How to boost your metabolism

Struggling to shift those last few kilos? A sluggish metabolic rate affects the number of kilojoules your body can burn, which hinders weight loss, so you might benefit from giving your metabolism a boost. Try these simple lifestyle changes to get your motor running.

1. Eat enough
It may seem like an oxymoron, but eating is one of the best ways to blast kilojoules. However, your food choices need to be healthy – sadly, copious cakes will not help with your weight-loss goals. Sensible snacking is a good way to keep your body burning throughout the day, and be sure to eat a low GI, protein-rich breakfast (think oats, muesli or omelettes). It’s not called ‘the most important meal of the day’ for nothing!

2. Choose nourishing foods
If your metabolism is your body’s motor, then food is its fuel, so it needs to be of good quality. Choose wholefoods rich in protein, calcium, iron, zinc, fibre and omega-3 – a sample shopping list could include items such as eggs, avocados, broccoli, lean red meat, salmon, natural yoghurt, legumes, leafy greens, raw nuts and green tea. Avoid starchy carbohydrates and sugary or processed foods, as they can slow down your system.

3. Stay hydrated
We know, we know – drinking water is always suggested for good health. But it’s for good reason. Water affects every biological process in your body, so it makes sense that dehydration would directly influence your metabolism. If you can’t handle the recommended two litres per day, try supplementing with green or herbal tea, or flavour your water with cucumber, citrus, berries or leafy herbs.

4. Spice things up
Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chillies, cayenne pepper and jalapenos, is well documented as a fat-fighting food. It stimulates the body to burn energy and create heat, which can benefit your metabolism. Try adding a pinch or teaspoon of spice to your meals, for a simple and flavourful boost.

5. Build muscle
Your body is constantly burning calories to function, however, the ‘resting metabolic rate’ is higher for people with more muscle, as it requires more calories to sustain than fat. So, adding some light weights or resistance reps into your daily routine means you’ll reap the benefits when you relax!

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Written by Louise Baxter

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