Lower metabolism is partly responsible for belly fat and difficulty in losing fat weight. While many struggle with this, there are many life style changes one can make to reduce weight problems. Here are ten habits to help promote metabolism. The most important concept in maintaing healthy metabolism is maintaining a balanced lifestyle in general.

10. Eat Breakfast

The morning sets the tone and pace of the day. This includes the pace of metabolic activity. In Chinese medicine, there is a timing in which qi (qi is a broad term for substances that make up and nourish the body, including fluids, proteins, neurotransmitters, etc…) circulates in the body. 7AM is considered the time of the stomach, and it is important to eat a meal at this time, since it is when the digestive system is the strongest.

If you don’t eat breakfast, the body will be missing energy for the rest of the day’s task. When the body’s energy supply is low, it slows down the metabolism in order to reserve what nutrients it has left. This can lead to increased conversion of glucose into fat.

9. Eat Enough and On Time

Having consistent meal timing is significant in maintaining homeostasis (balance of metabolic processes and factors) in the body. Generally, having a meal 3 times a day is optimal. However, there have been variations in types of meal timing, such as in the practice of intermittent fasting. Regardless, the main point is that you are receiving no more or less than what you need to eat in a day, which is generally 2000-3000 calories a day, and that you are consuming these calories at a consistent interval 2-3 times day. Just as important is to make proportions of macronutrients are balanced : protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

8. Don’t Overeat

Eating more than what would make you feel full will lead to food congestion in the stomach. At a mechanical level, the stomach’s ability to churn may not be able to keep up amount of substances being introduced to the body. This not only causes discomfort in the belly but also impedes the rest of the body’s processes, since more resources are being distributed to aid in digestion. If overeating becomes a habit, it will slowly damage the digestive system’s strength, leading to a lowering of metabolism.

7. Reduce Refined Carbohydrates

It is well known that having a diet high in carbohydrates causes lower metabolism. Carbohydrates are rapidly digested but often can be converted into fats. This is because our body does not expend as much calories as we take in. In Chinese medicine, food is often categorized by therapeutic qualities in a way similar to herbal medicines. For example, they are organized according to flavors, temperature, and density. Refined carbs are sweet, thick, moist, and generally neutral in temperature. Sweet, thick, and moist substances that introduced into the body will eventually hinder digestion and congest the body. Thus, reducing these types of foods will help maintain healthy metabolism.

Refined Carbohydrates include these types of foods :

– foods made from white flour, like cookies, cakes, white bread, pasta
– foods and drink that contain sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or glucose/maltose like candies, sodas

6. Moderate Exercise

The amount of physical exertion directly affects your rate in which nutrients are metabolized. Try your best to get exercise a minimum of 2-3 times a week. It does not have to strenuous, but enough to slightly challenge you and raise your heart rate. Obviously, the amount you can exercise depends on many factors, like your general health, cardiovascular health, age, and other health conditions. While it is important to get enough exercise, overdoing it will lead to other complications.

5. Get Enough Rest

The amount of rest you get is just as important as the amount of exercise you do. Rest is needed to help the body repair damages that accumulate in fibers of the body and revitalize the organs, so that they can continue facilitate their activities. All of these contribute to the metabolism of the body.

If you were to not get enough rest, the body would feel depleted, and much like when the body does not have enough food. The body’s nervous system and organs will have a lower metabolism if it does not receive enough rest.

4. Drink Water

Water is needed to help moisten the body’s tissue and promote metabolic activities, such as through hydrolysis, the chemical breakdown of substances by introducing hydrogen particles. In simpler words, water helps break down food substances, reduce acids, and remove toxins from the body. This ensures the metabolism is smooth and unhindered.

3. Regulate Breathing

Our breath can directly affect our heart rate and pH levels. The heart contributes to metabolism through its relation with the thyroid gland. pH levels affect how our kidneys and lungs process CO2 and bicarbonate. Together these organs will maintain healthy metabolism if they work in harmony. That is why it is important to regulate breathing and avoid shallow breathing by taking time to do some breathing work exercises.

Here’s an easy exercise you can do 3-4 times day for 3 minutes—anywhere and anytime :

1. close your eyes
2. relax all your muscles
3. breath steadily in-and-out
4. maintain your focus on your breath for at least 3 minutes

2. Stay Regular

Normal bowel movement is essential in preventing congestion in the body. When the body is congested with toxins and waste, it will be hard for the body to mechanically process substances in the body. Make sure you have a balance between macronutrients and micronutrients, wet and dry foods, fibers and starches, hard and soft foods. All of these are necessary to ensure food and waste moves smoothly. Fats ensure the substances are moist enough to move through, dry foods are important to prevent diarrhea, fiber binds wastes and absorbs water, proteins and carbohydrates are digested to ensure the body has energy to process wastes.

1. Get Treated

While you can do your best to maintain healthy habits, you may have to makes compromises to ensure that you meet other goals timely. This is completely normal! If you start to see a reduction in health with signs of impaired metabolism, incorporating some maintenance treatment may be suggested. You can try treatment in the form of herbal medicine, acupuncture, and/or exercises.

There are many herbal medicincal substances that are used to promote metabolism. Their selection is based on the surrounding root cause of your health issue. Acupuncture regulates the autonomic nervous system, which is basically what controls breathing, heart rate, digestion, and bowel movement. There are many breathing and movement exercises that one can practice to help regulate metabolism. For example, stretching the muscles helps promote venous blood flow to help drain lymphatics and removal of oxidative byproducts. By doing this, the tissue of not only muscle, but of organs, bowels, and vessels will be clear and smooth thereby maintaining healthy metabolic processes. You can start a 15-minute stretching routine done at least 2-3 times a week.