Before we even get on to how to boost metabolism, we should first understand what we mean by it.
Metabolism includes all the bodily processes our body goes through, from breathing to ingesting food, to the energy our muscles use to how our blood delivers nutrients through our body and on and on. That is probably not what people are interested in when they talk about increasing their metabolism.
What they are likely talking about is the metabolic rate, which is the rate in which our body burns calories – or energy – in one particular day. So, depending on how active we were that day, whether we worked our and other factors, our metabolic rate can change from day to day, but our basal metabolic rate remains steady. Basal metabolic rate is the number of calories our body needs to fuel its vital functions, like breathing and circulating blood.
So, let’s say you have a BMI of 22, then your BMR would be about 1600 calories – that’s the number of calories your body burns on its own even if you stay sedentary all day. But if you went to the gym that morning and burned 500 calories, then your metabolic rate that day was about 2100 calories.
As such, if you increase your metabolism, you will burn more calories and, if you were trying to lose weight, it would be easier for you to do so. Other than just weight loss, a high metabolism also gives you more energy and you’ll feel better generally.
There’s a number of reasons why one could have a slow metabolism, like gender, age, weight, and even genetics, but our lifestyle, eating habits, and activity level also affect our metabolic rate. So, to learn how to boost your metabolic rate – aka your metabolism – scroll down.
Eating irregularly or reducing calories too much will put your body into starvation mode, and slow down metabolism in order to preserve energy. So, eat regularly and eat enough calories – some suggest eating small meals every 3-4 hours.
Or you could just have a small snack in between meals, which then keeps your metabolism going and has been proven to lead to eating less at meal times.
Eat a lot of protein
Other than how often and how much you eat, it’s also important to pay attention to what you eat. Foods that are rich in protein can both help increase satiety and the metabolic rate, as proven in a study – both of which are beneficial for weight loss.
We all know the importance of keeping ourselves well-hydrated as it benefits our overall health as well as the health of our skin and hair. However, drinking water has also been shown to increase metabolism and, thus, aid weight loss. One study found that metabolic rate increased up to 25% after the subjects drank two cups of cold water, an effect which lasted for up to 40 minutes.
In people who are trying to lose weight, water is additionally beneficial because it helps to fill you up before a meal and reduces the chances of overeating.
Other than making you overall healthier and giving you your dream body, working out can also help boost your metabolism. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has especially been shown to be beneficial for accelerating your metabolism and helping burn fat even after the workout has finished.
Lifting weights helps build muscle, which then helps boost the metabolism and burn more fat, as well as keep the lost weight off.
If you work a desk job or lead a generally sedentary lifestyle, then you may be risking your health, research shows and not really burning any calories at all. So, if you work in an office and cannot avoid long periods of sitting down, try standing up every hour or so for a short period of time.
According to a study, standing up while working can burn about 170 calories more per day and could potentially even reduce the risk of cardiometabolic diseases.
Sleep is also very important to your health as we all know, and getting a good night’s sleep is related to a well-functioning metabolism. A study from 2010 found that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders have a significant impact on metabolism, regardless of whether one sleeps too much or too little.
Irregular sleeping patterns can lead to weight gain and difficulties in losing excess pounds. So, if you have problems sleeping, I suggest you skip the next step.
Drink black coffee
Coffee has been shown to boost metabolism and help with weight loss.
One study showed that administration of caffeine increased the metabolic rate by 8-11%, while another one found that lean women who drank coffee saw a 29% increase in fat burning, and obese women a 10% increase.
But that doesn’t mean you should just sip on coffee all day, as it may mess up with your sleep and you’ll just suffer a caffeine overdose – which is no fun – or throw your metabolism off whack.