As we consider changes to kick off the new decade with our best foot forward, most of us could use some additional energy to help us hit every goal we have in mind for 2020. Coffee and energy drinks only give back as much as our internal tank has to offer. So, how do we increase our personal energy reserves? By boosting our metabolism!
Our metabolism is the set of chemical processes that converts our food into energy and the building blocks of our bodily tissue. As in so many areas of nutrition, modest changes can make a huge difference in your body’s metabolic performance. In that spirit, and in celebration of the new year, here are 4 small ways to give your metabolism a big boost in the future—all backed by science and complete nutrition:
Eat protein at every meal.
Protein stimulates the thermic effect of food, meaning our bodies burn more energy when digesting protein than either carbs or fats. Protein also helps build muscle, which runs at a much higher metabolic rate than fat, helping to burn more calories and boost metabolism.
Practice High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
HIIT means alternating intense exercise with rest. For example, sprinting 40 yards or pedaling as fast as you can for 30 seconds on a stationary bike, then immediately resting for short intervals. Studies show that HIIT increases metabolism for up to 36 hours after a session, with results from as little as 2 minutes per week!
Eat breakfast—ideally with some protein.
When food hits our digestive system, it ignites our metabolic infrastructure. Our energy production kicks into high gear, establishing a healthy pattern for the rest of the day. Without breakfast, our bodies (in particular our autonomic or automatic nervous systems) remain in a “rest and conserve” mode—great for lounging on the beach, but not helpful in producing energy or sustaining a healthy metabolism.
Invest in your sleep.
Sleep is the time when the body repairs and maintains itself on a cellular level. Getting a good night’s sleep helps to burn more calories during the day, improves our ability to process sugar, and ensures our hormones are in equilibrium. All this keeps our body in balance, giving us more energy and elevating our overall mood.