A healthy metabolism equals a happy, healthy person. Below you’ll discover exactly what your metabolism does and 10 ways to support & boost your metabolism so you can live your best life!
I don’t think enough people realize just how important their metabolism is. Your metabolism is about so much more than just being able to use and burn calories efficiently.
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What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the sum of every metabolic process in the body. When your metabolism is healthy, metabolic processes in the body will function properly.
Metabolism affects digestion, the immune system, sex drive, hormones, and basically every function that goes on inside of the body.
Signs of a Slow Metabolism
So many people are walking around with messed-up metabolisms and don’t even realize it.
A few signs and symptoms that your metabolism is not functioning like it should are poor digestion, low energy, cold hands and feet, dry hair, bad skin, low libido, and insomnia.
Your metabolism is responsible for keeping you alive and when it’s not getting the proper fuel that it needs to function, it will stop supporting the bodily functions that aren’t necessary for survival.
At this point in my wellness journey, I’m pretty much convinced that the root cause of most illness and disease is metabolic dysfunction.
If you properly nourish and support your metabolism and give it what it needs your body will begin to heal itself.
I don’t want to spend too much time talking about my health because I plan to write an entire post detailing my wellness journey over the past 15 years but it wasn’t until I began to nourish and support my metabolism that I began to experience true healing.
I was diagnosed with Hashimotos in 2018 but I was experiencing symptoms for over 10 years before I was officially diagnosed. Over the past 14-15 years I have tried so many different diets and supplements and I’ve also made major lifestyle changes.
At times those different diets and supplements seemed to be working.
I was really into keto and intermittent fasting for a few years. During that time my energy levels increased and physically I looked great but my sex drive began to plummet, my eyebrows became almost non-existent, and I had difficulty sleeping.
That’s just one example. Looking back at all the different things I tried over the years I noticed a consistent pattern: whenever some symptoms began to improve other symptoms began to get worse.
Did you know that most diets just suppress symptoms and very few actually heal?
Our bodies need macronutrients and micronutrients to function properly on a cellular level. When you restrict calories, restrict macros (ie: carbs), when you starve yourself for prolonged periods (ie: intermittent fasting), you are not providing your body with the macronutrients and micronutrients your cells require to perform essential functions in the body.
It wasn’t until I learned about metabolic health and I started to nourish and support my metabolism that all of my symptoms began to improve.
So how do you support and boost your metabolism?
How To Support & Boost Your Metabolism
Unfortunately, healing your metabolism doesn’t just happen overnight. But if you implement the tips below than over time you can begin to heal and thrive.
Eat 30-60 Minutes After Waking
Not being hungry in the morning is a sign that your metabolism is not functioning properly. Think about it, if you’ve gone 7-10 hours or more without eating, you should be hungry.
If you’re not, that is a sign that your metabolism is shot and your body is running on stress hormones for energy which is suppressing your appetite.
Try to eat a balanced breakfast at least 30-60 minutes after waking every day. If you have no appetite, force yourself to eat.
Over time your morning appetite will begin to increase.
This will allow your body to replenish energy reserves, support your adrenal glands, and kick start your metabolism.
Eat Every 3-4 Hours
A healthy metabolism means stable blood sugar levels. Eating every 3-4 hours will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
Stable blood sugar levels will decrease stress in the body and allow your metabolism to heal.
Only Drink Coffee After a Meal
Coffee is pro-metabolic. It can help to speed up your metabolism. It is also rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
This is great news! There was a time when I thought coffee was bad for me.
But it should never be consumed on an empty stomach.
Consuming coffee on an empty stomach is like pressing down on the gas pedal with no fuel in the tank.
Coffee is a metabolic stimulant and it must be matched with adequate food energy. You’ll experience a severe drop in blood sugar if you fail to fuel your body properly before consuming coffee.
When the body is not provided enough blood sugar, it will make its own by raising stress hormones.
Also, make sure to add some maple syrup and collagen or raw cream (or all three) to your coffee to make it more balanced. More good news!
Eat the Right Balance of Carbs, Proteins, & Fats
It is so important to eat all three macronutrients with each meal. You need carbs for energy, protein for repair and metabolic function, and fats are needed to transport fat-soluble nutrients and to slow the absorbency of sugars into the blood.
It’s important to always eat all three macronutrients together to help keep your blood sugar levels balanced as well.
Carbs should make up 40%-60% of your meal. Proteins should make up around 25%-30% of your meal. And fats should make up around 20%-30% of your meal.
Every person is different. I suggest using an app to track your macros until you figure out the combination that makes you feel best.
Also, keep in mind that if you’re not used to eating a lot of carbs, you’ll want to increase your carb consumption very slowly.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are highly unstable and begin to oxidize when they are exposed to light, heat, and oxygen. So as you can imagine this is not good for the human body which is very warm and requires oxygen.
Consuming excess PUFAs can slow your thyroid and decrease cellular energy. Saturated fats (believe it or not) are a much healthier option.
Basically all nut butters, nut milks, vegetable and seed oils, and seeds and nuts are high in PUFAs.
You don’t need to completely eliminate PUFAs from your diet but avoiding excess PUFAs (keyword is excess) can help boost your metabolism.
You can read this post – What Are PUFAs & Why You Should Avoid Them – to learn more about PUFAs.
Eat The Right Foods
Not all foods are created equal. And you may be surprised to learn that many so-called health foods are not as healthy as you think they are.
