It’s no secret that this time of year is a festive one, but also one that often comes with a lot of indulgence. While it’s never healthy to massively over-indulge and eat everything from the Christmas pudding to copious cups of full-fat eggnog, it’s also not healthy to refrain entirely and feel guilty for any goodie you treat yourself to. So, now that we’re through Thanksgiving and heading into the full-blown holiday feasting season, we’re giving you tips to help boost your metabolism so that you can still eat those special treats without packing on the pounds.
1). Make sure you’re eating enough, especially protein.
While it might seem counter-intuitive to eat more when you already feel like you may be stuffing your face, one of the best ways to keep your metabolism going and continuously burn calories is to eat enough and eat continuously in small portions through out the day. When you starve yourself in anticipation for a massive feast, your metabolism shuts down as your body thinks that it needs to go into reserve mode. This means that when you do finally consume all of those calories, your body saves them rather than burning them and this is when you could experience excess weight gain.
Additionally, protein has been prove to increase your metabolic rate by 15-30% meaning that it is the most effective in boosting your metabolism. It’s also been show to help you feel full faster and longer, preventing overeating. So eat your protein and eat it often!
2). Lift weights!
Even if you’ve never lifted weights in your life, grab a few 5 pound dumbbells and get to it! It’s scientifically proven that muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning that the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism and the more you can eat without it immediately settling to your thighs or belly. And no, you don’t have to worry about bulking up. You’d have to be lifting a whole lot of weight and watching exactly what you eat in order to see massive muscle gain. So build some muscle and get ready to burn more calories every day, even when you’re simply resting.
3). Get enough sleep.
There are lots of reasons why you should be getting enough sleep, but when it comes to boosting your metabolism, sleep is crucial. not getting enough sleep can slow metabolism, but it can also spike cortisol levels which has also been linked to weight gain and obesity. A lack of sleep is also known to boost the hunger hormone ghrelin, meaning that you might consume a high number of calories on days when you don’t get enough sleep.
That’s right, hit that high-intensity interval training! This type of physical activity involves short bursts of intense movement. Performing HIIT not only gets the heart rate up and boosts metabolism, but it’s also been proven to help burn more fat even after the workout has finished. If you know that you’re going to a massive feast where you may be eating too much, do a quick HIIT circuit a few hours before hand. Your body will be at its peak fat burning ability and you’ll be able to approach any feast from a much healthier approach.
5). Eat metabolism boosting foods.
While you shouldn’t rely on solely on eating metabolism boosting foods to stay healthy this holiday season, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate them into your diet. Alongside foods high in protein, chili peppers, coffee, green tea, legumes, ginger, cacao, apple cider vinegar and even water can all help temporarily boost your metabolism.
So rather than overeat, starve yourself to compensate, or refuse to touch anything other than a salad, focus on a healthier approach this holiday season. Get moving, eat as healthfully as possible when you can and see the benefits of boosting your metabolism while treating yourself to some holiday sweets!