Boosting your metabolism and losing weight can feel like a losing battle, but it could just be your approach that’s holding you back. Sustainable weight loss comes from balancing several aspects of your daily routine, not from yoyo diets. Did you know you can start to shed pounds naturally by incorporating simple lifestyle changes?
Here are 6 tips to help boost your metabolism for sustainable weight loss
1. Get More Sleep
Sleep may be one of the most overlooked causes of problematic weight loss. Without it, our bodies are unable to repair themselves and regulate the production of essential hormones.
Lack of sleep causes a decrease in leptin, the hormone responsible for feeling full. It also increases the production of ghrelin, the hormone that tells your brain that you are hungry. As a result, the imbalance can lead to overeating, obesity, and increase the risk of diabetes.
A study found that not getting enough sleep causes a decrease of 55% in fat loss increased the loss of lean mass by 66%. Therefore, not only will a lack of sleep cause weight gain from more fat storage, but it will also shrink your muscles in the process.
2. Cutting out Snacks
Although we’ve been taught that eating little and often is beneficial to your health, frequent small meals can cause an imbalance in your hormone levels. It can cause a reduction in your leptin production, which tells your brain that you are feeling full. It also increases your blood sugars, releasing more insulin. The persistent secretion of insulin increases the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Maintain weight loss by sticking to two or three square meals per day and a strict feeding schedule. Cut out mid-day snacks to help balance hormones, and you’ll be less likely to consume excess calories. Eat the proper number of calories during this schedule and don’t skip out on essential nutrients. In addition, the quality of the calories you consume is more important than the quantity. Eating the right foods will make you feel full and prevent cravings throughout the day.
3. Stick To A Strict Feeding Window (Intermittent Fasting)
Why is intermittent fasting getting so much attention lately? Time-restricted eating is an excellent tool for maintaining healthy body weight. Restricting your caloric intake to 2-3 square meals within a shorter window has a tremendous effect on boosting your metabolism.
Fasting does not mean that you can only eat in the late hours of the day. If breakfast and lunch are essential mealtimes in your household, start your feeding window in the morning and finish six to eight hours later. If you prefer to have dinner with your family, begin your window later in the day.
The important thing is consistency. Maintain a routine with meal times and avoid snacking during the day. A great trick to combat hunger is drinking green tea or black coffee when you have a craving. Over time, you will start to become accustomed to the new schedule, and hunger will become less of an issue.
Track what you eat and the calories you need so you can plan meals that include all your nutritional needs. Caloric intake can be different from person to person, but your health professional can provide you with meal plans that work best for you.
4. Add Weight Training To Your Workout
While common belief is that cardio is the best way to burn fat, adding weight lifting and resistance training into your workout can kick your metabolism into overtime. Cardio still plays a big part in maintaining a healthy body weight, but muscle-building exercises increase the production of growth and sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone.
Estrogen production in women decreases as they approach their 40’s, which can increase the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and general hormone dysregulation. Reduced estrogen also slows your metabolism, causing unwanted weight gain and difficulty losing unwanted pounds. Studies estimate that your resting metabolic rates elevate for up to 39 hours after a heavy workout. Increased resting rates cause our body to continue burning calories as it repairs muscle tissues.
5. Incorporate More Protein In Your Diet:
Adding high protein meals and low carb vegetables into your diet will help you see better weight loss results. High protein, combined with weight training, stimulates muscle growth and increases your resting metabolic rate. Studies have shown that eating a high protein diet alone will cause weight loss by boosting several satiety hormones and reducing ghrelin. The extra protein will send signals to your brain that you are full and automatically help prevent excess calorie intake from overeating and snacking.
Packing enough protein in your diet without going over your calorie count for the day can be tricky. Try incorporating foods like eggs, chicken, and fish into your diet regularly. You can also Incorporate low carb vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, and avocados.
6. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Managing stress is imperative to your health in many ways. Chronic stress has a significant impact on weight gain by increasing the production of hormones like cortisol. This hormone increases your body’s glucose levels as it starts burning it for fuel. The ability to quickly access and use stored energy would be beneficial if a bear is chasing you, but it is a damaging response when the stress is chronic. It can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Taking the time to establish daily stress releasing routines can help you lose weight and combat other health issues. Meditation or yoga are excellent ways to reduce stress levels, but it’s about finding what works for you. You might prefer reading a book, writing in a journal, or even just practicing breathing techniques.
Setting aside at least 20 minutes a day to recharge is key to a healthy lifestyle and balanced metabolism.
Weight loss doesn’t need to be complicated. It’s merely a happy side effect of a healthy lifestyle. With some simple changes, you will be able to balance your hormone levels and keep your weight down naturally and, most of all, sustainably.
As a registered Naturopathic and Functional Medicine Doctor in Kitchener Waterloo, my focus is on hormone imbalance and metabolic repair. Contact me today for personalized testing to identify your individual needs and create a sustainable approach to your health.