As you get older, your metabolism, for some ungodly reason, decides to put the brakes on, and you tend to have a harder time losing weight as quickly as you did when you were younger. Your metabolism is your body’s ability to convert the food you eat into energy.

I have devised a list of metabolism boosters to increase your metabolism and burn fat all day long.

1. Early morning stretching and exercising. I had the hardest time getting past my weight plateau after having my youngest daughter. It wasn’t until she was in Pre-K that I turned on the television one day and saw Denise Austin’s Fit & Lite program.

It was at that moment that I committed to waking up to Denise Austin every morning and performing all the exercises she did. Because her exercise routine was designed for much older persons, I felt I could at least do those and keep up. The exercises consisted of yoga, Pilates and low- to no-impact exercises.

Each morning I would wake my kids up so they could prepare for school and I ran downstairs in my exercise gear because Denise and I had a date! My kids thought it was funny and they would joke about her exercises like ‘the downward facing dog’. They also noticed that not only was I losing weight, but I was more toned than I had been in a long time.

I noticed that I had more energy throughout the day and I felt more mentally alert and overall energized. So start each morning off with some yoga, some Pilates and cardio-kickboxing. Nothing too difficult, but enough to get the heart rate up.

2. Drink cold water. After my workout and shower, I would grab my water bottle with the straw and fill it with ice (I had an ice addiction) then fill the remainder with water. I kept the bottle with me all day long and refilled it when it got low. Cold water is said to trigger your nervous system and stimulate your metabolism to force your body to use energy to keep it warm.

3. Protein for breakfast. One thing I am not very big on is breakfast. I have to force myself to eat anything and I usually find content eating a package of instant oatmeal.

I said all that to say, my instant oatmeal isn’t enough to gear up your metabolism. Protein for breakfast takes more energy to digest and thereby activates your metabolism. Protein uses more energy to digest than carbs or fat, so skip the donuts, syrups and pancakes. They mean you no good!

SN: They say coffee is good for boosting metabolism as well because the caffeine increases your neurotransmitters that keeps your nervous system activated. Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I cannot condone that kinda behavior lol.

4. 15-minute fast-paced walk. Your pace should be faster than your ‘I’m just browsing the mall’ walk. Keep it at that ‘a dog is after me but I don’t want to run or it will chase me’ pace.

Increasing your heart rate is always a good boost for the metabolism. The boost continues well after you have stopped because your body is trying to recover from the shock you just put it through and consuming more oxygen trying to get it back to norm.

5. Sip on some green tea. I drank green tea long before I knew the weight benefits, but it turns out that the EGCG found in green tea not only boosts your metabolism, but it reduces body fat and trims your waistline. GO GREEN!!!!

6. Mind over matter. Don’t laugh at this one, but I used to visualize me working out. I found out not too long ago that doing so tricks your body into strengthening your calorie-burning muscles. Do it enough and you’ll actually feel more strengthened to get up and do the exercises you’re visualizing.

7. Put some muscle into it. Just 30 minutes a week of strength training exercises can boost metabolism and activate muscle strength. So all those squats, planks and lunges are doing more than tightening your butt and stomach, they’re also increasing your metabolism!

8. Hit the sack! More than every other exercise you do, getting a full 8 hours of sleep helps you more than anything. Being fully rested and relaxing your mind and body reduces stress levels and rejuvenates your mind. So for all of those that think ‘the grind don’t sleep’, you will rethink that when your body shuts down on you. Your body NEEDS rest, so give it to it!

You will notice that I spoke in past tense throughout this post. I did so mainly because I have not done everything on the list in some time, but I am going to start back doing them today! When I was doing them they worked and I was very consistent in keeping up with my regimen. It’s time I get back to doing and taking care of me.

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