Lose Weight Naturally
Learn to work in harmony with the way your body naturally works. Discover how age, gender, hormone levels, stress levels, and lifestyle can help or hurt your ability to lose weight naturally.
5 Natural Metabolism Boosters to Help You Lose Weight Naturally
Our metabolism can be seen as the holy grail of weight loss. If it’s slow it makes it hard to lose weight and if it works the right way it makes it much easier to lose and maintain it. These 5 things will help boost your metabolism so losing and maintaining weight naturally becomes easier and more sustainable.
Especially as we age we’re often looking for natural ways to push that button that says, ”reset metabolism”.
Here are 5 natural metabolism boosters to help you lose weight naturally that don’t involve counting calories or drinking shakes.
1. Put Out The Fire – How to cool down weight causing inflammation
Nowadays you often hear about inflammation and its negative impact on our health. But most people don’t realize that reducing inflammation plays a huge role, if not one of the most critical, in your ability to lose weight, have a healthy metabolism and most importantly keep it that way long term.
Inflammation doesn’t just make us have arthritis or knee or back pain, or feel stiff and achy. Though those things happen too.
Inflammation is like a fire in our body that can wreak havoc:
- Inflammation plays a critical goal in why we gain weight.1,2,3
- Inflammation causes our mitochondria to be dysfunctional. When your mitochondria stop working correctly, so does your metabolism.1,2
- Inflammation causes insulin resistance.3
- Inflammation causes leptin resistance.4
- Inflammation contributes to high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and cholesterol problems.5
And that’s not all!
Now, I wish there was a pill you could just take to completely get rid of inflammation— but it’s not that easy. Sure, turmeric or omega 3’s can help but it’s a bit more complex than that, but it can also be quite simple to start fixing.
So we know it’s bad so how do we get rid of the inflammation then?
- First, you try to reduce it in your body
- Second, you try to avoid it coming in more.
To do both we have to understand where it comes from
If we break it down into some basic categories these would be the main areas:
- Processed foods
- Poor sleep
- Sitting too much
- Exposure to toxins
Out of all of this, I have found there is one key thing that makes the most significant difference in reducing inflammation and increasing your metabolism. Though the rest of the things I mention in this article will help, the one that moves the needle the most is changing our food.
Not changing how much food but the kinds of food is the key to reducing inflammation.
Which most people have backward. They focus on how much they are eating.
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Yes, if you overeat it stimulates your immune response and increases inflammation.6 But what you eat will have a much more significant impact even in small amounts.
There are two parts to resolving this:
- Eat more anti-inflammatory foods.
- Limit inflammatory foods
By increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods not only do you avoid more inflammation from happening, you start to reduce it. These are foods such as organic grass-fed proteins, vegetables including starchy ones like sweet potatoes and beets, fruit, and healthy fats. Other things like turmeric, black seed oil, omega 3’s, and tart cherries can help reduce inflammation as well. But taking these without changing food is like sweeping your porch when your house is on fire.
By limiting your consumption of inflammatory food, you will avoid more inflammation from coming in. The biggest culprits are sugar, processed flour, and industrialized seed oils. These are found in most foods in a bag, box, package, or can. Not only do these foods cause inflammation, but they also lead to overeating, blood sugar imbalances, hormone disruption, and more.
2. Solar Fuel For Your Metabolism: Sunlight
When we think of sunlight, we usually think of the outdoors, summer, the beach, and hot days. But sunlight does much more for us than provide a sunburn or a good time outside.
Sunlight has a powerful implication for how our metabolism works and can be a great natural metabolism booster to help you lose weight and maintain it. Not to mention that sunlight reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease7, lowers blood pressure8,9, improves immune function, and reduces MS.10
Here are 6 key ways that sunlight helps you lose and maintain your weight:
- Vitamin D Synthesis: Sunlight exposure helps your skin produce vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in calcium absorption and regulating metabolism.11
- Insulin Sensitivity: Sunlight can improve insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.12,13,14
- Sunlight increases serotonin: Serotonin helps improve sleep, reduces appetite and improves mood 15,16,17
- Cortisol Regulation: Sunlight exposure can help regulate cortisol levels, a hormone that, when imbalanced, slows metabolism, reduces metabolism, and increases insulin resistance.16
- Thermogenesis: Sunlight exposure can stimulate brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity, enhancing thermogenesis and calorie burning.17
- Weight Regulation: Sunlight exposure has been linked to lower body mass index (BMI) and reduced risk of obesity.15,18
But many are scared of the sun and often feel we need sunglasses, sunscreen, or other UV protectants.
However, our brain, eyes, hormones, metabolism, and cells need the sun to function and thrive.
So what’s the best way to get sun?
