There has been much written about “boosting” your metabolism to burn more fat. While your metabolism—which is responsible for converting food to energy to run cellular processes and to eliminate nitrogenous wastes—seems like a good idea, what you should be focusing on is how to make your metabolism work properly. Increasing or boosting your metabolism may not necessarily burn more fat.
Age causes all bodily functions to slow down. And of course, your metabolism will slow with age. But how we increase its function isn’t through gimmicks like eating every two to three hours. This will actually force your body to digest food non-stop throughout the day and will wear down your metabolism. Some also recommend consuming artificial foods with exotic amino acid concoctions to speed up the metabolism. This may aid in promoting disease over the long term.
The answer is to “optimize” your metabolism—regardless of how fast or slow it is—with nutrient-dense foods.
Processed foods and meat products are harder to digest than fresh fruits and vegetables. They burden the digestive and immune systems. Fresh fruits and veggies, however, provide the foundation for a healthy life due to high fiber, vitamin and mineral content.
Therefore, the goal must be to shift from a predominantly processed food/meat-based eating style to a plant-based eating style that will ensure metabolic optimization. The following are three challenges to start your journey toward plant-based eating:
- Prepare your own dinner five evenings per week. Many Americans “eat out” more than they prepare their own food at home. When eating out you will consume much more processed food that raises your blood acidity level and invokes immune system responses. Dining out or taking out for dinner is especially burdensome on your body because you will sleep on a meal that your body is trying to recover from. Cooking your own dinner—with plenty of fresh vegetables—greatly reduces the amounts of preservatives, additives and dangerous chemicals that your body must fight against.
- Keep processed sweets out of your home. Having a “sweet tooth” is a dangerous proposition. Seventy-four percent of processed food contains added sugar that can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, skin rashes and many other complications. Replace all processed sweets in your home with a huge fruit bowl. That way, whenever you have an urge for something sweet, you have the safest options at your fingertips. Keep in mind that the recommendations for sugar consumption only mention “added sugar.” The sugar inherent in unprocessed food is safe.
- Eat salad for lunch every day. On the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) chart green leafy vegetables top the list of foods that provide the most nutrients per calorie. Each day we should all be consuming them as much as possible. Lunchtime is the perfect time for salad, especially for those who live a hectic life in the big cities where there are lots of salad bars. Make sure to fill your salad bowl with as much raw vegetation as possible, avoiding cooked meats, cheeses and veggies food doused with oils.