7 Ways To Support A Healthy Metabolism As A Woman

Guest post from local Nutritional Therapist Sarah Gale

Ever wonder about the secret sauce behind a thriving metabolism? At its core, metabolism refers to the myriad of chemical processes that keep our body alive and functioning — from converting food into energy to fuel our cells to managing the building blocks for proteins. It's the powerhouse behind every blink, breath, and heartbeat.

While it's true that our genetic makeup casts a foundational blueprint for our metabolic rate, it isn't the sole influencer. Our daily habits, from what we eat to how much we move, play a starring role in how efficiently our body's metabolic engine runs. It's an ever-responsive system that reacts to the choices we make and the environments we are in.



For women, understanding metabolism goes beyond just calories burnt or gained. Our bodies, with their intricate dance of hormone cycles, age-induced transitions, and uniquely female challenges, lean heavily on a well-functioning metabolism. It’s not just about how swiftly we can burn off that dessert; it's about hormone balance, bone health, mood regulation, and so much more. As we navigate the various stages of womanhood, from menstruation to menopause and the chapters in between, it becomes crucial to understand and care for our metabolism. Let's delve further into understanding metabolism and discover strategies to enhance it.


1.  Embrace Protein-Packed Meals 

Protein is a metabolic powerhouse in several ways. Firstly, when you munch on a meal, your body burns energy during digestion—a process called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbs or fats, which means the body has to work harder burning more energy. Secondly, protein is crucial for muscle repair and growth. Muscle is metabolically active so increasing muscle mass improves our metabolic rate. And lastly, protein is incredibly satiating, meaning we are more likely to feel satisfied in-between meals and not have intense cravings. To increase your protein, incorporate foods such as lean meats, eggs, fish or tofu into your meals.


2.  Strength Training is Your BFF 

We may have been trained by diet culture that we need to opt for intense cardio when it comes to calorie burning (cue Bridget Jones on an exercise bike), but strength training is where the metabolic magic truly happens. Muscle tissue is active, meaning it burns calories even when you're resting. As we age, especially past our 30s, we naturally lose muscle mass, and our metabolism takes a hit. Counter this natural decline by adding in strength training a few times a week. You don’t necessarily need to lift heavy weights if that isn’t your thing, any weight bearing exercise such as squats, push-ups, yoga, pilates or Barre all count too. And for those worried about bulking up—fear not! It is excess calorie intake that bulks us, not strength training. You'll get toned, not bulky.


3.  Don't Skimp on Sleep 

Amidst the whirlwind of modern life, sleep sometimes falls to the wayside. However, cutting back on rest not only makes you groggy but can also reduce the rate at which you burn calories and can mess with hunger-regulating hormones like ghrelin and leptin. For the sake of your metabolism (and your mood!), aim for 7-9 hours of quality shut-eye nightly.


4.  Move More with NEAT 

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is a fancy term for the calories you burn during daily activities, like walking to the car, tidying up, or even fidgeting. These seemingly trivial movements can add up and actually count for a larger percentage of your overall metabolism than exercise. Simply being conscious about moving more throughout the day—taking stairs, stretching every hour, or opting for a standing desk—can elevate your metabolic rate.



5.  Get Rhythmic with Meal Times 

Our bodies thrive on rhythm. Research suggests that erratic eating patterns can disrupt our body's natural rhythm and negatively impact metabolic factors. Consistent meal times, coupled with consuming more food during daylight hours, have been shown to benefit our metabolism, independent of calorie or macronutrient content. This could translate to enjoying a hearty breakfast and a lighter dinner, and aiming to dine earlier, given that our metabolism tends to wind down as the evening progresses.


6.  Manage Those Stress Levels 

Modern life comes with its fair share of stressors, and our bodies can react by going into a "fight or flight" mode, increasing levels of the hormone cortisol. High cortisol can interfere with insulin sensitivity and appetite regulation and may slow metabolism. So, find your personal stress antidote—it could be yoga, meditation, sea-swimming or simply unwinding with a good book.


7.  It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint 

Tempting as they might be, quick solutions like crash diets can hinder your metabolism. When you sharply reduce your calorie intake, your body perceives it as a shortage and slows down energy use. Rapid weight loss often comes with muscle loss, which in turn can further dampen metabolic rates. Rather than seeking instant results, focus on cultivating daily habits that you can maintain consistently to support your health and metabolism. 


In conclusion, metabolism is not just a roll of the genetic dice – it's shaped significantly by our daily routines. By integrating small, purposeful habits into our day, we hold the power to positively influence our metabolic rate. It's about understanding that the little choices we make daily can lead to transformative metabolic support.


Meet Sarah...


Expert Sarah


Sarah Gale is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, Clinical Nutritionist DipION mBANT and hormone expert and helps women who just can’t lose weight break free of the diet cycle, rebalance their hormones and feel confident in their own skin again.

After a lifetime a hating her body and chronic yo-yo dieting, Sarah realised that yo-yo diets didn’t have the answers and by balancing her hormones, fixing her metabolism and working on her mindset she could finally lose the weight and get her self-confidence back.

You can find out more about Sarah and the services she offers over at Sarah Gale Nutrition


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