Your metabolism can be your best or worst employee, depending on how you treat it. When you take good care of your body, your metabolism is willing to work hard for you, ensuring that you will be getting a high return on investment – good health and longevity. On the other hand, if you deprive your body of proper nourishment, your metabolism becomes vindictive by slowing down its productivity and refusing to show up from time to time, causing low energy levels, stress, and gradual weight gain. Poor work output by your metabolism overtime can lead to troublesome complications like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. So what can you do to treat your metabolism, one of your most important workers, better?
1. Listen to your body. On a minute-by-minute basis, your body sends your brain status reports in a form of signals that tell you how it is doing, whether you are hungry, tired, or stressed. Don’t toss out the reports right away. Listen to what your body is reporting to you, perhaps it is asking you to not take another bite of your food because you’ve had too much already or it is asking for a better night’s rest from the lack of sleep from the day before.
2. Provide healthier, satisfying lunches. Whether you’re brown bagging your lunch or eating out, providing your body with healthier, satisfying lunches can make all the difference with your metabolism’s activity for the rest of the day. Go for whole grain choices like quinoa, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta, a side of lean protein such as fish, chicken, or beans for lunch and plenty of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and arugula. Avoid fried and greasy foods and go light on dressings and sauces.
3. Take stress relief breaks. If you find your neck and shoulders tensing up, it means it is time to take a short break. At least every other hour take a few minutes to stretch, circle around the building or even to meditate, taking deep controlled breaths to relieve some of the stress you’ve accrued during the day.
4. Activity meetings. Plan a 30 to 60 minute activity meeting each day. Choose activities that will get you up and moving, whether it is marching in place, jogging in your own neighborhood or working out at the gym. Exercising for 30 minutes or more daily can help power up your metabolism and provide exponential benefits to your health in the long run.
5. More personal time off (the screen). Take time away from the screen and your devices to venture out to local farmers markets and try metabolism-boosting foods with high fiber, vitamin C, and/or healthy fats. Some foods that help boost the metabolism include: avocado, asparagus, hemp seeds, chili peppers, and kale.
Jamie Luu, RDN, LD/N | Nutritionist
Almased USA, Inc.
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