As busy women often juggling the pressures of work and family we often forget about our own wellbeing and consequently our health suffers. We experience low energy levels, poor immunity and weight gain, often caused by quick fixes and stress resulting in a slow metabolism. Here are a few tips that can easily be incorporated into everyday life to enhance our wellbeing and give our sluggish metabolism a boost!
- Stop Dieting! Sure you’ll see results initially but these diets are restrictive and not sustainable. Your metabolism slows down as your body tries to conserve energy which means any initial weight loss is regained and then some (sound familiar). A healthy eating plan for life is really the only solution for long term health, wellbeing and weight management.
- Eat Breakfast. Kick your metabolism into to gear first thing in the morning. Choose a low GI based cereal, fresh fruit and a sprinkle of LSA or chia seeds for a balanced breakfast to set you up for the day.
- Eat Regularly. Going for long periods without eating allows your metabolism to dip and can also affect your blood sugar levels driving you to the biscuit tin for a quick fix. Instead aim to eat at regularly intervals every 3-3 ½ hours, 3 main meals and 2 healthy snacks with a balance of carbs/protein/fats.
- Balance your sugar levels. The quick fix of coffee, chocolate, white flour products plays havoc with your blood sugar levels causing spikes in sugar and the need for insulin which over time and result in insulin resistence, lead to weight gain which ironically will reduce your metabolism. So its important to eat regularly and choose low GI foods in their natural state, the less processed foods the better.
- Iodine. Have your levels checked and if you are feeling very tired also asked your GP to review your thyroid levels. Iodine is important in thyroid function which is responsible for maintaining your metabolism. Iodine can be found in iodised salt, seaweed, seafood, nuts and eggs.
- Reduce stress. When we are stressed we release the hormone cortisol which can trigger food cravings and tell our body to store fat which in turn reduces our metabolism.
- Exercise. Increases your muscle to fat ratio which has a positive impact on increasing your metabolism. More muscle means you will burn calories even when you are doing nothing.
Most importantly eat well, choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry and fish, low fat dairy, nuts, eggs and incorporate legumes into your daily diet. Aim for 2 pieces of fruit a day and 2 cups of vegetables twice a day, and stay away from the white flour, sugary products.