A history of dieting, food restriction, inactivity, stress and eating the wrong types of food can all lead to a sluggish metabolism. A decreased metabolism is linked to weight gain and the accumulation of fat around the middle makes all your best efforts of weight loss almost unattainable. Here is the great news however: You can reverse this and heal your slow metabolism with the right foods and the right form of exercise.
Let’s start with which foods to be avoided if you think your metabolism has already taken a blow or you are struggling with your weight loss. Foods that are known to slow your metabolism include any form of refined carbohydrates. Carbohydrates where the outer husk of the grain has been removed such as in white pasta, rice or bread. There is no nutritional value to these foods at all, they are just empty calories and if this was not already bad enough this means your digestive system cannot do the work it was designed to do. This has the result, you might have guessed it, your metabolism is getting lazy too.
Other foods that are known to have detrimental effects on your metabolism are trans fats. Foods that contain the wrong type of fat put enormous stress on your body which means your entire system will be slowed down. Since your body cannot break these fats down, it stores them which more than likely will be your mid-section. Arrgh….
Environmental toxins we find in our foods such as pesticides interfere with our ability to burn fat. Organic is always the safest choice especially when you are concerned about your weight. However, I do know that organic is not always readily available everywhere or simply too expensive, so in order to not fall into the trap of slowing your precious metabolism with pesticides, herbicides and other toxic residues, it will greatly help your metabolism if you make it a habit to peel, wash and dry fresh produce.
Foods that help boost your metabolism are high in the minerals iron, calcium and vitamin D. All of these minerals help to boost your metabolism. Vitamin D is important because it is known to increase muscle tissue. Sufficient iron levels ensure oxygen can be carried around your body and fat can be burnt fast. Having enough calcium in your diet ensures that it is not leaked out of your bones but instead, your bones and muscles stay strong and serve as insurance policy for your active metabolism. My perfect food to ignite my metabolism, therefore are green leafy vegetables like kale, bok choy (rich in iron and calcium), chia seeds (rich in calcium and metabolism boosting omega 3 fatty acids), almonds or sesame seeds (high in calcium and protein).
To fast track your metabolism you need to be eating little bits often. When your body does not receive enough food it changes gears and slips into survival mode and instead of burning what you eat, it stores every single calorie you eat for later use. So skipping meals or breakfast is a sure way for your metabolism to slow down, instead ensure you are having 3 meals throughout the day with 2 snacks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolic fire burning.
Lastly, you want to make sure you include enough healthy protein into your diet. Protein is one of the major building blocks of your body and muscles and if your beautiful body is not receiving enough of it, the brakes are put on your metabolism. Healthful options of foods that are high in protein and healthy fats are nuts, seeds, legumes and fish.
When it comes to exercise you want to be careful with slow paced steady cardio which can slow down your metabolism, especially when overdone, and replace with short bursts of moderate to high intensity workouts also known as Hiit or tabata workouts. Be sure to include some form of resistance or strength work to keep your muscles strong and toned and to keep your metabolic fire burning