By Christine Ruggeri
Did you know that all body processes, from digestion to brain functionality, require metabolizing calories into usable energy? Our metabolism allows for the conversion of foods and drinks into energy, but what happens when it slows down or gets sluggish? Fewer calories will be burned, leaving more to be stored as fat in the body. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight and maintain healthy energy levels.
Thankfully, there are foods you can add to your diet and lifestyle changes you can make to boost your metabolism. These metabolism boosters can help to burn calories for energy at a fast, healthy rate.
Of course, you should always consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including exercise and supplementation.
How Does Our Metabolism Work?
Metabolism is the chemical reactions that take place in order to keep us alive every day, including turning the calories we consume into usable energy. The normal processes of all body systems is linked to our rate of energy production at the cellular level.
Your metabolic rate determines how well your body burns calories for energy. This will have a major impact on your energy levels, overall outlook and weight.
6 Ways to Support Your Metabolism
1. Exercise a Certain Kind of Way (strength train; more internal-style cardio)
When it comes to supporting your metabolism, physical activity is critical. Some types of exercises will boost your metabolism more than others.
- High-intensity interval training. HIIT workouts involve repeated short bouts of high-intensity, or “burst” exercises, followed by brief recovery periods. HIIT training helps to increase your metabolic rate and boost fat burning.
- Weight lifting. Lifting weights can help speed your resting metabolic rate by building lean muscle mass that uses more calories to maintain normal body functions. Try resistance training, using dumbbells or even CrossFit-style workouts.
- Less sedentary time. Avoid extended periods of time spent sitting or sedentary. The key is to awaken the body and use energy, so get up to stretch, walk around and move your body at least once an hour. Consider using a standing desk at work instead of sitting and use every opportunity to move more, perhaps by taking a lunchtime walk or climbing the stairs instead of using the elevator.
2. Eat These Foods
What makes certain foods metabolism boosters? They help the body use energy better and may have a warming effect, which requires the body to burn more calories to maintain thermic control. Here are some go-to metabolism power foods:
- Good quality protein, including grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, cage-free eggs, and nuts and seeds. Protein keeps energy and levels stable, while helping to build lean muscle mass that burns calories. Protein also forces the body to burn more calories during the digestion process than carbohydrates.
- Spicy foods, like cayenne pepper, chili, garlic, ginger and cinnamon have warming effects on the body and cause a process called lipid oxidation, or fat burning for energy. These foods act as a thermogenic in the body, causing it to rev up the metabolism and use more calories.
3. Avoid These Foods
In addition to adding metabolism-boosting foods to your diet, it’s important to cut out foods that can cause inflammation in the body and slow metabolic functioning. Certain foods can slow down digestive processes and trigger inflammation as an innate immune system response. Whenever possible, cut back on or avoid these foods:
- Sugary drinks, like sodas, energy drinks and juices
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed foods, especially packaged snacks, baked goods and refined carbohydrates
- Refined vegetable oils
4. Make These Kinds of Drinks
- Cold water. Replace sugary, high calorie drinks with cold water. Not only will this reduce your daily calorie intake, but research suggests that drinking cold water actually boosts calorie burning because you use more energy to bring your body back to a normal temperature.
- Herbal Cider Vinegar-infused drinks. Ancient Nutrition’s Herbal Cider Vinegar Tincture can be added to drinks such as water, coconut water, citrus water and smoothies to support healthy weight management, pH balance, body composition and microbial balance. Our HCV tincture is made with a list of superfood ingredients, including warming turmeric, guava, holy basil and key lime.
- Coffee. Consuming moderate amounts of caffeine may increase metabolism and boost fat burning. Coffee has been shown to stimulate the metabolic rate and can be helpful when consumed before a workout.
- Green tea. For centuries, green tea has been thought of as a metabolism booster. It is used to increase energy expenditure, making the body burn more calories to continue normal functioning.
5. Get Enough Zzzs
There’s a strong link between healthy metabolism and getting adequate sleep. A lack of shuteye can put your body in conservation mode, slowing down your metabolism to preserve the energy that’s left in order to keep functioning. This is why it feels like you’re “running on fumes” when you don’t get enough rest.
6. Consider Taking These Supplements
- Herbal Cider Vinegar (HCV). Ancient Nutrition’s Herbal Cider Vinegar products are made with our organic superfood blend, which comes directly from our 4,000 acres of regenerative farmland. The blend includes organic apple cider vinegar culture, fermented elderberry, fermented turmeric, fermented holy basil, fermented passionfruit, fermented moringa leaf and more. This combination helps to support overall healthy weight management (combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, including regular exercise), support healthy body composition, reduce fatigue and promote a healthy pH balance. Our HCV is available in three forms: Herbal Cider Vinegar Capsules feature the blend of superfood ingredients, Herbal Cider Vinegar Gummies include the same superfood blend, plus vitamin B12 to support healthy nutrient metabolism and cellular energy production, and our Organic Herbal Cider Vinegar Tincture, which can be added to drinks, smoothies and more.
- SuperGreens. Our Organic SuperGreens powder is full of nutrients sourced from premium superfoods, including beet root juice for exercise performance, oat and alfalfa grass powder to support weight management and spirulina to support healthy detoxification. This powder also features warming foods like turmeric root, black pepper fruit and ginger root.
- Keto Fire. Ancient Nutrition’s Keto Fire capsules feature exogenous ketones, organic coffee cherry extract, ginger root extract and organic ashwagandha root extract. This combination of ingredients help to promote healthy energy levels and athletic performance, promote healthy body composition, and promote healthy weight. You can use Keto Fire capsules whether you’re on the ketogenic diet or not.
Christine Ruggeri is a writer and nutrition counselor based in New York. She's worked for Ancient Nutrition and the Dr. Axe team for five years. She has a degree in Education with a concentration in English from Iona College, and received her health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.