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How to reboot your metabolism

Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy, and may play a role in maintaining a healthy weight. It’s influenced by a few different factors, including your genetics and your lifestyle, so the good news is there are things you can do to help it along. To improve your metabolism:

1. Eat everything in moderation

Studies have shown that dramatically restricting your calorie intake by implementing a very low calorie diet may actually slow down your metabolism to the point where your body conserves energy rather than using it. Your body needs energy to use energy. So, while restricting yourself may be effective for weight loss at first, it may slow down your metabolism of foods, which will make maintaining the weight loss harder in the long run.

2. Incorporate resistance training

Lifting weights or adding other forms of resistance exercise into your regular routine can help increase your metabolic rate. Muscles are more metabolically active than fat, which means building muscle will assist in using energy – even while you’re at rest. But don’t worry if you’ve never so much as looked at a dumbbell before. You don’t need to turn into a hardcore bodybuilder overnight to reap the benefits; it’s about the resistance you are creating against your body. Start with a weight that feels comfortable and build your repetitions to get that beneficial impact.

3. Switch to water

It almost goes without saying that swapping sugary and alcoholic drinks for water is better for you overall. But besides the automatic calorie reduction you get with H2O, studies have shown that drinking cold water may also speed up your metabolism temporarily as your system has to work to heat it up to body temperature.

4. Make sleep a priority

Scientists know that long-term sleep deprivation slows the metabolism, but a more recent study suggests the same thing happens when you miss out on just a couple of hours of sleep for a few nights in a row. Hit the hay early, when you can, and ensure you get that good-quality rest. Get more sleep hacks here!

5. Avoid eating late at night

Adding to the theory that it’s not just what you eat but when you eat that matters, studies show a link between a less-efficient metabolism and eating just before you go to sleep. Make the concerted effort to eat your last meal of the day at least two or three hours before you go to sleep.

6. Cook with barley

In a 2016 Swedish study, participants’ metabolisms improved for up to 14 hours after eating a barley-rich meal. It’s thanks to the way the grain’s unique mix of dietary fibres stimulates the production and release of ‘good’ gut bacteria and hormones.

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