In this current climate of working from home and not being able to do as much for fitness as we used to many are finding that the issue of weight management is becoming more and more important. Having a good metabolism is paramount to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. Even though our metabolism unfortunately slows down as we get older following some simple strategies can go a long way in speeding up our metabolism.
As part of our weight management program one principle we recommend to our patients and clients is not to eat anything until you drink 2-3 glasses of water. Drinking water has many health benefits and is important in order to prevent a number of problems, such as dry skin and mouth, headaches and, with more severe dehydration, confusion, fatigue, dizziness and others.
When it comes to boosting one’s metabolism and helping to lose weight, drinking 2-3 glasses of water before a meal will help because you will naturally feel fuller so will be less likely to eat more. Studies have also shown that even mild dehydration can slow down metabolism by approximately 3%. Being well hydrated, on the other hand, can boost metabolism by as much as 30%.
Of course that does not mean that you can eat anything you like if you drink 2-3 glasses of water before each meal. It is important that you maintain a healthy diet without resorting to restrictive diets. It's best to think of this as a healthy lifestyle. This includes the following:
- Eating 2-3 serves of fruits and 4-5 serves of vegetables daily
- Doing moderate exercise of 3.5-4 hours per week
- Making sure you get enough vitamin D. Modern research has shown that sufficient sun exposure during appropriate times of the day without applying sunscreen is required for the biosynthesis of vitamin D which helps to prevent a number of diseases. It’s important to be balanced though in order to avoid overexposure.
- Making sure that your diet takes into consideration your age, gender, level of physical activity, special physiological conditions such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and other factors to make it healthy and satisfy your needs.
When it comes to exercise it’s important to make sure that you choose the type of physical activity which you enjoy, otherwise it will be hard to stick to it. Walking, jogging and Clinical Pilates are some examples. Clinical Pilates is a great option as all sessions are supervised by a physiotherapist, hence the risk of sustaining potential injuries is significantly reduced.
In order to make sure that your goals are being met it’s important to monitor the following parameters:
- Central (abdominal) adiposity
- Body fat
- Dietary requirements (energy intake and expenditure, ration nutritional adequacy e.g. essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals)
Your physiotherapist will be able to provide you with necessary information and prepare a specialized program for you to make sure that you not only speed up your metabolism but also improve your body shape and help deal with aches and pains you may be experiencing.