Picture yourself sitting by a beautiful campfire. Every once in a while, you have to fuel the fire to keep it burning. If you stop fueling the fire, then what happens? Eventually, the fire will slow down until it is completely out. Now imagine this fire is your body’s metabolism and the fuel of your metabolism is the food that you eat. To keep our metabolism running as best as possible, we have to continue to fuel our bodies every so often just like the fire.
Metabolism is the amount of energy or calories that your body burns in order to maintain its weight. At rest, your body has a set number of calories it will burn, and the more activity and exercise you do, the more calories your body will burn. At around thirty years old, your body’s metabolism will gradually start to decrease, but you can take steps to stop this process and even boost your metabolism in the meantime. The three key steps in boosting metabolism are eating breakfast, performing physical activity everyday and snacking smartly.
Most people do not realize that you must snack in order to keep up your metabolism. The key to smart snacking is to eat every few hours, to snack mindfully and to include carbohydrate, protein and a little fat in your snack. Keep each snack at 100-200 calories. When you snack every few hours, you will never let your metabolism slump so low and you will be avoiding that feeling where you are so hungry, you will just grab anything. A little planning ahead goes a long way.
Follow these simple tips and you will start to boost your metabolism in no time! Just remember everybody is different and each person needs to eat a different amount of calories each day.
Simple Smart Snack Ideas (100-200 calories):
10 Whole wheat pretzels and 2 tablespoons hummus
¼ cup nuts and dried fruit trail mix
1 small banana with 1 tablespoon almond butter
1 apple with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon
6 oz. Greek yogurt and ½ cup berries
3 whole grain crackers and 1 string cheese
1 hard boiled egg and 1 slice whole wheat toast
Cereal or granola bar such as Kashi Bar, Lara Bar or Special K bar
½ peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread
3 cups popcorn (it’s a whole grain)