Some people may seem to be naturally blessed with a fast metabolism and an effortlessly sleek physique. Others however complain of a slower metabolism and as a result, weight issues.
The terms “fast” and “slow” relate to the speed with which a person digests their food and, in reality, while genetics may play their part, metabolism can be affected by multiple factors, from lack of sleep and stress to environmental toxins and food.
The good news is, many of these factors are easily within our control, especially the food we eat!
With a healthy digestion, we absorb nutrients from our food and any toxins are excreted at the end of the digestion process.
However, if faeces are sitting in a “loading dock” waiting to be evacuated, the body sucks it dry and usually absorbs toxins after it has absorbed the nutrients.
These toxins then float around the body looking for a home. The body tries to eliminate them in other ways but, if it can’t, they settle in and get comfy in our fat cells. Then they are really hard to clear out.
A diet low in fibre and high in trans fats and saturated fats takes longer to break down in our digestive system.
A diet high in fake foods takes longer, as the body doesn’t really know what to do with the chemical additives. It may absorb them and they get stored as toxins in the fat cells as well, or it may just slow down the whole process.
It is up to us to choose healthy foods that will improve our digestion and, in turn, our metabolism. Improving your metabolism comes down to four major factors:
Limiting exposure to environmental toxins
Using food as medicine.
Eating small regular meals across the day will aid digestion, placing less strain on the body than eating larger meals. This is why our 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge Meal Planconsists of 3 snacks and 3 meals a day – to ensure your metabolism keeps on firing (and help keep your blood sugar levels stable).
Changing your style of eating is also paramount.
Whole foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, good fats, and organic and plant-based proteins will naturally bring you into balance. Focus on increasing fibre, which helps create a feeling of fullness and improves transit time, and also binds lipopolysaccharides (which cause inflammation in the digestive tract) and removes them from the body. Snacks like our Nutritious Date and Oat Bliss Balls are packed with plenty of fibre and good fats, and taste great to boot!
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Eat prebiotic and probiotic foods to nurture beneficial gut bacteria, helping reduce inflammation and bloating.
It is also important to limit the strain you put on your enzymes by having smaller portions of animal protein, and reducing trans and saturated fats.
Keep your blood sugar stable by consuming low- to medium-GI foods (like brown rice and whole grains), and try not to leave long breaks between meals.
Use nutritional supplements like chromium, manganese or cinnamon to help curb sweet cravings and balance blood sugar.
You can also keep your hormones happy by avoiding things that mimic them. Eat organic when you can and avoid products with xenoestrogens.
Remember weight gain is generally a result of the choices you have made, and so too is weight loss.