Deciding to increase metabolism can be an essential accelerator for your journey to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. Metabolism is a word that defines all the chemical reactions in your body. These chemical reactions help your body to stay alive and keep functioning.
However, the term metabolism is usually interchangeably with metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn. The higher your metabolic rate is, the more extra calories you torch, and the easier it is to lose weight and maintain it. Having a high metabolism can also energize you and make you feel better.
What is Metabolism And How Does it Work?
Harvard Health Publishing describes metabolism as the internal process by which your body expends energy and burns calories.
Your metabolism runs 24/7 to keep your body moving, even when you are resting or sleeping. By transforming the food and nutrients you consume into the energy your body requires to breathe, circulate blood, grow and repair cells, and everything else it does to survive.
On the one hand, a slow metabolism torches fewer calories, meaning that more calories get stored as fat in the body. This explains why some people have difficulty losing weight by just cutting calories.
On the other hand, a fast metabolism burns calories at a quicker rate, which explains why some individuals can eat a lot without gaining extra pounds.
Is it Possible to Speed Up a Naturally Slow Metabolism That Has Become sluggish over time?
According to Harvard experts, you can manipulate your metabolism to a degree by making small changes along with adopting a healthier diet and making sure you get enough exercise.
According to Queensland Health in Australia through healthy eating and physical activity, you can affect how much energy is going in to and being used by your body.
Experts at Queensland Health also support that eating and drinking well is another essential way to maintain your metabolism (1)
A study observed that unhealthy habits, a principally sedentary lifestyle, poor dietary choices, and metabolic changes could all contribute to weight gain.
Here are 27 simple and effective ways on how to increase metabolism.
1- Drink Plenty of Water
One of the simplest habits you can adopt to increase your metabolism is to drink enough water.
Individuals who drink water rather than sugary drinks are more successful at releasing weight and keeping it off.
Another study established that drinking 1.5 L extra (50.8 Ounces) might help with weight reduction, body fat reduction, and appetite suppression in overweight female participants.
A different study supported that drinking water may promote weight loss in overweight dieting women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends drinking plain water as it is one good way of taking fluids as it has zero calories.
The general recommendation for water intake is about eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon (1)
Drinking water can benefit you to lose weight and keep it off. It also increases your metabolism and helps fuel you up before meals.
2- Run Regularly
Running has tremendous benefits on your body. One of the benefits of running regularly is that your body starts burning more calories for you.
According to the American Council on Exercise, a 120-pound (54.5 Kg) individual loses about 11.4 calories per minute when running. Similarly, if that person runs a 10-minute mile, they will burn 114 calories.
Running can help you build muscle; it is beneficial to all muscles located in your legs. Research supports that aerobic exercise training can produce skeletal muscle growth.
A group of researchers from Duke University Medical Center observed that aerobic training burned 67% more calories when compared to resistance training.
National Institutes of Health suggests an optimal goal of at least 30 minutes of physical exercise on most days, preferably daily.
3- Eat Small Meals Frequently
Did you notice how your phone goes into low battery mode when it falls below a crucial amount of charge? Your metabolism does the same thing. When you do not eat enough to supply your systems the energy they require, your body goes into conservation mode and dims your metabolic rate (which can make your weight loss difficult).
Thus, the first step in increasing your metabolism to properly fuel and not dramatically cut calories. Instead, focus on increasing the quality of your diet.
Study reveals that adopting a healthy diet rich in whole; unprocessed foods will boost your metabolism.
Consuming too few calories encourages the body to slow the metabolism to preserve energy (1)
4- Eat More Protein Intake at Every Meal
Your metabolism boosts whenever you eat, digest, and store food, a process named thermic effect of food. Protein presents a higher thermic effect in comparison to fats and carbohydrates because it takes a longer time for your body to burn protein and absorb it (1)
Consuming food can boost your metabolism for several hours. This process is called the thermic effect of food (TEF) caused by the extra calories needed to absorb, digest, and process the nutrients in your meal (1)
Consuming protein also has other benefits, such as helping you to feel more full and preventing you from overeating.
Research shows that satiety was related to protein intake.
Another study found that a high protein breakfast might also reduce gastric emptying.
