When thinking about improving our health, most of us immediately think about needing to lose a little weight. Health is about so much more than how you look in your jeans though... Normally, I see and treat weight loss as a distraction from addressing the root causes of someone's symptoms. A healthy weight is the result of living a healthy lifestyle for your unique body. Live a healthy lifestyle that leaves you feeling great and the result of that is you get to enjoy a healthy weight and body shape.
That said, no matter how often I bring this idea forward, everyone still wants to lose weight. And quickly. And... I get it. How we look can be such a part of our identity and confidence.
If you follow my work you KNOW there is no magic pill that can make you thin in a month. (as much as we all keep looking! lol) However, there are a few ways you can jumpstart weight loss by increasing your metabolism -- the speed at which your body breaks down and builds tissues. Faster metabolism means you use energy more quickly, and if done right, can help you burn off extra pounds (stored calories) faster.
Here we go...
This is the most basic and easiest way to jumpstart your weight loss. Drinking a lot of water and detoxifying herbal teas will help you flush all the harmful waste products (toxins) from your body, boosting your metabolism by improving the efficiency of your thyroid functioning. (Your thyroid is the gland responsible for regulating your metabolic rate.) Drink eight 8oz. glasses (or 2 liters) of fluids daily at the very least to keep your body at its best. Drinking a lot of water and herbal teas, especially first thing in the morning and before meals, will also curb your hunger and prevent you from binge eating the chips when you get home and are deciding what to cook for supper! (Been there!)
Drinking hot lemon water early in the morning before breakfast helps fire up your metabolism too! (I often will do this instead of coffee first thing in the morning, saving my morning java for enjoyment at my 10:30 am break with a friend.)
Quality sleep is crucial!!! Your diet, your workout, and all the water that you consume will go to waste if you fail to get enough quality sleep. Good sleep helps to keep your hormones and your mood balanced. If your hormones and your mood are balanced, then your body will function more efficiently and will keep all your unnecessary cravings at bay. (i.e. you won't be eating mid-afternoon to keep yourself awake and alert at work!) Make sure to give yourself a peaceful night of at least eight hours.
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Drinking loads of water or green tea before a workout is an easy and efficient way to burn twice the amount of calories that you usually do. When you bloodstream flows easily, everything gets a good flush and delivery of fresh nutrients to burn during your workout. Tip: Try to get in in about 30 minutes before you start though, or all that jumping around will have you feeling a bit water-logged/sloshy inside.
It's no surprise that exercises that keep your heartbeat up are another way to burn a lot more calories and jumpstart your weight loss. Even during strength training or flexibility focussed workouts you can add exercises like planks, burpees, and jumping jacks to get your heart pumping.
Some studies have shown that people who have a habit of fidgeting or bouncing their knees can burn up to 500 more calories a day!
Spicy food burns more calories during digestion because it can fire up your gut metabolism. Add a few more spicy foods, like hot peppers, to your diet. You can add jalapeno in almost any dish you like, even in your eggs. Spices also add a ton of flavor with little to no calories.
08. Overnight fasting:
Another trick is to allow yourself a 12 hour period overnight that you do not eat. For example, not eating overnight from 7pm to 7am. (Water and herbal tea is allowed.) This allows you to leverage your sleep period to get the benefits intermittent fasting. When you allow your body a break from digestion, it can get to other repair and tissue remodelling activities.
Drinking pure black coffee at least once a day will boost the rate at which your body burns calories, thanks to the caffeine. The absence of the milk and sugar allows you to ensure you get the benefit.
Losing weight is not meant to be an fast process; your body does not function that way. If you try to do it faster by restricting calories too much, you will slow your metabolism and shift your body into "starvation mode" where it gets very thrifty about the way it spends calories. Making it so much harder to lose weight.
These metabolism boosters go along with a healthy diet and exercise in order to get results. Together, they may be able to give your body that little extra boost it needs to power into weight loss mode more often than it otherwise would.
If you want to give yourself a great kickstart on the healthy lifestyle habits you need for health, you will want to check out my 30 Day Healthy Lifestyle Reset Program.
Laura Nurse, BBA, ND
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