Lots of people who struggle with losing weight blame their awful results on a slow metabolism.
What makes this worse?
They erroneously believe that there’s nothing they can do about it.
As we’re going to learn in today’s post, there are many measures you can take to help speed your metabolism so you can burn more calories and reach your weight loss goals much faster.
But first things first, what is metabolism and why it matters?
What is Metabolism?
The word metabolism (mɪˈtabəlɪz(ə)m) is the umbrella term that refers to all of the chemical reactions occurring within your body at the same time.
More specifically, your metabolism consists of a complex network of hormones and enzymes that transform food into energy and determine how efficiently that fuel is used.
It’s involved in everything your body does, from thinking, to breathing, moving, and everything else in between.
The quicker your metabolism runs, the more calories you shed. The more you burn, the easier it is to lose weight.
8 Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Sure, genetics play a crucial role in how your metabolism runs, but still, there are some measures you can take to help speed up the rate at which your body processes calories.
Here are some simple strategies you can start implementing today to increase your metabolism and maintain a strong, lean body even as you age.
1. Stand up More
Sitting has taken a great toll on our lives.
A prolonged period of inactivity can contribute to slow metabolism and a plethora of health issues.
Recent research suggests that too much sitting is as bad for your health as smoking. That’s why some health experts have dubbed it the ‘new smoking.’
Of course, exercise is important, but not every one of us as much and as often as we should. Regular daily activity is equally important for a healthy and fast metabolism.
Everyday activities, such as walking, standing, taking the stairs, stretching your legs increases your energy burn and can add up to hundreds of calories burned.
Walk more often, carry your groceries home from the store, take the stairs instead of the elevators, etc. You can also get a standing desk to put your laptop on.
2. Eat Spicy Foods
Spicy food not only tastes good but also speeds up the metabolism process.
Research has found that spicy foods can help increase metabolism. This is especially the case with foods that contain the compound capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers.
According to a study out of the University of Copenhagen, capsaicin— the source from which hot peppers get their spice—can make you shed more calories at rest through the process of thermogenesis.
Research has linked hot peppers to a lowered risk of obesity and related disorders because they rev up energy burn and fat oxidation by increasing metabolism.
You don’t need to feast on Mexican or Thai food all day to reap the benefits.
You can add a dash of pepper flakes to soups, salads, and other dishes, sprinkle some chili pepper on your eggs or top your omelet with some spicy salsa.
Capsaicin is also found in cayenne, jalapenos, habaneros, and lost other chili peppers as a colorless compound.
3. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Lack of sleep can also contribute to a sluggish metabolism.
Plenty of studies have linked sleep deprivation to drastic increases in obesity risks and other serious health ailments.
This may be partly due to the harmful effects of lack of sleep on metabolism and other essential processes.
Skipping on sleep has also been linked to greater risk for insulin resistance and blood sugar levels—both prime factors for developing type II diabetes.
Lack of sleep has also been found to decrease the fullness hormone leptin while increasing the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
This is the reason you might be craving sugary high-fat foods after a bad night of sleep.
Get enough sleep during the night time. Shoot for at least seven to eight hours to allow your body enough time to function optimally.
4. Drink Coffee
Whether it’s your morning coffee or evening tea, a little bit of caffeine can do wonder to your metabolism.
Caffeine has been shown to boost metabolism by roughly 4 to 11 percent, according to research.
Another study published in Obesity found that high caffeine consumption has been linked to weight loss through, again, thermogenesis and fat oxidation.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, so your daily cup of joe can boost your metabolism five to eight percent—roughly 100 to 150 calories a day.
According to research, the magic number is roughly 200 to 300 milligrams per day—or the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee.
This is the sweet spot, but remember to go easy on the sugars. Loading up on sweet stuff can derail your efforts, counteracting the metabolic benefits.
5. Have more Fiber
Although not the tastiest nor the sexiest of all nutrients, fiber is great at boosting metabolism.
In an attempt—although futile—to break down the fiber, your body expends more energy than it would with other foods. Thus, you burn off more calories digesting fiber-rich food than you do refined carbohydrates.
Healthy fiber decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, promotes healthy gut microbes, reduces inflammation… I can go on and on.
To get the most out fiber foods, go for white rice, legume, whole wheat pasta, etc. These foods will feel satisfied longer and tame cravings for unhealthy foods.
Foods with the most fiber include:
- Green peas
- Turnip greens
6. Have More Protein
Protein is another nutrient that forces your body to work double hard to digest.
The amount of calories burned following a meal—or what’s known as postprandial thermogenesis—is higher with a protein-rich meal than a high carbohydrate meal.
Research shows that the body burns off twice as much energy to digest foods containing protein as it does high-carb foods. The nutrient can boost your metabolic rate by up 15 to 30 percent, compared to 5 to 10 for carbohydrates, and 1 to 3 percent for fat.
Lean protein can help you stay satisfied for a long period and reduce cravings for processed, sugary, foods which tend to be calorie-dense.
Have a serving—like three ounces of lean meat, 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, or 2 tablespoon of nuts—at every meal.
Timing of protein intake also matters. Build your breakfast around protein-rich foods instead of a high carbohydrate one (as in, bagel or a cereal).
Great protein-rich breakfast ideas include two-egg omelets with diced mushrooms, cottage cheese with fresh fruit and nuts, and nonfat Greek yogurt with berries.
7. Strength Training
There are two reasons why strength training can do wonders to your metabolism.
Muscle mass uses up more calories than fat to maintain itself—up to 50 additional calories for each extra pound of muscle. This means that the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate is going to be—even while at rest.
Not only that but the calorie burns continues long after your last set.
Research out of the Southern Illinois University found that subjects who performed a 15-minute strength workout burned 100 extra calories a day for three days afterward.
Lifting weights cause microtrauma to your muscles. Your body has to use up more protein and carb to repatch the incurred damage.
Muscles also take up less space than fat. Thus, you’ll drop sizes or feel comfortable in your favorite jeans as you see a drastic shift in body weight composition.
Add weight training to your workout program.
To get the most out of it, do plenty of compound exercises. These target several muscles at once and save time at the gym, so you get more bang for your buck.
Here are some of my favorite workout plans.
8. High-Intensity Training
Just like strength training, high-intensity interval training can boost metabolism.
HIIT involves quick and very vigorous intervals of exercises, followed by recovery. Training this way leads to more post-exercise oxygen consumption. This is what’s referred to as EPOC—or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
HIIT is pretty basic. It’s as simple as doing squat jumps behind your desk until you’re panting for air.
Put HIIT into practice is by doing Tabata training. This is a famous training methodology that consists of eight rounds of vigorous exercise at intervals of 20-seconds, followed by 10-second rest.
Try this routine.
Another way to get the most out of HIIT, opt for high-intensity intervals of resistance training (HIRT).
According to research published in the Journal of Translation Medicine, doing short workouts HIIT style while suing heave weight can boost resting energy expenditure in participants (REE° by up to 23 percent—that’s roughly 400 calories in the 24 hours following the session.
Here are some of my favorite HIIT workouts to try:
As previously stated, you can reset your metabolism by making healthful changes to your training, diet, and lifestyle habits.
From incorporating high-intensity interval training to getting more sleep, there are several ways to help you increase the number of calories your body burns throughout the day.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but by increasing your metabolic rate, you’ll be able to lose weight faster and keep it off for good, while also giving you more energy. That’s a good thing if you ask me.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for reading my post.
Keep Running Strong.