Churning away inside your body—right this minute—is your very own personal fat burner, working tirelessly to help you burn calories and shed fat. It’s called your metabolism, and it’s the sum of everything your body does.
Each time you eat, enzymes in your body’s cells break down the food and turn it into energy that keeps your heart beating, your mind thinking, and your legs churning during a grueling workout. A fast metabolism means more calories burned. The more you burn, the easier it is to drop pounds. And get this—you can make increase you metabolism so it works harder, a lot harder, 24 hours a day.
Here are 5 simple daily habits that you can adopt to speed up your metabolism considerably.
According to a 2010 review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, sleep deprivation has a profound effect on metabolic function. The less sleep you get, the more likely it is to see hiccups and slowing in your regular metabolic rate.
If you’re tired, a lot of times, you make poor choices. Our body needs time to repair itself; it needs rest. Don’t think that making sure you get enough sleep on the weekends helps, if anything, that just plays havoc on your system.
Try laying out a schedule and giving yourself a bedtime a la your toddler years. You don’t have to tell mom now, but seems like she was really on to something with that whole lights out at 9 p.m. thing.
2. Build Muscles
Muscle has a huge impact on the amount of calories you burn, according to an article plublished in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Plain and simple: Muscles use a lot more calories than fat during the day (even while you’re resting).
The more muscular you are, the more calories you’ll burn at rest. Hit the gym, get to your downward dogs, paddle board — anything that builds up muscle — get out there and enjoy it, especially as you age.
Building up muscle can also help support bone health. Both muscles and bones become stronger when muscles work against bones during bouts of exercise. The benefit? Better overall health and strength when it comes to doing everyday tasks ranging from lifting a box up the stairs to walking to the train.
3. Not skip meals
We’ve all been there: Sometimes we get so busy that we forget to eat breakfast or lunch, and before we know it it’s 4 p.m. and we haven’t eaten a thing (and no, coffee doesn’t count as a meal). The problem? Skipping meals can actually shock the metabolism and give you less-than-satisfactory results.
The longer a woman goes between meals, especially if she’s skipping them, the body kind of goes into a ‘I don’t know when my next meal is coming, I’m gonna hold onto whatever I have’ phase’. Then, your metabolism slows down. That’s why it’s super important not to skip any meals.
If you skip meals, you’re also likely to have much lower energy, which can affect you physically, emotionally, and mentally, which makes building muscles a lot less possible.
4. Load up on spicy foods
Eating spicy food can speed up your metabolism — chili peppers, in particular. The peppers have a compound called capsaicin which gives them their powerful kick. A study published in the New York Times indicated that the capsaicin creates a large bump in heat generation, helping send your energy producers into high gear immediately after a meal.
5. Drink more water
Plain and simple, if you’re dehydrated, metabolism slows down. Especially in the summer when you’re more prone to dehydration, make sure you’re getting in a minimum of 64 ounces of water each day. Not a fan of plain old water? Add cucumber, lemon, or pineapple for a flavor boost that’ll leave you hankering for more.