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What is your metabolism exactly, and what does it do?

Metabolism is a process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. That energy is used for all the natural functions that go on in your body, such as breathing, heart rate and digestion, as well as exerting energy through movement.

In short, if you eat more calories then your body uses, they go into fat storage. If you eat less, you’ll lose weight.

However, age, muscle mass, sleep and hormones impact your metabolic rate, so if you suspect yours is on the slower side, here are some ways to speed your metabolism up.

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Love Your Gut

Friendly gut bacteria produces fatty acids that optimise metabolic function, so try feeding your gut with foods such as natural yoghurt, bananas and oats that are filled with probiotics and prebiotics.

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Don’t Skip Meals

Think of your metabolism as a burning machine, it’s easy to assume that giving it less food to burn would speed it up – not so much! Decreasing how much you eat can decrease your metabolism by 5 to 10 percent.

It’s why crash diets can leave you feeling lethargic – your body slows its processes to preserve fuel. You will start to feel more tired, your breathing slows down and the motivation is hard to find. These are the reactions that your body has when your metabolism is slowing down.

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Stay Hydrated

Keep your drink bottle filled up and cold! Also, keep it in a clear view so you have a constant reminder to keep your fluids up! Water has its own metabolic effect known as water-induced thermogenesis.

Cold water uses less energy than warmer water – but any type of H20 is better than none.

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Increase Your Protein Intake

Our bodies burn more calories when we eat protein than it does when we eat fats or carbs. Incorporating at least 25g of protein into each meal will not only help build muscle mass but will also boost your metabolism.

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Boost Your Sleep

A lack of sleep can decrease the number of calories you burn, change the way you process sugar and disrupt your appetite-regulating hormones.

Getting enough sleep can help ensure that these hormones remain balanced. This can prevent a person from overeating.

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HIIT It

Any sort of movement will improve your metabolism, but high-intensity interval training is brilliant for burning fat, even after your workout is finished, which will in turn boost your metabolism.

Studies have shown that 12 weeks of HIIT workouts can reduce belly fat by 17%!

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