What To Do Before & After Eating For More Energy

by Isadora Baum, CHC

A sluggish metabolism can be a pain, and it can definitely make us feel lethargic, bloated, and just uncomfortable. The greatest way to rev our metabolism during the day is by doing activities and eating foods that can increase our metabolisms, provide sustainable energy, and boost our moods. A quicker metabolism is desirable not for the reasons you might think, but because it can help our bodies and experience less abdominal pain and fatigue.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on maximizing their metabolisms and gaining energy to power through the day. While our genes can contribute to our metabolisms, there are some things we can do to speed the burn and manipulate our bodies' natural tendencies. By introducing key lifestyle habits and foods, as well as using techniques before and after eating to enhance metabolic pathways, we can reap major benefits and totally change our bodies into a firing, efficient machine. Use these eleven tips for what to do before and after eating to speed metabolic burn. You'll be feeling more energized and more productive in your daily activities, work tasks, and day-to-day errands.

1. Work Out In The Morning

Getting in exercise first-thing can help set your mood and help you burn your breakfast more efficiently. It "immediately speeds your metabolism and sets your body up to naturally burn more calories all day," says certified healthy lifestyle coach Liz Traines over email with Bustle. This will help you stay energized for longer and avoid crashing mid-day.

2. Get Moving After Eating

While too much rigorous exercise after a meal can cause discomfort, a light walk can do wonders for balancing blood sugar and helping you feel lighter. "Stand up after you eat or take a light walk," says Traines. "This will get your metabolism moving, as the metabolism slows substantially when sitting down," she adds. Some movement can help things start to circulate faster.

3. Drink Water Before A Meal

"Drink water before you eat," says Traines. "This will wake up your system and cause you to eat less/get full faster and allow your digestive enzymes to do their job," Traines adds. "Drinking water during and after a meal can dilute the enzymes and make it more difficult for your body to absorb all the nutrients from your food," Traines continues, so that pre-meal hydration is really key.

4. Eat Protein Throughout The Day

Studies show that eating protein can not only fill us up, but it can also keep our metabolism revved for hours to come. With each meal or snack, include a good source of protein. Nosh on nuts, such as almonds, lean proteins, such as eggs, jerky, or sliced turkey breast, Greek yogurt, or canned fish for a substantial amount, and pair with a complex carbohydrate, such as whole wheat toast, berries, or a banana.

Try: Field Trip All-Natural Turkey Jerky, $8, Amazon

5. Limit Alcohol Prior To A Meal

While experts suggest that wine might be good for your heart; however, alcohol will still slow the metabolism. So, if you imbibe before eating food, your metabolism will be at a lower rate and you will burn your meal less efficiently. To eat with a greater speed, limit alcohol use, especially those happy hours, and have a drink following your meal instead.

6. Spice Up Your Foods

Not only do spices add a ton of flavor to enhance meals, but they also boost your metabolism. Add hot chili peppers or cayenne, which speed metabolism due to its capsaicin content, as well as spices from the allium family, such as onion and garlic, which can decrease inflammation. Other great spices are turmeric and ginger, which can also boost metabolism.

7. Have Coffee Or Green Tea Prior To A Meal

A bit of caffeine can give your metabolism a quick jolt before siting down for a meal. If too much caffeine can cause a disturbance, swap for green tea, which is also a powerful antioxidant found to decrease inflammation and boost metabolism. Also, avoid too much caffeine later in the day, as it can interfere with sleep schedules later in the evening.

Try: Green Tea Matcha Powder, $11, Amazon

8. Nibble Throughout The Day

While choosing what to eat is important, timing also matters. Instead of eating huge meals, which can slow the metabolism by overwhelming the body with too many nutrients to absorb at once and substances to break down through digestion, have smaller and more frequent meals during the day to keep the metabolism most efficient and digestion incredibly smooth.

9. Strength Train Before Dinner

Cardio might rev your metabolism, especially high intensity exercises, but strength training will keep your metabolism elevated for hours. After work, head to the gym and work with some weights to boost your heart rate and build muscle. The more muscle you have, the greater your metabolism will be at rest, which can lead to greater burn when you're outside the gym and even asleep.

10. Take Deep Breaths Before Eating

Taking deep breaths can make you more mindful of your plate and your appetite levels. Taking breaks while dining to check in, such as putting the fork down, or taking a big breath to feel your belly, will also help you avoid overeating, which can result in a sluggish metabolism and uncomfortable cramping. Being mindful will also help reduce cravings during the day.

11. Eat Light Prior To Bed

Eating right before bed, in my opinion, is OK. I eat an apple within half an hour of bed each night, and I sleep soundly. However, consuming heavy meats, pastas, and protein dishes, as well as refined carbohydrates that cannot be burned off as easily, too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep and make you feel bloated and cramped.

While being mindful of what you consume can influence the speed of your metabolism and your overall health, these little tricks and habits for before and after consumption can make a huge difference in allowing you to maximize nutrient absorption, and a sustained, long-term burn of energy.

Images: Pexels (12)

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