You want to tell your body it’s time to wake up, and sunlight is the best way to do this. Go outside without glasses and let the light hit you. If it’s sunny, 10 minutes is great, if it’s cloudy 20-30 min, or stay out as long as possible.
During the day
As humans, we used to be outside the majority of the time. Now, we’re inside the majority of the time and our bodies get confused by it. It can disrupt our circadian rhythms, hormones, neurotransmitters, and more.18 So instead, try going for a walk outside when you can or even just take a break outside for a few minutes. Try to have walking meetings, or set up times to work outside if possible. Throw on a coat if needed. Remember, our ancestors spent all day outside— and we can benefit from it too.
Getting sunlight as the sun sets is super important as the spectrum of light changes. After the sun sets it’s important to avoid as much blue light from screens as possible, as it will suppress melatonin, can increase depression, and increase the risk of obesity.19,20
When you sleep also make sure there is as little to no artificial light as possible. Even night lights for kiddos.
3. Ice Ice Baby: The Cold Connection To A Faster Metabolism.
Cold water or ice baths and other forms of cold exposure have become very popular in the last few years and for good reason. The more we study cold exposure, the more benefits we find.
And boosting our metabolism and helping with weight loss is one of the key things that happens.21
It does this by activating brown fat, also known as brown adipose tissue or BAT. BAT is metabolically active and increases your ability to burn energy. BAT also helps with many other things like improving insulin resistance24 and better cardiovascular health.25
But this is not all. Cold exposure helps with:
- Boosting the immune system22
- Improves hormone function23
- Improves mood and relieves depression23
- Improves cardiovascular health and circulation23
- Reducing pain and inflammation23
So do we have to go jump in a frozen lake to get the benefits or buy an expensive ice bath? Of course not.
Here are a few things you can do to get started or even enhance your cold exposure.
- Water temperature doesn’t matter as long as it makes you shiver. 60 down to 33 Fahrenheit can work, as long as it is uncomfortable (kind of takes your breath away) and makes you shiver is the key. So even tap water can work, but it may need to be adjusted as you get used to it and during different seasons.
- It doesn’t have to be water; going outside in cold weather can bring similar benefits. The less clothes the better.
- You only need 1-2 minutes per cold exposure session to get significant benefits, and a total of 11 minutes per week, of course, you could go longer. It’s not always about how long you stay in, sometimes it’s more so about breaking through the desire to not get in or to get out and overcoming that to create resilience.26
- Alternating heat and cold is also a great method- Ideally, you have a cold bath and a sauna— doing cold for 1-2 minutes, then 10-15 minutes in the sauna, then 1-2 minutes of cold. Always end on a cold session.
- If you don’t have a cold bath or sauna, just use a shower, or shower and bath and alternate between a couple minutes of cold and a couple minutes of hot. Always end on cold.
- Avoid heating up in a shower or bath afterward, and instead, let your body naturally heat up. That’s where much of the brown fat activation comes in when you start to shiver while warming up.27
And for most, even the thought of getting in the cold makes them shiver, which is a good thing! Once you take the first step and do it, you’ve overcome a huge wall into becoming more resilient and can improve your mood as well.
4. Lift Heavy Things
We hear a lot about exercise when it comes to weight loss. Typically it’s to do more of it! So most people spend hours doing cardio, hitting the gym, trying Orange Theory or CrossFit, hiring trainers, signing up for marathons, and feeling guilty if we don’t “get it in”, thinking we’ll never reach our goals.
But after having worked with thousands of people helping them lose on average 20-45 pounds in 6 weeks without exercise, and most of them being women over 40, we know exercise really isn’t working for weight loss. Research also shows that even if you are exercising, weight loss results are modest at best— and sometimes can backfire.28,29
So when it comes to weight loss, nutrition needs to be the focus.
But exercise, and particularly building muscle, helps keep the weight off once you’ve lost it.
Exercise is also critical to stay healthy physically and mentally:
- It helps reduce insulin resistance30
- Helps reduce hunger and cravings32
- Improves depression symptoms33
- Improves sleep34
- As we age it allows us to avoid falling or accidents and makes us more functional35
Don’t exercise to lose weight, do this instead…
To give you some context of the most effective way to use, or not exercise, here’s how we do it. It depends on your goals of course and who you are. If you are a woman over 50 looking to lose fat versus if you’re active in your 30s and want to tone up— it will be different.
When we work with someone in our Metabolism Reboot program who wants to release fat, our first focus is to get their body healthy, which we drop 20-45 LBS on average in 6 weeks. Some say you can build muscle and burn fat at the same time, which is true, it’s just harder and slower. So we focus first on releasing fat while maintaining muscle and then focus on building after for a few reasons:
- This is far more effective because you’ll see faster fat loss results which is more motivating.
