How to Maintain Your Figure by Keeping Your Metabolism in Shape
When it comes to weight management, we rarely consider how our metabolism functions. Instead, many of us tend to gravitate towards the “feast-or-fast” approach, which is rarely ever successful.
However, not only can strict starvation diets be unpleasant and ineffective. They can also have adverse health effects, such as malnutrition, a slowing metabolism, and hormone imbalance.
Instead, implement a lifestyle change and switch up the foods you consume. This way, you can more effectively hit and maintain your weight goals as compared to extreme dieting.
And no, this does not mean you have to sacrifice your favourite foods in the interest of becoming slimmer. Eating healthy can also mean tasty eating!
Here are a few ways to add healthy, great tasting foods to your diet to help you boost your metabolism, lose a few pounds, and keep them off:
1. Make it Spicy
Habanero chilies, ginger, and cayenne pepper are all examples of foods which can help you boost your metabolism by as much as 10%.
This is because hot peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives them their heat and induces thermogenesis—or raises your body heat–when you consume it.
They are also able to help you feel more satiated when eating, which can lead to you eating an estimated 200 less calories per meal.
So, don’t skimp on the hot sauce!
In fact, for a real fat-burning treat, try some authentic Indian Vindaloo. Not only is it high in fat-melting capsaicin, it is also made with either lamb or chicken, which adds lean protein to searing heat for even better weight management.
2. Eat more protein
A diet high in protein can do wonders for weight loss, and adding protein to your diet can be one of the best things you can do to hit your weight goals.
This is because proteins are hard for the digestive system to break down. And, since they require more energy for digestion to occur, they can help burn more calories through digestion alone.
By slowing your digestion, proteins can also help guard against the insulin response and fat gain associated with high-glycemic carbohydrates.
Plus, since muscles burn the most calories, adding protein to your diet can help you avoid muscle loss, which further enables a rapid metabolism.
3. Eat good fats
Even though you may have been taught that losing weight means avoiding fats, the opposite is true.
In fact, a diet high in fats and proteins and low in simple carbohydrates can help you burn fats better than a low-fat diet can. This is because when your body burns simple sugars, it cannot immediately use all the available energy due to carbohydrate’s rapid rate of digestion.
And any energy it cannot immediately use, it stores as fat.
This may also induce ketosis, or the burning of body fat as the body’s main fuel, within your body. To do so, just avoid simple carbohydrates and instead provide your body with fat as a primary fuel source.
However, be sure to limit the amount of saturated, hydrogenated and trans fats in your diet.
Instead, look for healthy fats with a balance of 3-6-9 fatty acids. This is commonly found in grass fed beef, olive oil, salmon and other fatty fishes.
4. Keep your grains whole and your carbohydrates complex
While a high protein, high fat diet is recommended for optimum weight loss, your body still needs some carbohydrates as well.
For this, look to whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and legumes. Fruits such as cherries and grapefruit are also beneficial to your metabolism. This is as they contain low levels of simple sugars, along with plenty of digestion-slowing fiber.
Since complex carbohydrates are harder for your body to digest. Thus, your digestive system works harder, uses more energy, and doesn’t have the need to store excess energy in the form of fat.
5. Use coconut oil
Coconut oil is unique as it contains Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s), rather than Long-Chain Triglycerides (LCT’s).
And, while your body needs to store LTCs before burning them, it is not so with MCTs. Instead, they go straight to the liver to be used as fuel.
However, unlike carbohydrates, MTCs are not stored efficiently, meaning the body needs to burn them immediately, rather than storing them.
Additionally, by constantly burning fat, your body will seek other sources of fat to fuel itself with. Most times, this usually ends up being that pesky belly fat!
This season of celebration, don’t let your fear of gaining weight hold you back from enjoying your favourite meals. Instead, keep these tips and tricks in mind and you’ll be able to feast without fear.
If you’d like to know more about the production of your body’s hormones, your thyroid and how they affect your metabolism, read on here!