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5 Ways To Improve Your Metabolism

How many of you have seen the marketing claim “boost your metabolism”? 🙋🏽‍♀️


“Boosting your metabolism” is a whole lot more complex than just taking a supplement.


Here are 5 healthy ways you can improve your metabolism without an fancy pill or powder...


1. Daily movement (NEAT & exercise)


Basal metabolic rate (AKA your metabolism) is the amount of energy your body needs in order to function at rest (ie. breathing, organ function, circulating blood). When we move more the amount of energy we need goes up, therefore increasing our metabolism. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is movement through our daily living (ie. walking, cleaning, standing, taking stairs...etc.). Increasing NEAT can have a positive effect on our metabolism just like intentional exercise can.


2. Strength training


3. Adequate protein (thermic effect of food)


Strength training and adequate protein are important as it increases lean muscle mass. When we have more muscle we burn more energy. Protein also has the greatest thermic effect of food, meaning the energy required to digest this macronutrient is higher than the other nutrients.


4. Adequate sleep


Sleep is also important, as sleep deprivation can alter glucose metabolism and hormones that regulate our appetite and metabolism, resulting in less leptin (fullness hormone) & more ghrelin (hunger hormone).⁣⁣


5. Avoiding fad diets and extreme calorie deficits


When large calorie deficits occur (ie: following restrictive fad diets), our bodies see this as a threat and will go through several adaptations to avoid weight loss. This is why many individuals who try to lose weight will often experience a plateau. That is because their metabolism has slowed to conserve energy and protect its organs. To minimize the effects of these adaptations and help preserve lean mass, aim for smaller calorie deficits and ensure a slow change in weight.


Metabolic rate is affected by many other factors on top of the ones on this graphic (ie: genetics, environment, body size, age…etc.) The complexity can make it challenging to determine; working with a dietitian can be helpful to better understand your energy needs.


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