- You feel lighter and have more energy to want to work out.
- Your body, hormones, insulin, cells, etc. all function better which will help your body recover faster and build muscle more easily.
During the first 6 weeks, we do incorporate some movement that is more restorative and low impact. But the goal is to restore and heal our bodies so we can release fat, and intense exercise isn’t going to help with that. Once we’ve lost the weight then we bring the intensity back in to focus on building muscle.
And when I say build muscle you don’t have to be a bodybuilder or Iron Man athlete (unless that’s your goal). Consistency each day is going to be the name of the game here.
I know sometimes it’s overwhelming or scary to know what to do and get started, so let me give you the basics, but it could also be all you really need.
The “Best Bang For Your Buck” when it comes to fitness…
Most people overthink exercise and make it too complicated and hard. Again, if you have specific goals for fitness like competing on stage or running a race it’s different. But here are the basic principles to follow that give you the most benefit with the least amount of effort required.
- Develop the mindset that movement is a non-negotiable every day (this is key).
- Walking is critical: Set aside time for a 30-40 minute walk daily (if you don’t have 30-40 minutes do whatever you can. Just set the time aside and do it).
- Avoid sitting for long periods. If you sit for 45-60 minutes then stand up and move your body a bit. It’s not good to exercise hard and then sit all day. If you had to choose, it would be better to take an hour-long walk and break it into 5-10 minute increments throughout the day to break up your sitting.
- Do strength/resistance exercises 2 or 3 times weekly for 30-40 minutes. Just start small and work up. You don’t even need a gym membership. Just use your body weight.
- Incorporate some cardiovascular training for 90 minutes a week. It should be harder than a walk, but not so hard that if you were trying to have a conversation you couldn’t.
- Find things you enjoy, because you’ll likely do them more.
The best routine for exercise is the one that is consistent.
5. Hydrating Your Metabolism The Proper Way.
We’ve all heard that we need to drink water. But why? What does it do and why is it important when it comes to metabolism and weight loss?
Water is required to burn fat
For you to “burn” fat as people say, you must first have water. When you burn fat you are converting fat to energy which is called lipolysis. The first step in this process is breaking down the fat using water, called hydrolysis. So without water, you cannot burn fat.33
Water can increase your metabolism
Thermogenesis is heat production from your body.34 The more heat you produce the more energy you expend and the faster your metabolism becomes. When you drink water your body has to heat the water to body temperature. One small study found that drinking water at 71 degrees Fahrenheit increases the metabolism rate by 30%.35
Helps with detoxing
When a toxin enters our body, whether through ingesting, breathing, or through our skin (yes our skin is an organ and absorbs what we put on it), our body has ways of keeping us safe. It puts those toxins into our fat cells.36
Our world is full of toxins and chemicals from the air, food, soaps, cleaners, skin care products, and more. So a key factor in weight loss is helping toxins leave the body. Our kidneys and bowels are important in this function. And without adequate water, our kidneys don’t function properly.37
In addition to these key things, water is critical for things like physical performance, cognitive function, digestion, immune system support, maintaining proper hunger levels, and healthy skin.38
How much water should we drink?
Some say 8 cups, some say half your body weight in ounces per day. However, there is not a lot of evidence to support this.39 Thirst is a better indicator for your normal, everyday life. This may vary depending on your activity level, where you live, age, and more, which Chriskresser.com has a great breakdown of how to navigate this.40
If you are working to release fat, you’ll need to burn fat and flush toxins so I find it necessary to increase your water intake for a while to more like 80-120 oz per day.
Water alone isn’t enough.
One problem with just drinking water by itself is it is often not enough, and we need to add minerals back into our water to create a balance of electrolytes. If you drink too much water you can also get dehydrated from a lack of sodium and other minerals.41 An easy way to do this is by adding some mineral salt like Redmond Real salt right to your water or drinking an electrolyte powder. My favorite brand is Redmond Re-lyte.
Quality is critical
The quality of your water is very important. I recommend getting a high-quality water filter to install in your home. Water bottles are not a great option as the plastics can potentially leach into the water, especially if heated up in your car. And tap water has many added chemicals that are harming our health. The better option is a stainless steel water bottle you fill up with your own filtered water.
We have watched these 5 tips change our clients’ lives time and time again. The path to weight loss doesn’t have to be a grueling one. The key is to embrace the natural process our bodies have gone through for generations and focus on how the natural elements around us can benefit our bodies long term.
Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly how to fit these into your life or you simply want a plan to follow. When we work with someone individually we tailor this for you to help you reach your goals. Our average weight loss is 20-45 LBS in 6 weeks and then help people know how to maintain it long term.
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