Increasing your protein intake will give you a feeling that you are full; therefore, you will stop eating.
Another study observed that increasing your protein intake decreases the reduction in metabolism often combined with losing fat because it reduces muscle loss, which is a general side effect of dieting.
However, it is not very clear how much of an effect protein has on metabolism. You can use this online calculator to discover your exact daily amount of protein.
5- Sit Less And Move More
Sitting for a long time burns a few calories, can lead to excess weight gain, and has an adverse side effect on our health.
Getting an intensive workout is an essential part of your day and an important factor when you are trying to increase metabolism. However, if you did an effective workout but then sat for the rest of the day, you are not doing yourself any favors.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends that children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should perform 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.
Adults should perform at least 2 hours and 30 minutes to 5 hours a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes to 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (1)
Spending a long time sitting burns a few calories and is damaging to your health.
On the one hand, a typical office worker may spend up to 15 hours per day sitting at a desk. On the other hand, a farmworker only sits for about 3 hours a day ( 1)
A study shows that a prolonged sedentary time spent sitting was associated with bad health.
If you work in an office setting, you can try standing up for short times to break up the time you spend sitting at your desk.
6- Drink Green Tea
Studies have observed green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin gallate.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, a publication in Obesity Reviews found that drinking about 250 milligrams of epigallocatechin gallate (the quantity in about three cups of green tea) helped increase metabolism enough to torch an average of 100 extra calories a day.
August 2014, Harvard Health Publishing confirmed that tea, mainly green tea, is often said to be good for your health. Tea contains substances associated with a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Drinking green tea might increase your metabolism and also help you lose weight and keep it off.
7- Burn more body fat
Burning belly can help increase your metabolism, maintain muscle mass.
A study shows that visceral fat known as belly fat is strongly linked with the metabolic complications of obesity.
Along with a balanced lifestyle and regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle will help burn more body fat and start leading you to a more active life and a boost to your metabolism.
8- Laugh more
The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association considers laughter as good medicine.
According to a study by the International Journal of Obesity, laughing for 15 minutes can burn 10-40 calories by boosting your heart rate.
Another research shows that genuine voiced laughter causes a 10–20% increase in energy expenditure (EE) and heart rate (HR) above resting values, which means that 10–15 min of laughter per day could improve total energy expenditure by 40–170 calories.
Jack Canfield‘s Video To improve your mental and physical health with the power of laughter.
9- Eat Omega 3 Foods
The omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) found only in fish oils affect leptin, a hormone that regulates metabolism rate.
Fresh or frozen fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, and trout, are excellent sources for omega-3.
Salmon is full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which prove to help decrease inflammation, which is known to play an important role in obesity and metabolic diseases.
If you are not much of a fish eater or do not have access to fish, you can still get omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil.
A group of researchers found that when healthy older women consumed 3 grams of fish oil per day for a duration of 12 weeks, their metabolic rates improved by around 14%, which is the equivalent of burning an additional 187 calories per day.
10- Talk to a dietitian
Figuring out what to eat to increase your metabolism can be difficult, but it should be sitting at the top of your priorities.
Talk to your family and friends for recommendations or discuss with your doctor.
Consulting a registered dietitian can help you learn the best way to increase your metabolism without having to follow an overly restrictive diet. He or she will help find out the diet that works for your body.
Also, a dietitian can support and guide you during your journey to boost your metabolism.
A study concluded that consulting registered dietitian was more beneficial than frequent weigh-in visits alone in supporting weight loss.
11- Eat Less at Night
A study observed that later meal timing and eating closer to sleep are associated with increasing total calories.
Researchers found that eating fewer calories at night may help you keep healthy body weight and lose excess body fat.
Another study in 1,245 people found that over six years, those who ate more calories at dinner were over two times more likely to become obese than people who ate more calories earlier in the day.
Absorbing the majority of your calories throughout breakfast and lunch, while enjoying a lighter dinner, maybe a useful method to increase your metabolism and promote weight loss.
A study found that a high-calorie breakfast with reduced consumption at dinner is beneficial and might be a useful alternative for the control of obesity.
12- Enhance your Sleep Quality
Lack of sleep can reduce the number of calories you burn, alter the way you process sugar, and disturb your appetite-regulating hormones (1)
A group of researchers observed that a consistent increased risk of obesity amongst children and adults who do not have enough sleep.
