Kick Start Your Metabolism

There are so many reasons to maintain a healthy weight, and with the food industry making food so enticing the battle of the bulge is an ongoing one for the majority of us.  Regardless of the way you are eating, be it a whole food diet, paleo, ketogentic, Mediterranean diet (the list goes on), we all hit a and need to kick start out metabolism.  Here are some of our  favourite ways to get your metabolism back into gear:

1.  Eat Mindfully and Rate your Hunger

Naturopathic Living Hunger Scale

Eat when you reach number 3 on the hunger scale (fairly hungry) and stop when you reach number 6 (pleasantly satisfied).  Never allow yourself to be ravenous as this is where we make poor choices and over consume, and stop eating before you get to the ‘full’ feeling.

I know some trainers who encourage all their clients to use the “Heart Math” app to get themselves into a mindful state prior to each meal, and watch the pounds fall off.  As a matter of fact, it was from a trainer speaking on weight loss that I first heart about Heart Math and now include it as a tool in the clinic for anxiety and mood.  Click here to learn more about Heart Math.

2.  To Breakfast or Not

This is an interesting one, with intermittent fasting being all the rage right now, is breakfast really as important as we’ve have been lead to believe? The trick here is to eat with a purpose.  Typically, those that skip breakfast because they are too busy and aren’t planning properly tend to gain more weight over time. That’s because those who skip this meal tend to make up for it (and more) by overeating at lunch, snack times, and dinner.   Intermittent fasting is a trick which manipulates the hormones ghrelin and leptin, but not much of a metabolism booster.  In fact, over time it will actually decrease metabolism as your body becomes more efficient and slows down  (one of the reasons that those that eat less tend to live longer).

To boost your metabolism, eat many small meals through out the day, and add breakfast back in. Try a breakfast that’s high in protein, and has some complex carbohydrates and a bit of fat to jumpstart your metabolism and keep you satisfied until lunch time.

3.  Up that H2O

Whether via glasses of water or broth based soups, giving your body quality fluids is essential to having a well-hydrated metabolism. Water helps keep nutrients flowing into your cells, carries toxins out of your body, and is key to a happy digestive systems. It also keeps you feeling full, and can help you burn more calories by keeping your metabolism higher over time! Moreover, the extra nutrients found in broth based soups are ‘soup-er’ ways of digesting much needed vitamins and minerals with minimal taxing of the digestive system. And, after a season of indulgence, that’s something from which we can all benefit!

4.  Add Tea or Coffee

The antioxidants and small amounts of caffeine found in black, green, and white tea as well as coffee are beneficial to revving up your metabolism and keeping it chugging along healthily. One or two cups a day can provide the most beneficial amounts without going overboard. And, even better, adding herbal teas such as fennel, mint, or ginger tea after a meal can assist your digestion processes, helping meals to settle better and digest more easily – without added caffeine.

5.  Spice is Extra Nice

Studies show that adding spicy hot peppers or hot pepper sauces can help to increase your metabolism! Studies are showing that the thermogenic properties of peppers and capsaicin, a compound in chiles, can temporarily increase your body temperature, helping it to burn more calories in short bursts of time. So, try adding some extra spice to those soups or other foods, and see what benefit you might derive!

6.  Include Intervals

Any form of exercise can be bolstered with the addition of the short bursts of cardiovascular activity also known as ‘Interval Training’. Adding in 2-5 minute bursts of jumping jacks, skipping, or burpees seem like they’re ‘in the moment’ kick starts but they’re all great ways of building long lasting metabolism increases.

7.  Turn Down Stress

It’s been long understood that high levels of stress hormones like cortisol can result in a slowed metabolism and eventual weight gain. The opposite is also true: by turning down the stress in our lives we can help our brains, hormones, and bodies relax, a natural reboot for our metabolism.

8.  Stimulate Your Stomach

If you consistently experience symptoms like heaviness after a meal, acid reflux, or bloating, food allergies, undigested food in stool, flatulence, or even nausea after taking supplements you might be suffering from low stomach acid which, in turn, can result in lowered metabolism. Stomach acid, or HCL (hydrochloric acid) is a core requirement to digest effectively is one of the essential building blocks to a well-functioning metabolism.

Try stimulating your stomach acid with beneficial celery juice and see how much better you feel.

9.  Excel with Enzymes

Sometimes there are particular foods that make us feel sluggish, heavy, bloated, or uncomfortable. In that case it might be time to consider digestive enzymes to help break down food to make it more digestible and the nutrients within it more absorbable. Try adding enzyme rich foods like fermented foods, papaya (which contains papain), pineapple (which contains bromelain), mango (which contains amylase), and honey (multiple enzymes).

Interested in supplements instead? Look for the ones that help with your food difficulties: protease for proteins, amylase for help with carbohydrates, lipase for help digesting fats, cellulase for breaking down fiber, and maltase to help convert complex sugars from grains into glucose.

10.  Sleep Soundly

The quality of your sleep doesn’t just affect your moods and alertness, it also has a profound effect on your metabolic state because deep REM sleep, is the body’s time for rest and repair – and that includes how the body manages stress hormones, blood sugar levels, and growth hormones – all of which play critical roles in our metabolism.

We’re still learning much more about how important consistent sleep and rest are for our health, but what we do know for sure is that a sleep deprived body is slower and more lethargic which means weight management is harder. So if you choose just one of these tips to follow, make it to get more sleep, more often, first!

Looking for personalized assistance in maintaining a healthy metabolism?

We can help you navigate this and provide you with a fully customized plan for your better health. Measuring success is key, and our BIA machine helps keep you on track.  To book your appointment call us at 905-604-2491 or email us at

To your good health,

The NatLiving Team