A speedier metabolism seems to be one of those unattainable life goals like subsisting solely on coffee, wine and ice cream with no negative repercussions. While the latter remains a pipe dream (sorry, fellow mochi lovers), it is actually possible to give your metabolism a boost.
Since the extent of our knowledge about metabolism is that it helps turn what we eat and drink into energy (and a high metabolism helps us burn more calories), we called in an expert to break things down for us: Tessie Tracy, certified eating psychology and mind-body coach.
“While there are many metabolisms in the body—such as liver metabolism, thyroid metabolism or digestive metabolism—the most common connection we make with this word usually comes in a statement like, ‘I want to speed up my metabolism,'” she says. “This is known as caloric-burning metabolism, or thermic efficiency. The following tips focus on this metabolism—and they help optimize all functions in the body.”
A Faster Metabolism Can Be Yours!
"Have you ever heard of bio-circadian nutrition? It's similar to the circadian rhythm—which suggests all humans have a similar sleep-wake cycle. Research in bio-circadian nutrition demonstrates that our metabolism follows a similar ebb and flow.
From the time we wake up, our body heats up and our metabolism rises. That is one reason it's important to have breakfast! We can't have our machine running on fumes. Our energy and metabolic power tend to peak between noon and 1:30pm. This is a great time to have your biggest meal of the day. Our calorie-burning capacity is optimized when the sun is highest in the sky.
As the day goes on, our metabolism slows, and through the night, our digestive system wants to shut down, so that the body's systems for cell rejuvenation, detox and tissue repair can work their magic. This is one big reason why it's not good to eat late at night. When we eat a big meal, our body needs to focus on digesting that meal and we may wake up feeling moody and sluggish.
Remember, everybody is different. But this rhythm gives you a great starting place."
"Stress does a number on the body. Many of us aren't even aware of all the things that cause it. For instance, did you know negative thoughts like Ugh, I shouldn't be eating this or I hate my body put us in a physical state of low-level stress response?
This stress response inhibits our calorie-burning capacity, diminishes nutrient assimilation, increases cortisol (which leads to extra fat storage) and can lead to low immunity and metabolic function. The things we most want to avoid (weight gain, negative body image, low mood) are the very things we create with something as small as a negative thought.
Eat slowly and mindfully. Begin to notice when negative thoughts come up. You can then practice transforming the belief or thought to a more positive, empowering statement. For example, if you notice your go-to thought is I always overeat, practice pausing in that moment and swapping it for a thought like I am learning how to nourish myself, and I'm discovering what amount of food helps me feel satiated and energized.
Add some general relaxation to your week. Choose at least one intentional relaxing activity that brings you pleasure, whether that means you have the chocolate, you go for a hike with a friend or you take a hot bath. This self-care reset can help facilitate emotional and metabolic balance.
Bonus: Emily Rosen, director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, teaches that when we step into our authentic self, move toward the life we desire and strive to grow in our personal power and potential, our metabolic power is also optimized."
"Many of us whiz through our meals so fast we barely know what hit our taste buds—then 30 minutes later we feel bloated, full and sluggish. We can optimize our energy, appetite and metabolism when we sit down to a meal, enjoy the food, breathe and eat mindfully.
Start by taking in your meal with all your senses! Smell the lovely aroma of baked chicken, eye the beautifully bright color of berries. Feel the fresh chopped Brussels sprout leaves flutter through your fingers as you dust your salad with them. It may sound fluffy, but this is actually when 40 to 60 percent of our digestive process takes place—in our head before we eat! It's called cephalic phase digestive response."