I used to consume protein shakes made with almond milk, green juices, and tons of raw veggies every single day. But not anymore. And I feel better than ever.
Raw veggies can be really hard to digest. Plants contain cellulose, lectins, oxalates, and other things our bodies are unable to break down, especially when the body is in a metabolic imbalanced state.
And although many plants are rich in vitamins and nutrients, our bodies are not designed to properly break them down. Therefore we are unable to absorb the many of the vitamins and minerals inside some plants.
Minerals are what fuel the metabolism. Your metabolism needs foods that contain bioavailable nutrients and minerals. And that are also easy to digest and increase metabolic function rather than inhibit it.
Foods rich in bioavailable nutrients are raw milk, grass-fed beef, orange juice, white potatoes, shellfish, organic eggs, and the list goes on and on.
You can read this post – What is the Pro-Metabolic Diet / Pro-Metabolic Eating? – to discover more mineral-rich, pro-metabolic foods.
Most people are severely deficient in minerals and I personally believe mineral imbalance is the root cause of metabolic imbalance and metabolic imbalance is the root cause of most illness and disease.
And unfortunately, since the earth’s soil has been depleted of essential minerals and we are being constantly bombarded with different forms of stress which increases are mineral burn rate, I don’t believe healthy eating is enough.
I’m a huge advocate for supplementation. But not all supplements are created equal. I personally use and recommend natural supplements made from whole foods.
I will be writing an entire post about that soon.
Consume Enough Calories
Most women are underfed and undernourished. Diet culture has led women to believe the number on the scale determines whether or not they are healthy which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Just because you look “good” on the outside doesn’t mean you are healthy.
Most women are not consuming enough calories and your body requires a certain amount of macronutrients and micronutrients to function properly.
Diet culture has caused so many women (myself included) to develop a very unhealthy relationship with food.
We tend to look at food as either good or bad when we should be looking at it as either nourishing or non-nourishing.
I’ve always been very thin. But since I began eating to support my metabolism I’ve put on some weight. To be honest, I’m about 10 pounds heavier than I’ve ever been.
But I’m okay with that because I feel great. My body was definitely underfed and undernourished for a very long time.
So how do you know if you are eating enough? I can’t give you an exact amount of calories. The amount you should be eating daily is different for everyone.
Most women should be eating well over 1500 calories a day.
Make sure you’re eating every 3-4 hours. You should feel satisfied in between meals. You should also feel full after eating but not sluggish.
Minerals provide your cells with the micronutrients they require to perform essential functions in the body and stress depletes your mineral levels.
Stress can wreak havoc on your metabolic health. If you want to support and boost your metabolism then you have to lower your stress levels.
Now I’m not saying you have to eliminate all stressful situations and circumstances completely from your life because that is impossible. But it is vital that you eliminate stress when and wherever you can and build stress resilience.
Building stress resilience means teaching your body to appropriately deal with stress and to not be easily stressed out or triggered.
Before I began to nourish and support my metabolism I was an easily stressed out person. Having too much to do stressed me out, my kids stressed me out, and driving in bad traffic really stressed me out.
But now I’m so much calmer. The things that used to stress me out, don’t anymore.
So how do you build stress resilience? Well basically by implementing all the other tips on this list – get good sleep, move your body, manage your blood sugar levels, consume enough calories, and eat the right foods.
It’s also important to activate your parasympathetic nervous system often. This can help to lower stress levels in the body.
You can activate your parasympathetic nervous system by taking a walk, spending time in nature, getting a massage, meditating or praying, and basically by engaging in any type of activity that helps you to relax.
Good sleep helps to support cellular metabolism. Sleep and metabolism work together. When our metabolism is functioning properly we can sleep well and when our metabolism isn’t functioning properly our sleep tends to suffer.
When we sleep less this causes our metabolism to slow down and when we get adequate amounts of restful sleep this helps to increase our metabolism.
All the tips on this list will help you to sleep better at night and this post – Sleep Better: Tips to Help You Fall Asleep, Stay Asleep, & Wake up Feeling Awesome -is full of tips to help you get a better night’s sleep.
If you want to boost your metabolism then you have to prioritize sleep!
Move Your Body
Exercising is a great way to boost your metabolism.
But too much exercise or the wrong type of exercise can create additional stress on the body.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of a low functioning/slow metabolism you’ll need to start with some form of low-intensity exercise like walking, swimming, or stretching.
Over time, as you begin to boost your metabolism, you can begin to incorporate some moderate to heavy strength training.
Final Thoughts About How to Boost Your Metabolism
As I mentioned earlier, I truly believe metabolic dysfunction is the root cause of many people’s health issues.
I’m someone who has tried it all and since I began nourishing and supporting my metabolism, so many of my health issues have quite literally disappeared.
But it didn’t happen overnight and I still have a long way to go.
It’s so important that you implement the tips on this list slowly! The key to supporting and boosting your metabolism is to do it gradually.
If your body is in a metabolic imbalanced state you don’t want to overwhelm your system by doing too many things all at once.
So if you’ve been undereating then you’ll want to slowly increase your calories. If you never eat breakfast, you should force yourself to eat in the morning but start with a very small meal and increase it over time. If you’re not used to eating pro-metabolic foods then start introducing these foods into your diet slowly and incrementally.
You get the idea I hope.
Slow and steady wins the race. True health is not a destination, it’s a lifelong journey.
So be patient with yourself and your body.