Individuals who are sleep deprived tend to feel hungry and eat more throughout the day.
A study shows that sleep loss and sleep disorders have a significant impact on metabolism.
Lack of sleep is also associated with increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which are both connected to a higher risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.
Research points out that in our modern societies, where chronic sleep restriction is frequent, and food is broadly available, changes in appetite regulatory hormones with lack of sleep may contribute to obesity.
Another study shows that chronic sleep loss, behavioral or sleep disorder related, might represent a novel risk factor for weight increase, insulin resistance, and also Type 2 diabetes.
13- Spice Up Your Meals
Consuming spicy food could be advantageous for increasing metabolism and help you sustain a healthy weight.
Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can increase metabolism.
A study of capsaicin, at adequate doses, predicted that consuming peppers would burn around 10 extra calories per meal. Over 6.5 years, this could estimate for 1 pound (0.5 kg) of weight loss for an average-weight male.
14- Cook More at Home
Cooking meals at home help you to control what goes in and what stays out of your recipes.
It also lets you experiment with what works best for you and try healthy ingredients that stimulate your interest.
A study found that individuals consuming home-cooked meals more than five times, compared with less than three times per week, are 24% less likely to have excess percentage body fat.
If you eat most meals outside of the house, begin by cooking one or two meals per week at home, then slowly increase this number till you are cooking at home more than you eat out.
15- Eat a Whole-Foods-Based Diet
Whole foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, poultry, fish, legumes, and grains, which are packed with nutrients essential for sustaining healthy body weight, such as fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you supply your body the nutrients it needs to thrive is by following nutrition rich in whole foods.
A study observed good advantages of adopting a whole food plant-based diet, such as an increase in satiation without restricting the amount of food consumed.
16- Drink Coffee
Coffee has beneficial effects on both metabolism and fat burning. It may also contribute to successful weight loss and maintenance.
A study concluded that caffeine and coffee stimulate the metabolic rate in both control and obese people.
A study has noted that the caffeine in coffee can increase metabolism by 3–11%.
In a study, coffee improved fat burning by 29% for lean females, but only 10% for obese females.
Sipping coffee will not only significantly increase your metabolism but also help you lose weight.
17- Be More Mindful
Mindful eating means paying more attention to your food and eating patterns. It provides you with a better understanding of your hunger and fullness cues, as well as how food influences your mood and well-being (1)
Mindful eating can be an easy way to change your relationship with food, all while supporting weight loss.
A study found that mindfulness is an effective way to lose weight and improving obesity-related eating behaviors among individuals with overweight and obesity.
There are no standard rules for practicing mindful eating, but few recommendations include eating slowly, paying attention to the aroma and flavor of every bite of food.
You can introduce mindful eating to your life by keeping track of how you feel during your meals.
18- Cook With Coconut Oil
Substituting other cooking fats with coconut oil may lead to an increase metabolism rate.
Coconut oil contains high fatty acids of a medium length known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that may develop satiety after meals.
A group of researchers observed that medium-chain fats boosted metabolism by 12% compared to long-chain fats, which increased it by just 4%.
19- Limit Added Sugars
One of the best ways to determine if an item contains added sugar is to learn how to read ingredient labels.
Watch for “added sugars” on the nutrition facts label or search the ingredient list for common sweeteners like cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and agave.
A study found that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is related to the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.
20- Try Out Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a kind of eating pattern in which you only eat during a specified time. The most popular model of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 method, where you eat within an 8-hour window, and then you follow with a 16-hour fast (1)
A study found that a greater weight and fat loss was achieved with intermittent fasting.
Another study concluded that practicing intermittent fasting during early life can robustly increase lifespan.
21- Find an Activity That You Love
Finding an exercise routine that you can keep long term can be challenging. It is essential to engage in activities that you enjoy.
For instance, if you love group activities, sign up for a group sport like soccer, hiking, camping, or a running club so you can exercise with others on a regular basis.
Check out Meetup.com is a site that organizes online groups that host in-person events for people with similar interests.
22- Perform High-Intensity Exercises
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) includes quick and very intense bursts of action.
