It might not feel like it quite yet, but spring is just around the corner! Before breaking out the shorts though, it’s time to wake up your metabolism.

Our metabolism determines how much energy we burn in a day from the food we eat. So, when our metabolism is unable to keep up, it leads to weight gain. Alternatively, when our metabolism burns more energy than what we are consuming, we lose weight. Simple as that!

While it may be tempting to dive headlong into a new weight-loss plan before spring, it’s important to recognise that sudden or drastic changes to your diet will most often do more harm than good where your metabolism is concerned.

Truth is, we all think our metabolic rate is slowww – and assume that speeding it up would require two-hour runs and boot camp till we’re wrecked. No, way! Here’s the good news, your metabolism isn’t fixed and can be impacted significantly by making a few lifestyle tweaks.

So, get your metabolism fired up by adopting a few of these research-backed habits:

Have breakfast. Skipping breakfast signals the body to conserve energy and slows down the body’s ability to burn fat. Starting your day with a meal burns between 10 and 30% more calories.

Eat regularly. Eat small portions of food at regular 4-hour intervals. This allows the body to burn the food we are consuming rather than storing the excess as body fat.

Opt for organic. Canadian researchers found dieters who consume lots of organochlorines – a type of pesticide pollutant stored in fat cells – experience a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process.

Have a cup of coffee. Caffeine promotes an increase in norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that keeps your sympathetic nervous system activated and your metabolic rate humming. According to research, coffee may increase the amount of energy you burn by 6% for up to 2 hours.

Become a fan of green tea. Three cups of green tea a day can increase your metabolism by up to 10%.

Guzzle H2O. A German study found that drinking about half a litre of water first thing in the morning can boost metabolism by around 30% for up to an hour or more.

Eat more protein. Protein has a high thermic effect; your body will burn more calories to digest it. Score!

Reach for the hot sauce. Chillies contain capsaicin, causing the body to burn calories immediately following a meal.

Cook with coconut oil. Most of the oils we eat are converted largely into fat. Coconut oil is rapidly converted into energy and may cause a 12% bump in your metabolism.

Exercise with resistance. A 2011 study from Illinois University showed that exercisers who did a 15-minute resistance workout before cardio, were likely to burn up to 100 calories more a day for three days after the workout.

Chew sugarless gum. A New England Journal of Medicine study found that this mindless activity can help your body burn 19% more calories per hour.

Hit the hay. Irregular sleep patterns can disrupt the circadian rhythm of your cells, throwing your metabolism out of whack.

Laugh out loud. Ten minutes of giggles can help you burn 10 to 20% more calories.

The bottom line is that if you want to lose weight, your metabolism needs to be firing. Let’s do this!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.