Ever crave chocolate around 3 o’clock in the afternoon?
I know I sure do!
That craving is a signal that your body needs more fuel in its tank, and by fuel, I mean glucose. The quickest shot of glucose comes from sugar (which is why you thought of something sweet).
But, what your body really needs to get through the next 2-3 hours, is food with a slow, steady trickle of glucose. A piece of cheese or a small handful of raw almonds will do exactly that as they slowly convert to glucose without the spike in blood sugar.
And this breakdown of food to fuel is called metabolism.
What is Metabolism?
It’s quite complex but the shorter version is: metabolism is the time it takes for food to be broken down and used as fuel for energy.
But, like most things in our body, metabolism’s a little more complicated than that.
Metabolism starts with digestion.
As soon as you take that first bite or sip, organs are notified via the pancreas. It starts producing the hormone insulin, which tells the cells to start grabbing any free-flowing glucose coming via the blood.
While you chew, glands in your mouth squirt out saliva turning bite-sized pieces into a more manageable paste, known as bolus, before you swallow . . . gulp!
Your stomach then massages that bolus some more, adding bile from the liver to break down any undigestable fats.
Then, it’s out the lower end of your stomach and into the large intestine, then the small, giving your cells time to absorb nutrients and pass over their waste.
This is your digestion system at its very finest.
Metabolism is how quickly or slowly you burn off the energy produced from food and whether you store the excess as fat.
Now let’s look at 5 easy ways to boost your metabolism and burn more fat!
1 – Your Metabolism Needs Protein
Protein helps build muscle and burn fat.
Muscles (not fat) are your body movers so it makes sense,
the more you move,
the more your metabolism increases,
and the more protein you should eat.
The opposite happens when you eat carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates with little-to-no nutritional value (think sugar), help to store fat.
The less you move,
the less your metabolism burns fuel,
the more carbohydrates you want because they take less energy to break down.
And what does not help is, our bodies have designed the perfect, natural storehouse for fat, right around our stomach.
Unfortunately, belly fat also means your organs are more than likely also surrounded by fat, making it harder for them to work effectively.
This increases your risk for many diseases and disorders.
*Tip: to keep your metabolism working properly, eat small amounts of protein with every meal.
You don’t need a lot as protein is found in plants as well.
And, remember, the jury is still out as to how much protein is essential.
2 – Your Metabolism Loves the “C” Spices
If you enjoy spicy food and love the smell and taste of fresh herbs, you can bet your metabolism does too!
Interestingly, the spices and herbs our metabolism thrives on best, all begin with the letter “C.”
Cardamom with tiny black seeds this spice packs a fragrant, distinctive punch to slow-cooked recipes, cookies and cakes. I’ve even added it to a lemon icing! Cardamom increases your body’s natural ability to burn fat.
Then there is Cayenne pepper which contains a compound called capsaicin. This spice burns body fat to generate heat. Cayenne pepper also lowers the number of calories you consume, because you feel full for longer.
Next is Cinnamon. This versatile spice is used in almost everything from meat to cookies. Cinnamon helps your metabolism processes glucose which makes it’s ideal for diabetics and anyone in the pre-diabetic stage.
Last, but never least, is Cumin which takes your metabolism up to another level, helping to digest food and produce energy.
3 – Your Metabolism Adores Herbs!
Like all other herbs and spices, Basil has zero calories. This herb also gives your body a powerful antioxidant boost. In turn, your healthy immune system is able to fight diseases and infection. Basil also has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
The reason you’d want to grow your own plant is, eaten fresh, basil works your metabolism system a little harder.
4 – Your Metabolism Works Best When You Eat Frequently
Because our metabolism is switched on the moment we eat or drink something, the opposite also happens.
When we’re not eating, our body is not processing food and our metabolic rate drops.
So, if we ate 3 smaller meals and 2 or 3 healthy snacks, and consumed the same number of daily calories, we would have a higher and longer burn rate.
5 – Your Metabolism Loves Breakfast
You may have heard, “always eat breakfast,” but do you know why?
To answer that, let’s turn to your metabolic process. Your body has not received any fuel (food) for 10 or more hours.
When you get up out of bed and start moving around, your body requires energy. The longer you move without eating, the more your brain receives starvation signals.
Your brain is wired for survival so it will tell organs to store fat and burn off muscle to produce energy, instead of burning fat to produce energy.
So, remember that excess body fat hates breakfast, especially a morning meal high in protein.
You may have noticed on weekends how a high protein omelette breakfast will sustain you for longer. Over the course of the day, you’ll actually consume fewer calories but have more energy.
That’s because protein takes longer for your digestive system to break down and process than fat or simple carbohydrates.
So now you have 5 awesome, super simple ways that help burn body fat.
If you have any questions, comments, or other ideas, pop them in here and I’ll be sure to get back to you!
Thanks for your time!