Since we are all spending so much time at home, you may find that your metabolism needs a boost.
When the chips from the cupboard or the ice cream from the freezer is calling your name and you are struggling to resist the temptation, realize it is o.k. We are all under added stress in one way or another since this pandemic began.
However, we don’t want to constantly give in to unhealthy habits. Not only do we want to maintain a healthy weight, and experience positive moods, but we also want to support our immune systems.
If your metabolism is healthy and operating ideally, it burns off your calories and keeps you feeling energized and vibrant. Exercise and quality sleep also help your metabolism function optimally, but did you know that certain foods you may be eating could be sabotaging your efforts?
The following foods could be slowing down your internal furnace, making it more difficult to feel and look your best. Check in with yourself to see if you are consuming any of these metabolism-busters regularly.
1. Refined grains
There’s a difference between whole grains that fuel your body and refined grains. Refined grains are stripped of the necessary fiber and nutrients your body needs. These grains are refined to improve taste and texture, but they slow your metabolism. So, next time you go shopping, choose whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain barley, millet, quinoa, etc. and see how your body reacts. Remember, if you are gluten sensitive, you may want to experiment specifically with gluten-free grains.
2. Sugary drinks
In excess, sugar will slow down your metabolism. Liquid forms of sugar such as soda, energy drinks, or even lattes can all swipe your energy and make it harder for your body to maintain a healthy weight. If you want to make sure your exercise efforts aren’t wasted, avoid drinks laden with sugar and rehydrate with coconut water instead. Save the sugar for a treat on a special occasion, like a birthday or holiday – Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are moms!
3. Processed vegetable oils
Certain vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, soybean oil, and canola oil may sound healthy but they tend to be highly processed and contribute to inflammation and chronic health conditions. One of the healthiest oils that can speed up your metabolism is coconut oil. Recently, we found a coconut/avocado oil mixture and we are loving it!
4. Artificial sweeteners
Perhaps the only thing worse than genetically modified sugar is artificial sweeteners. You may think you’re making a healthier choice, but sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin are all linked to health issues you certainly want to avoid. They can also mess with the good bacteria in your gut, which could impair your immune system and hinder your ability to maintain a healthy weight. Do your best to avoid artificial sweeteners. If you need to use a sweetener, use something more natural such as stevia, monk fruit, pure maple syrup, or local raw honey.
5. Non-organic produce
Non-organic produce is shown to have higher levels of pesticides which not only slow down your metabolism, but can also contribute to high insulin levels and glucose intolerance. Organic produce is so readily available now that it isn’t much more expensive than conventional items. However, you don’t need to buy all organic produce. Reference the 2020 Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen List to make an informed decision and save money where you can.
It may seem like a healthy choice, but most granola you find in your supermarket often contains hidden sugars and added ingredients that can halt your metabolism. When you consume more sugar than you think, you cause an overload known as leptin resistance. This makes you hungrier while slowing your metabolism down significantly. If you love granola, you can make your own by selecting fresh seeds, nuts, and oats or try a brand like Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Granola.
Now that you are aware of foods that may be negatively impacting your metabolism, do your best to make healthier choices, one step at a time.
For example, if you enjoy soda, try weaning yourself off of it slowly. Start with adding one more glass of water a day. Make the water more enticing by flavoring it with fresh fruits and you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling better from the inside out! Eventually, you will be pleasantly surprised that your craving for soda will be significantly less and eventually you won’t crave it at all. I’m living proof of that.
So what can you do to give your metabolism a boost?
- Stay hydrated
- Participate in strength training *always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine
- Eat enough quality sources of protein
- Stop sitting so much
- Drink green tea
I’ve created a Resource Guide for you with more strategies and snack ideas to keep your metabolism working hard for you.
Since we are home so much, let’s use this extra time to start implementing healthier habits so that when we resume some sort of normalcy, we will feel great, look our best, and be ready for our next adventure!
Leave me a comment and let me know how you are doing.
Sending love and prayers for you and your family’s continued health and safety!