11 Ways To Kickstart A Sluggish Metabolism
11 Ways To Kickstart A Sluggish Metabolism

11 Ways To Kickstart A Sluggish Metabolism

Contrary to popular belief, counting calories and daily cardio aren’t the only ways to accelerate a slow metabolism. From the benefits of sleep to the low-impact exercise that can make a difference, four experts gave us their tips to get your body running faster.
By Tor West
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Image: ADRIAN RODD/STOCKSY UNITED

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01

Deal With Stress

“One of the most common lifestyle culprits taking its toll on metabolism is chronic stress. Chronic stress is the enemy of metabolic health, so finding ways to manage your stress response is crucial. The aim is to build stress resilience, which means that when you do experience stress – a normal part of life – you can bounce back quickly from it, rather than experiencing persistent stress all the time. Chronic stress means the body is constantly preparing for danger, which triggers the body to conserve energy in the form of your fat stores. Cutting back on stressors like workload and stressful situations may seem like the obvious first step, but it’s more important to focus on resetting your nervous system. Try deep relaxation exercises, like breathwork, meditation and yoga nidra.” – Elizabeth Sergeant, functional health practitioner

02

Look For The Warning Signs

“Some of the most common indicators of a slow metabolism include weight gain or difficulty losing weight, especially around the stomach (think of the apple body shape). Other signs include fatigue, cold hands and feet, digestive issues like constipation, hormone imbalances and irregular periods, memory and concentration issues, and muscle cramps.” – Dr Ursula Levine, medical director at Chenot Palace Weggis

03

Prioritise Protein

“Protein contributes to a healthy metabolism in two ways. First, it helps us build and maintain muscle (especially when paired with resistance training) as muscle is more metabolically active than fat. The more muscle we have, the higher our metabolism. Second, the body burns more calories digesting and absorbing protein than it does carbs or fats. Put simply, the higher the protein content of the food you’re eating, the more of a metabolic advantage you’ll have. Aim for around 1.4-2g of protein per kilogram of your bodyweight daily.” – Elizabeth

04

Do Less Cardio

“Physical activity plays a huge role in our metabolism, but it’s also where most people go wrong. It’s often assumed lots of exercise is the key to losing weight, but in some cases over-exercising can contribute to chronic stress and hormonal imbalances, which can slow metabolism. Instead, focus on low to moderate intensity exercise like weight training, Pilates, yoga, swimming and brisk walking – this is especially important if you are dealing with chronic stress or burnout. Many people find that by restoring hormone health and tackling chronic stress, their metabolism naturally improves, and they find themselves losing weight without trying.” – Elizabeth

05

Eat Clean

“A Mediterranean-style diet is a great way to support a healthy metabolism. A diet that’s low in sugar and processed foods, and rich in lean animal and plant-based proteins, as well as plenty of wholefoods like fruits, vegetables and legumes, will reduce inflammation and control blood sugar levels. If you can eat organic, even better, as this will reduce your toxic load. It’s less about counting calories and more about the quality of your diet – this will allow your body’s cells to work more efficiently. A diet high in sugar, refined carbs and toxins will lead to a sluggish metabolism.” – Eleonora Sansoni, nutritional therapist

06

Stay Hydrated

“I can’t overstate the importance of hydration on metabolism. You don’t wash your dishes without water. Not hydrating enough is like using Fairy Liquid and just rubbing in the dirt but not washing it away. We’re made of water – without it our liver and kidney function is not effective for detoxing, our digestive enzymes don’t work correctly, and hunger and thirst become confused. Drinking water also helps to stimulate metabolism through thermogenesis – an effect enhanced when drinking cold water because the body burns more energy heating it.” – Ursula

07

Get At Least Seven Hours Of Sleep

“Being sleep deprived – classified as getting consistently less than six hours of sleep per night – is linked with increased cortisol, which takes its toll on stress levels. When we sleep, we also recover from stress, so the effect of good sleep is two-fold.” – Elizabeth

08

Fast For 12 Hours Overnight

“Studies show time-restricted eating – i.e. eating your meals within a certain time frame each day – can be beneficial for the metabolism. It can decrease body fat, cholesterol levels, insulin and inflammation, as well as boost the rate of cell repair. Start with a 12-hour overnight fast and try to leave four to five hours between meals to give your body a chance to keep insulin at bay and reduce fat storage.” – Eleonora

09

Swap Coffee For Green Tea

“Green tea not only contains a unique antioxidant that has been shown to boost metabolism. It also contains less than half the amount of caffeine as coffee, as well as L-theanine, a stress-busting amino acid. Coffee can be problematic if you’re already very stressed as it increases levels of stress hormones. In the case of chronic stress, resilience is even lower, which can lead to a slower metabolism, so adding caffeine to stoke your metabolism will only backfire. Your best bet is a cup of matcha, which has higher levels of nutrients to support the metabolism than regular green tea.” – Elizabeth

10

Don’t Count Calories

“One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to your metabolism is eating a low-calorie diet, especially when it involves insufficient protein. It’s important to nourish the body – focus on regular, balanced meals and snacks to prevent the body from going into starvation mode, which slows metabolism. Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can also disrupt metabolism and lead to overeating later in the day. Focus on the quality of your food – high-fibre foods will support metabolism by keeping blood sugar balanced, while the omega-3 fats found in salmon and flaxseeds will improve insulin sensitivity.” – Sebnem Unluisler, genetic engineer at the London Regenerative Institute

11

If You Do One Thing, Balance Your Hormones

“Focusing on supporting your overall hormonal health is imperative if you want to get your metabolism back on track. Metabolism-boosting tips and tricks won’t help if you don’t have the basics in place and you’re struggling with hormone dysregulation. Start by including plenty of good-quality protein – aim for at least 30g at each meal – and wholefoods. Rather than trying to limit foods to lose weight, think about what you can add in to properly nourish your body and give yourself an extra nutrient boost at each meal. Lots of people I’ve worked with are surprised at how effortlessly they can lose stubborn weight when they support their hormone health.” – Elizabeth

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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