Losing, gaining, or maintaining weight is an art and a science – there's a balancing act of nutrition and exercise you need to strike to find your body's needs. Unfortunately, the way your metabolism works and how fast it works is entirely unique to you. It can be frustrating when other people's metabolism seems to work the way you want, whereas yours doesn’t.
There’s conflicting information about whether you can alter your metabolic rate to make it more suited to your goals. Are there really tricks to shifting your metabolism?
What Is Your Metabolism?
At its most basic, every time you eat or drink throughout the day, the calories you consume get used as energy to fuel the body. The rate at which your body uses the calories is the metabolic rate.
Your metabolism works whether you're doing high-intensity workouts or just lounging around – you're still burning calories for energy, only the number of calories you burn changes.
Some immovable factors affect metabolisms, like:
- Muscle mass, and
So, a piece of your metabolism's function is out of your control. But the things you put in your body and your lifestyle also matter.
Can Food Change Your Metabolism?
You know about the foods that can negatively affect your metabolism – sugar and fats are associated with greater fat storage. But it’s a little more complicated to manipulate your metabolism for the better. There are still a few best practices to optimize your metabolism.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Grabbing something to eat after waking up can signal to your metabolism to start working after a six to eight-hour fast. There's no need to cook up a whole breakfast spread – eating something light, like fruit, or something easy to make like toast is enough to start your day on the right foot.
Include Protein Rich Foods
Protein is an essential energy source, and planning your meals around protein is a great building block to start from. It takes the body more work to break down proteins, revving up your metabolism. While the most well-known protein sources are animal proteins, plant-based options are growing in popularity.
Eat More Often
As long as you're choosing your food wisely, it's good for your body to eat smaller, snack-like portions more often throughout the day. While three major meals are still the go-to in most households, they can slow your metabolism down as your body prepares to store energy instead of expending it.
Can Your Lifestyle Affect Your Metabolism?
Outside the kitchen, your exercise routine can also impact your metabolism. Strength training and regular aerobic exercise boost your resting metabolic rate, meaning you're still burning calories after your workout is complete.
When you’re hitting the gym regularly, adding more protein to your diet becomes even more critical to fuel your body and help support muscle growth.
In some ways, our metabolism is set in stone – age, gender, genetics, and more play a role in how your metabolism works. But on top of that, healthy nutrition habits and positive lifestyle choices build on that foundation and help boost your metabolism.
When you're trying to improve your metabolism through food, it's tough to resist indulging in the delicious foods that slow your metabolism down. P2 Eat Smart has satisfying foods that are easy to grab and prepare on busy days, meaning you don't give in to temptation.
Whether you want healthy foods for snacks during the day or protein-enriched foods that are quick to prepare, P2 Eat Smart has a range of foods that will help keep you nourished so you can focus on boosting your metabolism.