How many times do you hear someone proclaiming they have a super fast metabolism which is why it's easy for them to stay thin? How many times have you wanted to smack them as you struggle with your weight and your metabolism? Why is it that no matter what you do, and you are sure you're doing all the right things, your metabolism still remains desperately slow? Well rest assured, you aren't alone in this frustration and dilemma and I'm going to break down some of the reasons why this might be happening to you.
To understand this maybe a little more we should know what metabolism is and how it works. It is the body's ability to burn fat instead of storing it. Think of it as a chemical process we use to obtain energy. We need a healthy functioning metabolism in order to stay alive.
1. What are you eating?
Of course food is the first and foremost source of energy that our bodies require to survive. So what are you eating? Many of us turn to crazy diet fads in order to lose a few extra pounds but some of these fad diets may actually be causing more harm than good. Most of them tell you to cut out certain foods that, in fact, are necessary for fueling our bodies. Listen to your body. You know when you eat garbage foods you will feel sluggish. Do your research.
2. Too much sweat, not enough strength.
I'm talking about exercising here. Though cardio is very good for our heart and lungs and health in general, don't forget that muscle burns fat. That is, the muscle you will grow from doing strength training. Think, fueling our body. The more muscle mass we have, the more fuel we have and the longer and better we can go. You should aim for at least 3 days of weights but if you can sneak in one or two more days, do it. Don't skip the cardio, just don't neglect other forms of exercise too.
3. Don't fill up on fibre too much.
Though fibre is very good for us and definitely a necessity, careful how much you consume. If you do eat too much, it can have an adverse effect on your body. The result of too much fibre will be bloating, gassy and possibly problems with bowels, either diarrhea or constipation. Remember everything in moderation and this means fibre too. Eat as much as your body can handle in a day and spread it out through the day. Again, pay attention to your body's warning signs. Your body doesn't lie.
4. How much water?
This has been the great debate for years and still no one really has the answers to the water mystery. How much should we drink. Depending on your size you will need approximately 5-10 eight ounce glasses a day. But don't limit your water consumption or should I say your hydration methods, to just water and don't try to cram in 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water because someone said you should. You can mix it up between fruits and vegetables. When you feel full, stop. Listen to your body, always.
5. Are you taking in enough sodium?
We all know that too much is dangerous to our health. We should aim for 1500mg of the stuff, daily. In an attempt to watch our sodium and desperately keep it below this number, many of us are going too low. We still need sodium in our diets. It plays an important role in aiding digestion, which is great for our metabolism, as well as lowers stress hormones. Keep an eye on your sodium intake but make sure it doesn't drop too low. Watch where your sodium is coming from and choose the healthier and more natural options always.
There are many other factors that affect metabolism but these are the ones we can control on a daily basis to see results almost immediately. Try to keep your stress level down and get some exercise in. Those two things alone will certainly make an impact on your metabolism, even if it's small.