Whenever I travel, I lose weight. I’m serious. I eat more, I drink (a lot) more, I rarely workout, and I spend a lot of time reading and watching TV in the evenings when I’m jet-setting, and yet I almost always come home at least 3 lbs lighter than I was when I left.
I always assumed this was because I spend less time sitting at my computer and more time actually DOING stuff during the day when I’m away from home, but after I spent most of the December break sitting on our couch chasing various Christmas treats down my throat with a bottle of wine, and almost threw up when I stepped on the scale on January 5th, I plugged the words, “how to boost your metabolism” into Google, and I was amazed at all of the different tips I found.
As it turns out, the main reasons I lose weight when we travel are that I sleep more, eat consistently, and drink a ton of (non-alcoholic) fluids during the day, and now that I know the science behind those things, as well as other different tricks to boost my metabolism, I no longer have to rely on family vacations to help me fit into my skinny jeans.
Check out my favorite tips to teach you how to boost your metabolism below, and let me know if you have anything to add to my list!
I (very stupidly) used to think that sleep deprivation caused weight LOSS, but after a friend of mine told me that her doctor once warned her that lack of sleep can lead to weight GAIN, I decided to do some research.
And guess what?
Sleep deprivation increases ghrelin (the hunger hormone), decreases leptin (the “fullness” hormone), and slows down your metabolism, which totally makes sense to me. After averaging no more than 5 hours of sleep a night for over 2 months prior to the holidays, I noticed a slow, but steady increase in my weight, despite the fact that I was working out 4+ times a week and wasn’t eating a great deal more than usual. But once things calmed down and I started to sleep more, the weight started to fall off.
You can read more about the link between sleep and weight gain in this article over on WebMD.
2. EAT A PROPER BREAKFAST
When I was in grade 12, my gym teacher made us keep a food journal for a week, and after shaking her head in disbelief at all of the crap her 18-year-old students packed away on a daily basis, she told us that if we were to take anything away from her course, she hoped it would be the importance of starting our day with a well-balanced breakfast.
With college in the not-so-distant future, I was becoming more and more obsessed with my appearance, and after learning that skipping breakfast would slow down my metabolism and cause me to gain weight, I started setting my alarm 15 minutes earlier so I could grab something nutritious before leaving the house each day.
It’s been almost 30 years since I took that class, and to this day, I rarely, if ever, skip breakfast.
3. GRAB A COFFEE
While some researchers would argue that the link between caffeine and weight loss is insignificant, this article on bodybuilding.com has me pretty convinced I don’t need to give up my morning cup of joe.
I just need to remember to stick to regular coffee and not order something fancy.
(Thank goodness pumpkin spice lattes are over for another year!)
4. NEVER (EVER!) SKIP MEALS
If you aren’t familiar with what skipping meals does to your metabolism, read this.
5. STAY HYDRATED
When I first read that drinking 8 glasses of ice cold water could actually increase my metabolism and help me lose weight, I felt like I had stumbled upon the best kept secret in the whole world. As it turns out, the metabolic effects of drinking lots of water are quite minuscule, but I cannot deny that I look and feel my best when I’m hydrated, so I am making a conscious effort to drink as much water as my bladder can handle from this point forward.
6. LIFT WEIGHTS
For the last 18+ months, I have dragged my bum out of bed at 5:30 am 4+ mornings a week so I can spend 30 minutes running on the treadmill before starting my hectic day of preschool, mom-and-me music classes, and running errands with my daughter. For the first several months, I was pleased with the results, but I soon saw a plateau in my weight loss, which I found to be very aggravating. I then read this article on Experiencing Life and it completely changed my life. I started varying my running routine a little bit by increasing my speed, running on an incline, and pushing myself in ways I never thought I could, and I also started lifting weights a couple of times a week, and I immediately started to see results.
You should give it a try!
7. EAT THE RIGHT FOODS
There are so many awesome and yummy foods out there that can help give your metabolism a boost, but this list of 18 Metabolism-Boosting Foods by Prevention is my favorite.
9. LOAD UP ON GREEN TEA
My husband recently got me hooked on green tea, and while I always knew it was healthier for me than regular tea, it wasn’t until I read this article by WebMD that I discovered it not only boosts metabolism, but also protects against diseases. So now I drink it quite regularly.
Please note that green tea may interfere with folic acid absorption, so if you are pregnant, PLEASE talk to your doctor before drinking green tea!
10. LIMIT ALCOHOL
Give the name of my blog, I guess it’s no surprise to hear that I like to spend my evenings curled up on the couch with my good friend Chardonnay. The only problem is that she is LOADED in empty calories, and the more time I spend with her, the more she makes me raid our kitchen pantry. So I try my hardest to limit myself. And when that doesn’t work, I tie my kitchen cupboards shut.
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