Especially as we get older our metabolic rate decreases, and this is an important reason why many of us experience weight gain later in life. We are even seeing this with young people who sit in front of the computer or the television too much. Even at their age metabolism drops and it is harder to keep the weight off. And just what is metabolism? Basically it is the rate that the body naturally burns the calories that it takes in. It has many influences such as age, body composition, gender and lean muscle to body fat ratios. Keeping a strong metabolism will greatly diminish obesity, and therefore overall health.
If you have are starting to feel more sluggish your metabolism may be declining, and there are a number of lifestyle changes that can get you going again. Stress, sleep deprivation and poor eating habits are common contributing problems, but perhaps a more prevalent cause in today’s world is what we call chronic inflammation. Diets today consists of more foods that cause inflammation to the system and this will definitely take a toll on any person’s metabolism.
Listed below are five things that you should do (or shouldn’t do) to help keep your metabolism where it should be. These are easy, simple steps that should be done as part of a person’s lifestyle.
1. Highly processed junk food. The list is long and well-known of the foods that are going to be pro-inflammatory to the system. Sugar and highly processed foods are in reality not food at all, because they provide little or no nourishment to the body. It may be difficult for people who have to eat out a lot to avoid these foods, but there are now more choices available for people who want to eat healthy.
2. Healthy food sensitivity. There are some foods that can play havoc with certain people’s metabolism that for most people are perfectly nutritious. Those who have a food sensitivity or allergy to nuts, dairy, gluten and a host of other foods will have a reaction as if their system were being attacked rather than nourished. These inflammatory molecules will be sent out to protect the body but will cause a decrease in insulin and leptin sensitivity. Know what they are and avoid them to keep your metabolism up.
3. Eat enough protein. Protein has the tendency to rev up the metabolic engine because it makes the body generates more heat. This is a way to increase metabolism and burn more calories. One of the top proteins for this is whey protein. It has been popular as a supplement for athletes for quite some time with little side effects.
4. Avoid constantly feeding the body. There is a growing consensus that calorie restriction through intermittent fasting is the way to actually increase metabolism, but in a different way. Fasting for too long, that is for many people 50 to 60 hours will cause the body to shut down. But intermittent fasting, or fasting for 15 to 20 hours has been found to boost human growth hormone production.
5. Lack of daily movement. Exercise, and especially high intensity exercise is a known metabolism booster. But not everyone is able to do exercise on a daily basis. It is important to understand that any movement is far better than being stationary for long periods of time. We should never remain seated without any movement for more than a few minutes at a time. Simply standing up or stretching and walking around is extremely important.