Curl up on the couch with your favorite flick
Wait—being a couch potato can help your metabolism? If you’re totally relaxed, then yes. Stress increases the level of the hormone cortisol, which can cause metabolic dysfunction if it’s constantly elevated, explains Bindiya Gandhi, MD, an integrative and functional medicine specialist. The cure is to do something that will help you completely de-stress. Taking a long bath, walking outside, and reading a book are all great options to chill out, but if your favorite method is watching a movie that’s cool too, as long as that’s not all you do.
Make your nightcap a cup of chamomile tea
Even just one or two alcoholic drinks a day can disrupt your metabolism, increasing your risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders, Dr. Gandhi says. Skip the booze altogether or save it for special occasions and learn to wind down at the end of the day with a different beverage. Herbal teas are soothing, no-calorie options that won’t keep you up at night. If you need help cutting back on booze, try these 17 tips.
Watch the sunrise
Getting a little sunlight on your face every morning boosts both your body and your mood, says Ken Ceder, executive director of Science of Light, a nonprofit focused on the benefits of natural light. To get your daily dose, you need to spend at least 15 minutes every morning outdoors, in the sunlight, without sunscreen or sunglasses on. Simply taking in the sunrise can help you lose weight and increase your metabolism naturally, he says. If the sun isn’t cooperating, consider using a light box—it’s just one of the 14 ways you can help avoid seasonal affective disorder this season.