Morning rituals to help boost your metabolism
Looking to become more of a lean, mean, fat burning machine? Then a few simple and healthy adjustments to your early morning routine could get you powering ahead.
Having an efficient metabolism is key to keeping lean as it supports the body to burn fat throughout the day. And the leaner you are, the better your metabolic rate works so when your internal systems are firing on all cylinders it’s a win, win!
To keep your metabolism burning like a furnace you really need to give it a helping hand and it’s morning habits of the early bird that can make all the difference. We’re not talking increasing your tooth-brushing speed here, but a healthy re-think of that golden hour when you first tumble out of bed that will have your body at optimum performance in no time.
But first, here’s the science bit: what exactly is your metabolism? Simply put, it is the result of all the chemical processes going on inside your body to keep your engines running. Each time you eat, enzymes in your cells break the food down into energy – the essential fuel you need to keep your heart beating, your mind thinking, your muscles moving and your body strong. And a fast metabolism along with strong, lean muscles means even more energy – aka calories – is burned.
So, if you are looking to shred the fat and build more muscle while supercharging your body, all before 9am, you’ve come to the right place. We look at the essential morning rituals that can rev up your metabolic engine and keep it purring like a V8 all day.
In the words of Dolly Parton’s 80s classic, if your mornings have become more of the ‘tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen’ variety, then your metabolism could do with an early morning re-boot.
Supercharge your day – and your internal lean, mean, fat-burning machine – by setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier and resist the temptation to snooze. Getting up early and (sorry, here’s the kicker) at the same time each day (yup, even the weekend if you can), will get your body clock into a regular 24-hour rhythm and ignite your metabolic rate. Nurturing your inner early bird will also create some extra time that you can put to good use and set you and body up for the day.
2. Drink water to kick start your metabolism
Keeping hydrated with a camelbak backpack will help to lubricate your early morning metabolic ‘wheels’ and get your system powering ahead so make sure the first thing you do after waking is reach for the H2O.
Dehydration slows down your metabolism so after a night in slumber land it is essential to replenish your fluid levels. A good way to start the day is with a wedge of lemon in a large glass of warm water which, as well as being refreshing, will jumpstart your digestion and increase your metabolic rate. Just don’t forget to keep hydrating throughout the rest of your day – you’ll need at least the recommended two liters of water to support the smooth running of your hardworking but now super-keen metabolism.
You can also top up your early morning hydration with an energy-boosting juice drink to really wake yourself up. Whether it’s fruit or vegetable, fresh is best to ensure you get all the nutrient and vitamin goodness that’s essential for good health as well as amazing flavor.
Fresh fruit or vegetable juice can also be kinder on your early morning digestive system than a shop-bought carton so to help with your new wake-up routine, why not invest in your own juicer or blender. There’s a great range of easy to use and clean juicers out on the market, so make room on the kitchen worktop for your body’s new best friend! Then simply blitz up your favorite fruit or veg (or both together for a super-charged hit of the good stuff) and you and your metabolism will be raring to go.
3. Learn to love your early morning workout
Building muscle and getting your heart pumping are both sure-fire ways to increase your metabolic rate so make early morning the prime time you get moving. Strength and resistance exercises to build muscle will not only help your body burn more fat throughout the day but also boost your energy levels.
Max out on the extra 30 minutes you’ve created each morning by introducing strength and interval training to your daily routine. Then ramp up the intensity for a shorter workout that will crank your metabolism into overdrive in no time.
Here are just a few ways to get your early morning ‘meta-workout’ fix:
- Start your AM power session with some stretching to help improve blood circulation, warm up sleepy muscles and wake up your system.
- Join the resistance movement! Weight lifting and resistance training will help build lean muscle as well as raise your heart rate. Even a short 20-minute session will give you a serious metabolic boost that should last well into the day.
- Add in some high-powered cardio to really bring the heat on. Jump rope, treadmill sprints or uphill work on a static bike all count and, by getting your heart rate up and your blood pumping, you can have a dynamo effect on your metabolism.
- For a full-body workout that combines both resistance and cardio, battle ropes are awesome. Using resistance equipment such as a battle rope will help you pack on the lean by working muscles independently. Varying your routine means you can also target specific muscle groups, and as you work in short, intense bursts, battle ropes will give you a monster cardio workout that will produce results.
