Every last one of us wants to look and feel our best, and we’ve all likely tried a laundry list of techniques to stay healthy, manage weight and feel great every day. If your metabolism isn’t functioning optimally, you simply won’t have the means to do this. Maybe you’ve tried diets, exercise regimens, or even weight loss pills to no avail. None of these will be of any benefit if the metabolic processes and hormones aren’t functioning as they were meant to. As a functional practitioner, my goal is to address the root cause of issues rather than symptoms. So rather than trying to achieve a goal being focused on the result, let’s focus on the root metabolic issues. I am not going to recommend a particular diet or a single exercise routine. Instead, I want to focus on concepts that you can incorporate into your daily routine, and compliment your other healthy habits, for long-term, sustainable solutions to improve how you look and feel. Let’s take a look at 5 of the best ways we can all master our metabolism, without turning to quick fixes or synthetic solutions.
1. Break Up With Sugar
To upgrade your metabolism to a totally new level, you’re going to have to break up with sugar for good. Sugar, especially the processed and refined kind, has little benefit for your health and actually impedes your metabolism in many ways. To put it bluntly, the white stuff is detrimental to your health and undermines your metabolic, gut and hormone health along with your immune system. I’m sure many of you are not happy to read this, but I can personally attest that when there is no sugar in my diet, the difference is unmistakable. Not only do I feel amazing, but I notice a difference every time I step on a scale. I have more energy for workouts, I am not finding myself dragging in the middle of the day, and my cravings for sweets dramatically subside.
When you eat too much sugar, a hormone in the body known as GIP increases and a hormone called S-Catenin is released from the pancreas. When all this happens, the cells in your body proliferate, which is the same thing that happens when cancer manifests.
Consequently, the more sugar you eat, the harder time you’ll have shedding those unwanted pounds. Unfortunately, sugar is hiding out in so many foods, so you’ll want to scrutinize those labels and buy whole, organic foods whenever possible. Now there ARE some naturally occurring sugars in certain fruits that are actually good for you, but should still be eaten in moderation. These are: apples, bananas, oranges, lemons, limes, papayas, mangoes, strawberries, raisins, dates and prunes. Raw honey and pure maple syrup taken in moderation is fine, too. I can’t say that I’m ever 100% sugar-free, but there are periods where I avoid/limit even those naturally occurring sugars in fruit entirely, and I definitely notice a difference. Any refined or process sugar is a very rare exception. I made sure to indulge in some delicious desserts outside my normal regimen while visiting Italy last year, or for the occasional special occasion. When I do indulge – I always follow the 3 bite rule. I take 3 mindful bites of the dessert, savor it and then place my fork to the side.
2. Commit To 30 Minutes of High Intensity Interval Training Each Day
Exercise is obviously a main factor in increasing metabolic output, but where are you going to get the most bang for your buck? To get your metabolism functioning like a rock star, you’ll specifically want to focus on what’s called “burst” or high intensity interval training – and you’ll want to do it daily, or as close to it as you can. This form of exercise has been proven to stoke the fires of metabolism better than any other. In fact, multiple studies show that combining high intensity interval training with weight training will transform your body into a fat-burning machine. High intensity interval training boosts your metabolism, because it helps the body produce human growth hormones, which not only helps you lose weight, but also age gracefully.
If you’re wondering what this workout looks like, imagine taking your iPhone outside and setting the timer for 20 minutes. For the first minute you would warm up by walking at a brisk pace. Then, for the next 30 seconds you would sprint down the trail or sidewalk. For the next 90 seconds you would catch your breath and walk slowly or even remain still. Then again for 30 seconds, you workout to your full capacity, which could also mean doing fast push-ups, burpees, jumping jacks, squats, or whatever gets your heart rate into the 80-85% range. The following 90 seconds is recovery time. You’d repeat this for the full 20 minutes, finishing off the workout with 5 minutes of gentle stretching if you like. Speaking of smartphone, there are plenty of free apps that will create intervals timers for you. Look up any “Tabata” app – this is one of my husband and I’s favorite workout routines while we’re on vacation and don’t have a gym. We each come up with 2 exercises and then create a circuit of 4 exercises to do along with the interval timer, and do a total of about 4-5 circuits. We easily burn 200-400 calories in a short period of time, and most importantly, set our metabolism up for success.
3. Incorporate the Right Supplements Into Your Diet
The average American is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals due to the lack of sufficient servings of vegetables and from eating too many processed foods. For this reason, you’ll want to consider integrating all-natural supplements into your health routine to help boost your metabolism. Now I have several supplements that I take regularly to help maintain heart health and provide my mitochondria in every cell the co-factors they need to function and make energy.
A long with supplements I also incorporate essential oils More and more research is showing that essential oils provide amazing benefits for a healthy metabolism – a good reason to do your research and consider incorporating them into your diet.
The doTerra Slim & Sassy Metabolic Blend is my go-to, and it gives your metabolism a huge upgrade like no other supplement can. How? The blend contains an intelligent combination of metabolism-lovin’ essential oils, such as Ginger, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Cinnamon and Lemon, that work to manage cravings while also promoting a good mood. Simply add this amazing oil blend to water or tea and drink before meals or before your high intensity interval training workout. If you’d like to add in additional supplements to your weight loss regimen, check out the entire line of doTerra Slim & Sassy products, which also includes Trim Shakesin addition to the essential oil blend.
4. Fill Your Diet with Metabolism-Boosting Mini-Meals
You may be wondering how and what to eat to boost your metabolism in a healthy, natural way. Eating superfood mini-meals throughout the day is a surefire way to get your metabolism functioning optimally because it keeps your blood sugar stable and lessens cravings. Over-eating rarely happens when we’re steadily satiated throughout the day. Include green smoothies into your diet (I start with one every morning!) with superfood powders like chlorella, wheatgrass, spirulina, or blue-green algae. Sip on green tea between your mini-meals as it also works to boost your metabolism with its powerful antioxidant compounds. Eat lots of garlic, cinnamon, and healthy proteins and fats, especially nuts and legumes. Avocados, chia seeds and coconut oil are some of the best fat-burning fats on the planet.
Here are some of my favorite mini-meals:
- Raw almonds with a sprinkle of cinnamon
- Homemade trail mix with raw, unsalted nuts, raw seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin, and some low-sugar dried fruit, such as tart cherries.
- Half of a ripe avocado with lime juice and a touch of sea salt (Your favorite vinaigrette works great too!)
- A piece of sprouted Ezekiel bread with coconut oil, a dash of cinnamon, and a drizzle of raw honey
- A ripe papaya with the juice of a lime
5. Drink Lots of Good, Clean Water
Drinking lots of water throughout the day helps flush out toxins and detoxify the body of impurities, which is essential for weight loss and healthy metabolism. An Ayurvedic discipline involves sipping on warm water throughout the entire day. This manages hunger while also keeping you properly hydrated. Aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day, and even more in those hot, summer months when you lose lots of water through sweat. Sometimes it’s hard to drink water when you don’t feel thirsty, but trust me – you are probably dehydrated Over 75% of American adults are dehydrated. Dehydration contributes to inflammation, skin issues, fatigue, joint pain amongst other chronic conditions. A great way to avoid dehydration is by carry a water bottle everywhere you go so that you remember to keep hydrated.
There you have it! If you follow these guidelines you’ll have what it takes to make the needed improvements in your metabolism! Remember to always have patience as natural healing takes time, but also gets to the root of things whereby pharmaceuticals fail to. Self-compassion is key too, as you integrate new habits into your life.