In a recent article, Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple outlined fourteen simple steps that anybody can take to improve their metabolism. You may well wonder why you’d want to do this in the first place. Mark explains that, although the term “metabolic rate” is often only understood on a literal level – as how much energy an individual requires to perform their daily functions – that it has far-reaching effects on many other areas. It has implications, for instance, on how you feel, how much energy you have, your ability to maintain a healthy weight and your immunity, amongst other things. So, at the risk of sounding obvious, it’s an aspect of your health that’s worth looking after.
Briefly, here are the fourteen suggestions:
- Optimize Your Thyroid Health: Eating iodine and selenium-rich foods like seaweed and brazil nuts will help your body maintain strong thyroid function.
- Maintain Adequate Caloric Intake: Lower caloric intake over the long-term can lower metabolic rate as the body tries to told onto as much weight as it can.
- Keep an Eye on Your Leptin: Healthy carbohydrate intake can help maintain leptin at a healthy level.
- Sprint: Sprinting increases resting-level energy expenditure more than any other exercise.
- Lift: Muscles require significant amounts of energy over the longer-term.
- Eat Spicy Food: Capsaicin, the spice-giving compound in chilies, can help burn fat.
- Eat regularly: Studies have shown that erratic eating schedules cause food to have what’s called a lower “thermic effect.” That is, the amount of energy required for digestion.
- Go Out Into Cold: The human body has to do a multitude of things to stay warm in cold temperatures, and the more adapted you are to these kind of temperatures, the more energy you expend over a longer period.
- Replenish Yourself With Carbs: Starving yourself of carbohydrates whilst continuing to train can prompt your body into survival mode, which is something we want to avoid.
- Eat Protein: Protein requires the most energy to burn of any food.
- Don’t stress Out: Though short term stress can actually increase metabolism, over the long term it will have a deleterious effect. Adding meditation to your daily routine is a good example of a way of reducing stress.
- Stand Up More: Standing burns more energy than sitting.
- Move About More: The effects of this should be obvious.
- Drink Coffee or Tea: Numerous studies have shown that coffee and tea consumption increases metabolic rate.
Read the full article for an in-depth look at each of the points above.