Although age, gender, and body composition all play into how effectively your metabolism fuels your body, it’s ultimately your food and lifestyle choices that support or stress its function.
When our metabolism is working properly, it sends messages to our body that help regulate hormones, burn calories, and balance blood sugar—all key factors for feeling and looking our best. Here are 10 ways to keep your metabolism in check:
1. ALWAYS eat breakfast.
Eating a proper breakfast is the number one key to keeping your metabolism fueled and flowing. Try for a combo of healthy fats and protein, like an egg omelet with spinach and avocado, or a fruit-based smoothie with protein powder and coconut oil.
2. Lower caffeine intake.
Work on slowly replacing your afternoon coffee with herbal or green tea, then start shifting your morning habit as well. In doing so, you'll regulate cortisol levels, balance blood sugar, and promote deeper sleep—all keys for balancing metabolism.
3. Count nutrients, not calories.
Always choose quality over quantity. Plant-based, whole foods like greens, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fresh fruits have vitamins and minerals to boost your metabolism, and they provide a balance of proteins, carbs, fats, and fiber to let your body know when you've had enough. Processed foods high in sugar and sodium, on the other hand, contain chemicals that trigger you to want to consume more and can spur mindless eating.
4. Eat balanced meals and snacks.
Eating at regular times throughout the day regulates blood sugar and keeps your metabolism steady. Don't go longer than three to four hours without eating, and eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. This way, your body has time to rest and digest.
Increase your water intake so you're taking in at least half your body weight in ounces daily. Add more water after lots of sweating or intense workouts to keep your body systems running smoothly.
6. Eat fat, burn fat.
Healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds ease cravings, regulate blood sugar levels, and help keep metabolism fueled.
7. Stay consistent.
When we go several hours without eating or only drinking highly caffeinated beverages, our insulin, hormones, and metabolism go haywire. We end up challenging our body's natural rhythm, and this almost always backfires. Your sleep schedule, exercise routine, and eating habits should all have a sense of regularity.
8. Be gentle and kind to yourself.
Nourish, nurture, honor, and respect yourself with your thoughts and actions. Feed your mind and body with positive energy and create a healthy dialogue around food, body image, and wellness. There is no “good” or “bad"—no “right” or “wrong.” Choose what feels best at any given time, and don’t beat yourself up over certain choices. The more you tune into your body, clear your mind, and tap into your intuition, the better you will feel.
9. Focus on alkalizing your body.
Try to work lemon or apple cider vinegar into most of your meals. You can add a bit of lemon to your water, make apple cider vinegar the base of your salad dressings, or squeeze acidity over other ingredients. An alkaline diet can kick your metabolism into high gear and speed up weight loss.
During the night, your cells regenerate and your adrenals have time to recover from the day, so shoot for at least eight hours of shut-eye every day. A deep, full sleep cycle helps to boost your immune system and keep metabolism steady and strong.