’s nothing much to be done about it.

But is that actually true?

Metabolism is a collection of chemical reactions in the cells of the body, converting the fuel in the food we eat into the energy needed to power everything we do, from moving to thinking to growing. Thousands of metabolic reactions, regulated by the body itself, happen simultaneously to keep our cells healthy and functioning; the process begins at conception and ends with death.

In the simplest sense, metabolism does influence how easily we gain or lose weight, and there are variations in its ‘speed’.

If we eat more kilojoules than our bodies use, the overflow is stored as excess fat. The Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) is a measure of the rate at which the body ‘burns’ energy (in the form of kilojoules) while at rest, and is an indication of the number of kilojoules an individual needs daily. A higher BMR means the body processes food faster and more efficiently. BMR is influenced by genetic and environmental factors, tending to be faster in men than in women and to slow down with age, irrespective of gender. People whose bodies have a high percentage of lean muscle tissue generally have a higher BMR than those with more fat tissue.

5 do’s and don’ts

So some of the factors affecting metabolic rate are beyond our control. However, there are lifestyle changes that can help kick-start a sluggish metabolism and turn your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine:

1. Get moving. A regular exercise programme uses more kilojoules immediately and also builds muscle mass which will boost your long-term resting metabolic rate so that your body has to burn more kilojoules just to sustain you.
2. Don’t skip meals. A balanced eating plan incorporating regular small meals of natural unprocessed foods will keep your metabolism in high gear – skipping meals has the opposite effect, sending your body into ‘starvation mode’ and causing it to retain more fat.
3. Drinking plenty of water is vital – a dehydrated body maintains temperature by storing fat, while water helps mobilise existing fat stores.
And beware – there are no magic metabolism-boosting pills. Any product claiming to rev the metabolism up should be avoided; there is a real risk of overstressing the thyroid, raising blood pressure and increasing heart rate. If you feel you want to help your metabolism along, a multivitamin and mineral supplement containing magnesium is a sensible choice.
4. Eat spicy foods. Supermodel trainer David Kirsch helps his clients stay in great shape by pushing them to add red pepper flakes, chopped jalapeños, and hot pepper sauce to their meals. “It makes food taste delicious and turns down hunger, so you eat less,” he says.
5. Keep your liver happy- the liver is one of the most important organs to keep our metabolism humming. Think of it as your body’s oil filter. The blood in your veins carry many toxins and metabolic waste from your cells to be detoxed in the liver. A sluggish liver will lead to ineffective detoxification and cells which will be underperforming – leading to a slower metabolism. Glutathione IV’s and liver support supplements are especially effective in cleansing and assisting the liver with detoxification.

So it seems I won’t be able to turn myself into one of those fortunate folk who can eat whatever they want and stay as slim as a reed – but at least I can make sure my own particular metabolic engine is firing on all possible cylinders, and maybe I’ll even be able to give those chocolate éclairs more than a passing glance.

Have a question for our experts? Ask them here.

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