For many teens, fast metabolism is a given, especially during growth spurts that cause the body to use more energy. However, some teens may suffer from a slower metabolism and can gain an unhealthy amount of weight. Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet can help teens speed up their metabolism.
7 ways teens can speed up their metabolism
1. Do more physical activities
Physical inactivity can cause metabolism to slow down as fewer calories are burned. So teens should resist the temptation to sit on the couch watching TV or playing video games. Exercise can help them increase their basal metabolic rate (BMR), which in turn can help them burn more calories and speed up their metabolism.
Regular physical activity also has the following benefits:
- Strengthens bones and muscles
- Regulates blood pressure
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases self-esteem
- Helps with weight management
2. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is integral to a healthy metabolism. This is because lack of sleep can interfere with the way the body processes sugar, which can disrupt hunger-regulating hormones such as ghrelin and leptin. Teens should aim to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
3. Eat a nutrient-rich diet
Nutrient-rich foods that can help boost metabolism by improving BMR in a teen include almonds (fatty acids), soy milk (protein and calcium), broccoli (calcium and vitamin C), tomatoes, beans, garlic, etc. Eating plenty of nutritious foods can help keep cravings at bay and improve overall health.
4. Eat more protein and fats
Protein increases metabolic rate more than carbs or fats. Eating more protein can also increase feelings of fullness and prevent overeating. Healthy fats found in nuts, avocados, fatty fish, etc. can also help promote a fast metabolism
5. Eat more frequently
Along with a well-balanced diet, eating smaller but more frequent meals throughout the day can help a teen speed up their metabolism. One method is to eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones. This can also help combat cravings.
6. Drink more water
Staying hydrated is crucial for optimal metabolism. When toxins build up in the body, it can slow down various bodily functions. Drinking more water can help flush out these toxins and help speed up metabolism.
7. Do resistance training
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Building muscle by lifting weights can help teens retain muscle mass and increase BMR, which will help them burn more calories even when at rest.
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Das JK, Salam RA, Thornburg KL, Prentice AM, Campisi S, Lassi ZS, Koletzko B, Bhutta ZA. Nutrition in adolescents: physiology, metabolism, and nutritional needs. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2017 Apr;1393(1):21-33. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28436102/
Galgani J, Ravussin E. Energy metabolism, fuel selection and body weight regulation. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008;32 Suppl 7(Suppl 7):S109-S119. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2897177/
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