When we can’t seem to lose weight, we tend to blame it on our metabolism, especially as we get older. However, our metabolism plays a minor role in weight loss, with the usual cause being poor diet and inactivity. And a recent study shows that our metabolism hits a plateau from our 20s until we’re 60. After 60, our metabolism only slows by 1% per year.
Metabolism is a chemical process where the body changes food and drink into energy. It’s regulated by our thyroid hormones and determined by our genes.
So, what can we do to boost our metabolism?
Adequate sleep is important in regulating metabolism. Sleep deprivation usually leads to hunger and eating foods high in fat and carbs, late night snacking, and skipping exercise.
Don’t diet! When you don’t eat enough calories, it can decrease your metabolism. Count your calories to make sure you’re not overeating. Monitor your calorie intake until you get the hang of it but don’t obsess over it.
Drink green tea. One study showed that drinking three cups of green tea boosted the metabolism enough to burn an extra 100 calories.
Inhale thyme, pink grapefruit, lemon, and/or patchouli essential oils (they are comforting, curb cravings, increase metabolism, help with weight loss).
Those tips are all good but not that effective on their own. Now if you really want to boost your metabolism and lose weight, you’re going to have to work. The following three tips will get you the results you’re looking for.
- Toxins affect your metabolism, hormones and brain function, preventing you from losing weight and resulting in weight gain.
As an aside, when you google “detox to lose weight”, the results are pretty much from some health or medical website with a very negative view on them, citing lack of scientific studies and gaining the weight back. I’m hoping this is because of all the commercial fad diets, cleanses and fasts out there. And surprisingly, they don’t even mention that toxins can cause weight gain.
Now if you google “do toxins cause weight gain”, the results are a resounding yes! These results also come from health and medical websites. And if you look for “scientific studies on toxins causing weight gain”, you will find one four-week study that found a reduction in toxins in those that followed a specific detox diet and the same weight loss as a calorie restricted group.
But every detox program is different.
Here’s my own personal experience from following a detox as outlined in the book, Clean Gut, by Alejandro Junger, M.D. I found this book to be an easy read and was excited to try it out. My husband, not so much! For three weeks we eliminated several items from our diet, took supplements and followed the recipes in the book, which I have to say were mostly tasty and easy to make. I easily lost 10 pounds, and that has never happened to me before. My acid reflux also disappeared. My husband, who lost about 13 pounds was able to stop taking his blood pressure medication. It’s been a month since the detox and we’re both still maintaining our weight. Greg even wants to do it again in spring! Our results were so inspiring that our friend Deb is now doing it and has lost four pounds in four days. If you’re thinking of trying it, it can seem like a lot of work if you’re not used to making three meals a day. And the supplements can be expensive. But I highly recommend reading the book and deciding for yourself.
- Do some high intensity exercise such as interval training. Researchers have found that it helps to burn calories for up to 12 hours afterwards and it shifts the body from burning carbs to burning fat. I used to hate running intervals but once I got in shape, I found them fun. Like running when you were a kid kind of fun. The bonus is that you’re done exercising faster and it helps boost your regular speed.
- Eat protein and weight train. Strength training increases the amount of muscle on your body which increases your metabolic rate. Simply put, muscle burns calories. And don’t forget your weight will increase at first with the new muscle mass but stick to it. I also used to hate going to the gym to do strength training. Now I use an app at home and I can do it with body weight or dumbbells and be done in as little as 10 minutes.
So, there you have it. We probably can’t blame our metabolism for our failed weight loss anymore, but we can probably now blame toxins.