Before we talk about speeding up your metabolism, let’s talk about what it is. Metabolism is the term used to describe all the biochemical processes in the body relating to energy production. Some believe that eating small meals throughout the day instead of three larger ones can significantly improve the speed of your metabolism. Others don’t believe this to be true. The reasoning behind this has to do with stimulation of your metabolism throughout the day. The body keeps working to burn calories instead of becoming so hungry between meals that it slows the metabolism down in order to conserve calories for bodily processes. The studies go back and forth. However, there is evidence that those who ate smaller meals tended to lose more weight than those who didn’t. Here’s a closer look into why this theory may be correct.
Let’s start with breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day – and that for reviving up the metabolism. Your metabolism slows as you sleep, so a nice hearty breakfast helps to wake it right back up. Your body won’t burn as many calories throughout the day if you skip it. Aim to get around 350-400 calories in the morning with a nice balance of fiber to keep you full, good quality carbs for some energy, and some healthy fats and protein to keep you sustained until your next snack or meal.
Now here’s a little info on snacking – do it! But in a healthier way. Put aside those chips, fried foods and processed sugar snacks. Go for real, fresh ingredients that your body can process and use as energy all day. Healthy snacking between meals, totaling the six small meals a day idea is a great way to feed your body as you move throughout your daily activities. This will also prevent you from going without food for too long, which can lead to overeating. And when we get this hungry, we usually overeat the food we crave the most, which end up being less healthy choices. A great mid-morning snack (or smaller meal) is a Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts and some granola. The protein in the yogurt keeps you full and the healthy fats in the nuts and granola can help keep you satisfied.
See? It’s all about balance. Your metabolism will stay fired up and working all day long. Eating smaller meals is great if you’re on a workout regimen as well. You’ll always have sustained energy throughout the day, which can power you through workouts. Eating three meals a day may have you starving before or after a workout. Your body will slow your metabolism down to make sure it’s reserving energy while you’re hungry. And we all know what happens after a workout when we’re too hungry to think: reaching out for less healthy options and overeating.
So, do your metabolism a favor and eat more frequently throughout the day. Prepare smaller meals that are portable if you’re on the go, and make sure they’re full of all the good stuff to keep you going.
This post was written for My Fit Station by Dr. David Kulla. Dr. Kulla is a licensed New York Chiropractor and a nutritionist as well as owner of http://synergywellnessny.com in Manhattan.
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