Fall greetings, ya’ll, from your friends and neighbors here at Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic. Those that follow our chiropractic blog and /or our TexStar Chiropractic Facebook Page know that we are all about giving back to our community. Today we give back by offering some insight to a common concern, gaining weight during fall and winter. Excess weight is a threat to spine and neck health, so we are here with some advice regarding how you can jump start your metabolism now!
Like me, as the days start getting shorter, it gets harder and harder to find time to get outside and fit some cardio in. There also seems to be more occasions to make poor food choices. I mean if we can't have friends over to watch the football game I’m going to at least enjoy some chicken wings and chips.
Since we know this time of year can be a challenge it’s a good time to focus on ways to give yourself a little edge in the battle of the bulge. Eating a healthy diet is probably the most important part of maintaining healthy weight. The golden rule for healthy eating is stay away from heavily processed foods and increase your intake of vegetables as much as possible. I won’t go into that too much in this article but I’m happy to cover that topic more in a future article if there is interest. Instead I want to focus on some ways to boost your metabolism that you may not have heard of before.
First let’s define metabolism. Metabolism is the sum of all the chemical processes that happen in your body each day that convert the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the water you drink into the fuel that allows every cell in your body to function. A more simplified definition would be: metabolism - how many calories you burn during your normal daily activities.
Here are six easy tips to increase your metabolism.
- Drink Cold Water: This is a “two birds with one stone” situation. The water helps your body run the chemical process that burn calories faster which can increase your metabolism. Research shows that even 30 minutes after drinking 16oz of water subjects were burning 30% more calories than the control group. By drinking it cold your body will have to burn calories to warm the water up to body temp.
- Get Some Sleep: Research out of Stanford shows that sleeping less than 7.5 hours a night increased subjects Body Mass Index. This is due to how sleep affects the hormones that regulate metabolism.
- Eat Breakfast: The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study that showed that subjects who skipped breakfast had a 4.5 times greater risk of obesity. When our body doesn’t have a ready source of calories available it tends to shift into conservation mode which slows down metabolism.
- Snack Break: For the same reasons that skipping breakfast is tough on your metabolism eating a small snack of vegetables or protein every 3-4 hours has been shown to help keep your metabolism in high gear throughout the day. Keep in mind though that if this adds dramatically to your daily calorie input too much it’s not worth the modest metabolic boost.
- Drink Coffee or Green Tea: Both drinks have some awesome antioxidant properties but as a bonus they can also boost metabolism. In a paper published in the Journal of Physiology & Behavior test subjects that drank regular black coffee in the morning showed a 16% metabolic boost over the decaf drinking control group. Research shows us that an ingredient in green tea called catechin may increase your calorie burning by up to 17%
- Cut out the Booze: Or at least cut down on it in the evenings. Even though there may be some health benefits to drinking small amounts of red wine, it is a metabolism killer. One study showed that even two glasses of wine, beer, or liquor can reduce your fat burning ability up to 73%. When your liver metabolizes the alcohol into sugar your body will use those easy to process sugar calories first. This essentially stops your normal metabolism until all those easy to process calories are used up.
There are lots and lots of other ways to help boost your metabolism that we don’t have room to get into today but if you want to do your own research check out interval training, weight lifting, eating spicy food, increasing fiber in your diet, and most importantly just moving more.
Please realize that we can treat your back pain, neck pain, knee pain, and a host of other metabolism and weight-related ailments. You do not have to suffer along the path to healthy weight. Contact Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic to learn more!