- Mix it up with intervals. Performing fast-paced, intense exercises with short rest periods in-between will you give you a long-lasting metabolic boost. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) with quick bursts of speed can really spark a fat-burning response in your muscles.
- Cooldown –don’t forget to spend five minutes at the end of your session to stretch out your muscles and allow your heart rate to settle back down.
4. Add metabolism-boosting foods to your breakfast
For optimum performance, all engines need quality fuel and your metabolism is no different. One of the most effective ways to get your system powered up each day is to make breakfast a priority. Always aim to eat within one hour of waking as, after 8+ hours of ‘fasting’ while you slept, your blood sugar and energy levels will be low. Eating a good breakfast will get your digestive juices flowing and flick on all your internal switches for an effective metabolism.
What you eat for your first meal of the day is just as important as when you eat it. Choose foods that are slow to digest and will make you feel fuller for longer and you will have a superpower breakfast. A mix of lean protein with complex carbohydrates and healthy fats and you really can’t go wrong.
We’ve all heard the saying ‘go to work on an egg’ and it’s true, protein-based breakfasts will boost your metabolism as they take more energy to digest, so your body has to work that little bit harder. As well as eggs, turkey, fish, beans, and tofu are all excellent sources of lean protein which will also help your body to keep burning calories during the day. Adding protein can offset the quick energy release of carbs, so for an ideal breakfast balance, aim for a good protein, healthy fat and nutrient-rich, whole food carbs and you’ll soon see super lean results.
Try a two-egg omelet with vegetables and onions or a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, almonds and natural yoghurt…. once you start you’ll be amazed at the wide variety of tasty, healthy, meta-boosting breakfasts you’ll be whipping up in no time.
But for those mornings when a busy life means you’re really on the run, mixing up a healthy protein shake will ensure you get the right energy balance without slowing you down. Protein shakers are inexpensive but an invaluable addition to any metabolic-friendly kitchen and help to take the hassle – and mess – out of refueling your body. Don’t fall into the trap of using protein shakes to replace meals but used as part of a balanced breakfast, they are a good way of topping your protein intake to keep those muscles lean and happy.
5. Don’t cut out the caffeine
An early morning coffee is the hot beverage of choice when it comes kick-starting your metabolism, so ditch the decaf and enjoy the flavor of a full roast bean (just hold back on the sugar and the cream).
Including a caffeine pick up as part of your early morning routine could see your metabolic rate rise for several hours after you take your first sip. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, making it a powerful body booster and can help you work harder in your training sessions. Research has also shown that a cup of black coffee drunk after a workout can also boost your energy stores.
For maximum impact – and let’s not forget enjoyment, coffee lovers – go for quality over quantity. Freshly ground beans, that have been freshly brewed cannot be beaten so when time is of the essence, a coffee machine can provide you with the perfect hit of caffeine to get you and your metabolism going.
If you don’t like coffee or decaf coffee, opt for green tea instead, which can also give your system a healthy jolt as well as being a rich source of antioxidants.
6. Prep like a boss!
Make planning and preparing your food for the day ahead a core part of your early morning routine and you won’t find yourself reaching for the cookie jar mid-afternoon to curb your hunger or boost flagging energy levels.
Extended time between meals can make your body go into ‘starvation mode’, decreasing your metabolism as it tries to save energy. Eating regular meals as well as some healthy snacking during the day will keep your meta-engine happily ticking over, fueling all the hard work that is going on inside your body. Eating at regular intervals also means your metabolism always has something to do and, as it works to digest the food, the machine gets faster and more efficient in keeping you lean.
The key is picking the right meals and healthy snacks… M&Ms don’t count, sorry…. and preparing them in advance so you always have them to hand.
Get ready to do it all again!
Your new meta-boosting routine shouldn’t be a chore but something you can happily embrace and feel all the better for it. Consistency is the key, so rest well when you need to – a good 7-8 hours sleep a night will also work wonders – and take the time to make it work for you.
Ultimately your metabolism is also determined by genetics, age, and gender but you can influence the rate at which your system works through the right fuel and activities that improve its overall performance.
So, get ahead by incorporating some or all of these new early morning rituals into your daily routine and you’ll not only add extra time to your day but increase fat burning and energy levels. Your body’s amazing metabolic engine will thank you for it too!