A group of researchers has found that HIIT increases your metabolism after exercise more than other types of activities such as jogging and weight training.
A study in overweight young males found that 12 weeks of high-intensity exercise decreased fat mass by 4.4 pounds (2 kg) and belly fat by 17%.
During your exercise, try to mix up your workout routine, and combining a few high-intensity workouts with these 32 effective exercises, can boost your metabolism and help you burn fat.
A study shows that combination exercise gave more significant benefits for weight loss, fat loss, and cardio-respiratory fitness than aerobic and resistance training modalities.
Experts from Harvard suggest, for instance, when you are walking or running on a treadmill or outside, increase your speed for 30 to 60 seconds, and then slow to your normal speed; repeat the sequence for eight to 12 minutes.
23- Build Muscle
Body size is one of the factors that influence metabolism. In other words, individuals with larger body size, including muscle mass, are likely to burn more calories (1)
When it comes to muscle, the more you have, the more calories you will burn. However, as we age, we generally begin to lose muscle, and metabolism begins to slow down.
A study from Better Health Channel suggests that strength and resistance training can help to increase muscle mass or reduce the loss of muscle.
These 24 Exercises to Get Bigger Buttocks Science Proven are great places to start.
Paige Kinucan and Len Kravitz, Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, observed that muscle contains 50-75% of all proteins in the human body, making it the primary tissue for amino acid metabolism.
24- Lift Weight
Lifting weights is essential for developing and retaining muscle because higher amounts of muscle will result in a higher metabolism.
Building muscle can help increase your metabolism because muscle is more metabolically active than fat. One way to build muscle is weight lifting.
A study from the American Physiological Society observed that men and women ages 61 to 77 years of age were able to add about four and a half pounds (2.1 kg) of muscle and improve strength by 36 percent. And they also increase their resting metabolism by nearly 7 percent after six months of strength training.
Harvard Health Publishing observed that after the age of 30, you start to lose muscle mass as much as 3% to 5% per decade.
Experts at Harvard support that most males will lose about 30% of their muscle mass throughout their lifetimes.
Research recommends that strength and resistance training can help to build muscle mass or decrease the loss of muscle.
In one study, 48 overweight females were put on a diet of 800 calories per day with either no activity, aerobic exercise, or resistance training.
After the diet, the females who did the resistance training kept their muscle mass, metabolism, and their level of strength. The group of females lost weight, but also lost muscle mass and felt a decrease in metabolism.
Weight gain has several underlying causes, but one of the most common is something we all encounter: stress. Whether it is the moderate, temporary sort caused by a traffic jam or significant and chronic, triggered by traumatic life experience — stress is no friend to your waistline.
A 2014 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) observed that females reported higher stress levels on average than males.
Successful stress management may help you lose weight and increase metabolism.
26- Do Yoga
In addition to improving your flexibility, yoga is an excellent addition to your workout routine for its strength-building benefits (1)
Practicing yoga can be an efficient way to increase your metabolism, especially when used in combination with a regular workout routine.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, practicing yoga will not only help to become a mindful eater but also a boost to weight loss and maintenance. In other words, you will be able to adopt a healthy diet rich in nutrients and increase your metabolism.
A 2015 study shows that a 12-week of the practice of Hatha yoga led to improvements in cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility in 173 participants.
27- Rely Less on Convenience Foods
Convenience foods are usually high in calories and tend to be low in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
That is one of the reasons fast food and other processed foods are generally referred to as “empty calories.”
A study shows that individuals who described their diet as healthy and avoided high-fat foods kept their weight controlled and increase metabolism.
Gradually reducing your consumption of convenience foods and replacing them with nutritious meals and healthy snacks that revolve around nutrient-dense whole foods is a quick way to increase metabolism and lose weight.
CONCLUSION – Yes, you can actually increase your metabolism; however, there is no silver bullet.
Despite what social media influencers or clever ads will lead you to believe, the methods of boosting your metabolism are simple habits of a healthy and active lifestyle: strength training, healthy diet with a focus on high-quality foods, relaxing, laughing, sleeping enough, and staying hydrated.
Adopt these habits, and you’ll not only increase your metabolism, but you will enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
What are your favorite and effective ways on how to increase metabolism for YOU?