By Alexa Gray, Contributing Editor
Metabolism is something most of us have come to understand as the way our bodies burn or store fat.
For holistic nutritionist and author of The Art of Wellness, Kristin Dahl, “metabolism affects every cell in our body. Everything we eat affects our metabolism, but you may not know that your activity, stress levels, and amount of sleep are also vital. It’s the way our body regulates weight, uses energy, and controls all other body systems, which determines our vitality, strength and life force.” Dahl, who received her training from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, has been working for over five years with clients to help them radically transform. She has found that all areas of life affect one’s metabolism and her tips encompass it all so that you look and feel your very best.
1) Count nutrients, not calories.
2) Tune into your body’s cues and stop eating before you are full.
3) ALWAYS eat breakfast so that your body doesn’t go into starvation mode, which will stress and slow down the body’s ability to burn fat. Eat within 30 minutes of waking unless working out, in which case you can eat before or after your workout depending on how you feel.
4) Eat balanced meals & snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism steady and fueled. One of my favorite snacks to have are slices of apple with 1 tablespoon of raw almond butter.
5) Don’t eat past 9 because this gives your body time to rest & digest.
6) Make sure to get plenty of protein throughout the day. I try to incorporate protein into every meal whether that be animal or plant based.
7) Shoot for 8 hours of sleep. Most people need this to keep their hormones regulated, which works synergistically with metabolism.
8) HYDRATE! You want to drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 130lbs you want to drink 60 ounces of water. You generally increase that amount if you are sweating a lot.
9) Eat healthy fats like avocados, nuts & seeds, and coconut; these all help to burn excess fat.
10) Don’t overeat or emotionally eat. This makes is challenging for looking & feeling your best. Ask yourself, “what do I really need to truly nourish myself right now.”
11) Remove refined sugars and switch to more natural sources of sweetness like honey, maple syrup or stevia.
12) Stay consistent with healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. The more consistent you are, the faster your metabolism will be and the healthier you will feel.
13) Be gentle & kind to yourself–nourish, nurture, honor, and respect yourself with your thoughts and actions. Say loving things to yourself! This all plays a key role in how you feel everyday.
Image credit: Sidney Bensimon