Americans overall are more overweight than ever before. But a large part of that may be due to imbalanced metabolisms rather than other factors. It’s not a myth that your metabolism may be “broken”.
Not sure what your metabolism is or the role it plays in how quickly your body gains or loses weight? Let’s take a closer look at metabolism and explore some ways to improve it through supplements and lifestyle adjustments.
What is Metabolism, Anyway?
Your metabolism is best understood as the energy transition process in which your body converts your food and drinks into usable energy. In the metabolic process, the calories in foods are mixed with oxygen and release energy in the form of ATP: the key energy molecule used in cellular respiration.
Your body burns calories during the metabolic process, and the number of calories your body needs to carry out energy transition is called the basal metabolic rate, or essentially your metabolism.
People can have different metabolic rates based on factors like their body size and composition, age, and sex.
Symptoms of a “Broken” Metabolism
At times, your metabolic system can break down and become dysfunctional. Whether through insulin resistance or other factors, a “broken” metabolism often causes several uncomfortable side effects, including:
- Reduced libido and overall energy
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- More hunger and food cravings
- Loss of muscle mass
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Lack of sleep
In short, having a broken metabolism is never a good thing.
How to Fix Your Metabolism
Although your metabolism can become unbalanced from time to time, you can fortunately fix your metabolism through a variety of homemade remedies or lifestyle changes.
Fixing Insulin Resistance
One of the most important ways to rebalance your caloric burn rate is to treat any insulin resistance you might have.
Insulin is an important hormone that allows your body to store excess energy as fat. In theory, your body should be able to dismantle those fat cells and take advantage of that energy in times of low food availability.
Nowadays, many of us have more food than we need. Insulin resistance is a condition that affects how easy it is for your body to break down fat. The higher insulin resistance you have, the more difficult it is to burn through fat.
Unfortunately, higher insulin resistance levels can also raise insulin production levels of the body, creating a vicious and self-maintaining cycle. This, in turn, can significantly affect your metabolic rate.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to treat insulin resistance if possible. You can lower insulin resistance by lowering insulin levels, such as by practicing fasting or alternating daily fasting. You can also adjust your diet or make other lifestyle changes as described below.
Make Some Nutrition Changes
As mentioned, it’s a good idea to make some nutritional changes if you want to rebalance your metabolic cycle. Try to get rid of as much sugar as possible and remove any processed fats from your diet; these foods raise insulin resistance and make it harder for your body to break down fat into energy.
Instead, target healthy and unsaturated fats and, if you eat meat, make sure that the meat is harvested from healthy sources. Grass-fed, organic, and free-range protein sources or chicken or beef are best.
Be sure to eat plenty of vegetables as well; these give your body plenty of vitamins and minerals along with fiber, which can help you to feel full and avoid snacking.
Be sure to workout regularly, especially by practicing high-intensity interval training rather than cardio exercises or aerobic exercise. HIIT can burn more calories than cardio training because it is an anaerobic form of exercise. Thanks to its aftereffect, your body has extra calories even after you have stopped working out. You can also build muscle by weight lifting in addition to HITT workouts.
Practice Stress-Reducing Breathing Techniques
You may also want to take advantage of stress-reducing breathing techniques. Stress levels can impact your insulin levels and your metabolic rate, and simply breathing differently can also passively burn more calories than you would otherwise.
Two of the best techniques to target are paced breathing and box breathing. With box breathing, you exhale to a count of four, keep air out of your lungs for another count of four, and inhale at a count of four as well.
With paced breathing – deep breath in and hold for 5 seconds and then slowly breathe out for 5 seconds then repeat for 60 seconds – you dramatically slow your rate of respiration and reduce stress chemicals in your brain while relaxing yourself at the same time.
You can also practice rotational or intermittent fasting. Either of these fasting strategies will help kick your metabolism back into shape and lower insulin resistance by forcing your body to burn calories and remove fat more aggressively.
Try Helpful Foods, Beverages, and Supplements
There are also plenty of foods, beverages, and supplements to target to fix your metabolism, lower insulin resistance, and improve wellness across the board. These include:
- Apple cider vinegar can have a direct effect on your metabolism as it can lower blood sugar levels. Specifically, vinegar in ACV can help to improve insulin sensitivity, especially if consumed after a high carbohydrate meal.
- There’s some evidence to suggest that Garcinia fruit extract can induce faster fat metabolism in the body. You can find this fruit extract in various supplements.
- Everyone loves green tea, but studies have also shown that green tea extract can help people lose weight and burn more calories each day, which can help to rebalance one’s metabolism.
- Studies have shown that mangosteen extract can improve metabolism and caloric burn rate, again assisting with rebalancing an imbalanced metabolic system.
- Dr. Livingood’s Daily Metabolism and Hormone Support supplement is a perfect pick for helping with this. Thanks to its balanced formula, it can help your body burn calories, lower insulin resistance, and gain extra nutrients for all-around wellness.
- Consuming fewer calories and eating more fulfilling foods can help get your appetite under control. Snacking can be a bad habit, especially if you are consuming not-so-healthy foods.
There are online calculators that can help you determine how many calories you should be consuming based on your eating habits, body composition, and fitness goals.
All in all, there are lots of different ways to bolster your metabolism if it needs a little help. Fortunately, you can find excellent supplements at Dr. Livingood, plus several helpful guides to help you reach your wellness and fitness goals.
Efficacy of a novel, natural extract of (–)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX, niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract in weight management in human volunteers: a pilot study | Science Direct