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Healthy eating habits don’t always come easily, but prioritizing a few can go a long way in supporting a strong metabolism. No more overfilling your plate or forgetting your daily vegetables. Your body will thank you later!

A healthy and strong metabolism helps the overall functionality of your body. It simply breaks down the nutrients in your daily foods, “uses calories efficiently and doesn’t store them unnecessarily as fat,” says our advice from medical experts members Tammy Lakatos Shame, RDN, CDN, CFTand Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFTalso known as The twins of nutrition

Whether you want to lose weight or just keep it off, maintaining a fast metabolism is important. Having a fast, well-functioning metabolism is recommended, according to the Nutrition Twins, because you “can burn more calories throughout the day. [and] food doesn’t have the dreaded fate of ending up on your stomach, hips and buttocks as body fat.”

The warning signs of a dysfunctional metabolism can be a number of things. Whether you’re constantly tired, crave carbs and sugar, have trouble regulating your body temperature, are constipated or have irregular periods, [then] your metabolism may not be working the way it should,” says The Nutrition Twins.

Although these are common symptoms, they suggest keeping in mind that they can also be factors in other health conditions. (Consult your doctor). When planning your meals for the coming week, try these eating habits to boost your metabolism so your body doesn’t have to work so hard every day! Then, for more information on metabolism, check out The #1 Easiest Way to Boost Your Metabolism, According to New Research.

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Snacking is not the enemy. However, keeping track of what you decide to snack on throughout the day has its benefits. The Nutrition Twins highlight to research this suggests choosing a high-protein snack over a bowl of carbs because it “increases your metabolic rate while your body is at rest [not exercising] and when you sleep.”

For example, after eating a 300-calorie turkey breast, “about 90 of those calories will be burned during the digestion process,” they explain. When your body breaks down protein foods, your metabolism is put to work more efficiently than when you consume large amounts of carbohydrates.

As your body burns more calories from protein snacks, your metabolism can naturally disperse those calories as a source of energy at a faster rate. Considering an estimate of “30% of the calories consumed from protein are used solely to digest and process it,” explain The Nutrition Twins.

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“As well as contributing to weight gain, eating too much at once will make you sluggish and less active,” say The Nutrition Twins. Don’t be afraid to start with smaller portions on your plate and come back later if you’re still hungry.

If you eat “big, fat, high-calorie meals,” especially if you’re inactive, they explain, “you’ll burn fewer calories and you won’t be able to kick-start your metabolism like you usually would if you had the energy for exercise and/or strength training.

Basically, if your metabolism can’t keep up with your calorie intake, it’s going to slow down overtime because it’s working twice as hard to break down such a large amount of calories all at once.

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Eating enough calories throughout the day fuels your body and helps maintain a well-oiled metabolic machine. But if you’re in a calorie deficit or below your daily needs and not seeing any weight loss results, it could be a sign that your metabolism isn’t working at the capacity it should be, according to Nutrition. Twins.

Skipping meals and losing vital calories from your day slows down your metabolism by causing him to retain calories for too long to keep the body functioning. If you eat enough meals and snacks, your metabolism will work steadily (even at rest) and won’t have to work to maintain a minimum amount of energy for your body.

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The nutrients in leafy greens benefit the body in various ways. Eating more green vegetables can promote the development of better digestion and, in turn, relieve metabolism after eating.

Including more servings of vegetables and leafy greens in your daily meals supports the postprandial state of metabolism, or the period after a meal, a study found. This creates a metabolism that works seamlessly, as leafy greens produce healthy levels of blood sugar and fat that can be easily broken down into energy forms.

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When alcohol is part of the equation, “it suppresses your metabolism and stimulates your appetite” because “your body digests it rather than food, and therefore excess carbohydrates, proteins and fats can be stored as fat,” say The Nutrition Twins.

Having a drink here or there with friends is fine, you just have to know how much. According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less for women.

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