Let’s face it. Losing weight is tough. And the more years you put on the calendar the harder it gets to shed those extra pounds.
As you age, your metabolism starts to slow down. And the slower it gets the less effective your body is at burning through the calories you take in.
Kick start your slow metabolism
But no matter your age, boosting your slow metabolism can kick start your stalled weight loss. Following are seven weird ways to turbocharge your metabolism to help you burn through that spare tire fast.
1. Stand up every hour:
You may have heard about the studies over the past few years that have found sitting for hours on end can be bad for your health. Well, it turns out the same sitting causes your metabolism to stall too.
When you sit, your major muscles don’t move. This signals your body to slow your metabolism down to conserve energy. But you can trick your body into continuing to plow through calories by getting up at least once an hour to move. Take a stroll, stretch, or march in place for about ten minutes and you’ll rev your slow metabolism back up to top burn again.
2. Get enough sleep:
It might seem strange that doing “nothing” can help you fight the battle of the bulge. After all, we just told you to keep moving to turbocharge your metabolism. But it turns out sleep is just as vital to keeping your metabolism humming along.
Scientists have linked poor sleep habits to low levels of ghrelin, the hormone that sends signals to your brain that you’re full and should stop eating. So you tend to keep snacking well after you’ve had enough to eat.
But it gets worse. According to researchers, not getting enough sleep also causes your leptin levels, to spike. Leptin, the hunger hormone, triggers the hunger pangs that remind us to eat. But when your levels are too high it can cause you to munch even when you don’t need to eat, and that can cause you to pack on pounds.
Getting enough sleep every night will help keep your hormones levels in proper balance so your metabolism can do its job.
3. Spice things up:
Researchers say the compound that gives hot peppers their heat, capsaicin, naturally speeds up a slow metabolism too. The chemical triggers your body to use more energy so you burn through extra calories. Up to 90 extra calories per meal, some experts estimate.
Capsaicin triggers your body to burn energy-expending brown fat causing a healthy eight percent jump in your metabolic rate. Which is why eating more capsaicin-rich foods can lower your risk for obesity.
4. Go ginger:
It turns out ginger tea isn’t just tasty; it may give your slow metabolism a bit of a boost too. A study conducted by Columbia University and the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center found that the tea speeds up metabolism by allowing your body to use the calories in your food more efficiently.
As a side benefit, the tea also helped study participants feel fuller, longer. When you’re trying to lose weight that extra boost of willpower can come in very handy.
5. Stay hydrated:
Drinking a glass of water when you think you’re hungry is an old dieting trick that can help curb your appetite. It works because often when we think we’re feeling hungry we’re actually mildly dehydrated.
Dehydration alone can slow your metabolism by about three percent. But when you’re trying to lose weight, and fighting a slow metabolism, there’s another reason to drink that glass of water.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that cool water could actually increase your metabolism for up to thirty minutes after you drink a glass. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can keep that boost going.
6. Lift to lose:
Some folks try to avoid lifting weights because they’re afraid it will give them heavy bulky muscles. But the truth is muscle is the key to a fast metabolism. And the stronger and leaner your muscles are the more efficient your metabolism becomes.
Strength training doesn’t have to bulk you up. Using light weights or resistance bands can strengthen your muscles, while leaving them long and lean. Or you can use your body weight, and build muscle doing calisthenics like squats, lunges and push-ups.
Check with your doctor before you start, of course. And if your gym offers a personal trainer go ahead and get some help designing a safe effective routine. Before you know it, your slow metabolism will kick into gear helping you burn off more of what you eat.
7. Cheat (but just a little):
Turns out allowing yourself one meal every week that you don’t worry about calories can actually turbocharge your slow metabolism, instead of setting you back. According to the American Journal of Physiology, occasional “over nutrition” helps elevate the hormones that help your body burn fat and calories.
In other words, that cheat meal can actually help you lose weight.
Trying to lose weight can be frustrating. But if your metabolism is working at top capacity, it doesn’t have to be. Try turbocharging your slow metabolism with these seven weird but effective tricks, and get the results you want!