Boosting Your Metabolism For Dummies
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As you improve your diet to boost your metabolism, you experience changes in your body and your mind. Seeing these positive changes helps keep you motivated to continue down a healthy path.

Just because you don’t see immediate weight loss, that’s not a reason to bow out of the race and give up. Many factors are in play when it comes to your metabolism, and weight is definitely not the only indicator of health. Take a look at all these signs and numbers, instead of just your weight, to measure your progress and gauge your success in improving your metabolic rate.

Weight loss

By consuming nutrient-dense foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy fats like nuts and seeds, you stoke your metabolism and reduce your waistline. Choosing a balance of those nutrients for every meal and snack, plus not going too many hours between eating, helps keep your metabolism moving as effectively as possible.

You’re burning more calories while taking in higher-quality nutrients, resulting in a declining number on the scale.

Better energy

A sluggish metabolism means a sluggish you. If you haven’t yet made any changes to your eating or activity levels, you’re in for a treat. Feeding the body the nutrients it needs — really fueling it properly — helps charge you up with the energy you need to excel throughout the day.

On the metabolism plan, you no longer skip meals, focus on a balance of nutrients, drink plenty of water, and move your body in one way or another every day. When your meals consist of plenty of lean protein and complex carbohydrates, you feel fuller longer which keeps that energy level elevated.

Improved cholesterol levels

As you minimize foods that are high in saturated and trans fats and refined sugar, you can expect your LDL and triglycerides to decrease. Including more of the “goods” — like omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, plant stanols and sterols, and plenty of activity — will help balance out wonky cholesterol levels.

Many of the lifestyle changes you make when improving your metabolism will help your lipoprotein profile. In any case, this gives you more numbers to track besides weight.

Better digestion

When your metabolism is slow, it typically also means that your digestion isn’t up to snuff or you aren’t eating the right stuff. When your body isn’t digesting foods properly, you might experience constipation, bloating, reflux, and general discomfort along your gastrointestinal tract.

Consuming unrefined foods like whole grains, fruits, and veggies provides more fiber, which keeps your digestive system moving well. Minimizing refined, processed foods, alcohol, and caffeine takes away substances that can interfere with digestion. Getting enough good ol’ H2O helps keep your gut happy.

Reduced stress

You might have heard of stress eating, which usually relates to overeating when under stress. But did you know that not eating enough or the right types of foods can actually lead to stress? Following any type of diet in which you aren’t satisfying your body’s needs leaves it feeling deprived.

Balance is key for success; don’t think of food in terms of “black and white.” Being comfortable with having both a balance of protein, carbs, and fat — and a balance between nutritious and “fun” foods — will keep you satisfied on a physical and mental level.

Improved circulation

Are you always cold? That can be a sign of a slow metabolism. A lifetime of fatty foods causes plaque build-up in your arteries, which constricts your veins. Smoking cigarettes and lack of exercise can also constrict the flow of molecules, resulting in feeling cold in your extremities, cramping, and numbness. Poor circulation is also a symptom of hypothyroidism, a disorder of metabolism.

Certain foods can help with improved circulation. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables spanning all colors of the rainbow improve the health of your blood vessels and, therefore, circulation. Consuming a serving of lean protein at each meal provides you with amino acids, which assist in transporting molecules through your body.

More strength

Building and maintaining lean muscle mass helps boost your metabolic rate. With strength training, you’ll expend additional calories during the workout, following the workout (increased caloric burn for 24–48 hours), and ultimately burn more calories at rest if you keep the lean muscle mass. Think beyond weights. Combine different activities and keep your muscles guessing.

Lowered blood pressure

If your blood pressure is regularly elevated because of your weight, stress, or other genetic or lifestyle factors, and you’ve been put on medication to help control it, the steps you take to improve your metabolism will help lower your blood pressure and can reduce your need for medication.

Boosted immune system

Want to boost your immune system? Make sure that you:

  • Fuel up with good nutrition

  • Get moving with activity

  • Chill out to reduce stress

It’s no coincidence that those are the three main aspects you focus on to boost your metabolism. Instead of just improving on one or the other, you reap the benefits of all three for your immune system, to keep you strong and help prevent disease.

Better blood sugar control

Whether or not you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, you can benefit from better blood sugar control. Ups and downs of blood sugar can lead to food cravings, impaired judgment when it comes to your food choices, fatigue, and just a plain old cranky mood.

With the foundation of a metabolism meal plan ensuring that you eat every 4–5 hours with plenty of fiber and without refined sugars, spikes in your blood sugar will be better in control. This means a waterfall effect of nutritious food choices, more energy to get the activity you need, and feeling your best inside and out.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Rachel Berman, RD is the Director of Nutrition for, a free Web site and mobile app which provides tools to help people lead healthier lives. A nationally recognized nutrition expert, she has appeared on The Today Show, several local television and radio health segments, and is frequently quoted in print and online publications.

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