What Is Metabolism
Losing weight can be hard, and sometimes it can feel like you are doing everything right and still not seeing the results you want. Is your weight loss stuck on a plateau? Have you drastically reduced your eating but are not seeing any movement on the scale?
The problem may not be in what you are eating but in how your body is burning that fuel. Boosting your metabolism can rev up your weight loss and keep you energized. Let’s find out how.
Metabolism is simply another word for the chemical reactions that happen inside your body. These reactions are what keep you alive and all your cells functioning as they should. Your cells metabolize all types of hormones and nutrients constantly to perform necessary functions.
What most people mean when they are talking about metabolism is actually your metabolic rate for the number of calories your burn in a specific time. When you have a higher metabolic rate, you burn more calories, and it is often easier for you to manage your weight. When your metabolic rate is slow, you burn calories slower, which can lead to excess energy being stored in the form of fat, which leads to weight gain.
Increasing your metabolic rate, then, can help you to lose weight and gain more energy, as your body is able to use the calories more efficiently you eat to produce energy for your daily activities. If you are looking for lose weight or just feel better and more energized, than boosting this aspect of your metabolism can help.
Remember that each person’s metabolism is different, so what may work for others may not work for you. To make the most of your metabolic rate experiments, keep a food journal and document what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel each day.
Be sure you are focusing on activity as well as diet, as it makes a significant difference in your ability to burn calories. Finally, do not follow fad diets that are going to lead to poor health in the future or use diet supplements, which will not help you learn the healthy habits you need for lasting change.
25 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism
We have compiled a list of 25 ways that can successfully boost your metabolism and help you lose more weight. Most of these will work in conjunction with just about any eating plan, but some are specific to certain types of diets. Read them all and choose those that match your health and fitness goals.
1| Build Muscle Through Weight Training
Muscle burns more calories than fat, so building your muscle mass will help you increase your metabolic rate. Even when you rest, you will be burning more calories when you have more muscle. Lifting weights and doing resistance training are excellent ways to improve your muscle mass and help you keep your metabolism high. When you are losing weight, it is essential that you engage in weight training so as not to actually lose muscle mass and end up with a slower metabolism than when you started. Even adding weights to wrists and ankles while you are walking helps to build more muscle than simple walking alone.
2| Make Sure You Get Enough Protein
When you eat, your body needs more energy to digest your food, which temporarily increases your metabolism. This is known as the thermic effect of food, and it allows your body to absorb and process all the nutrients in the foods you eat correctly. Some foods increase this thermic effect more than others. For example, proteins increase your metabolic rate more than carbohydrates or fats. And eating protein can leave you feeling fuller longer and prevent overeating. Eating protein helps you maintain muscle mass as well as reduce the drop in your metabolic rate that often happens when you lose fat tissue. Try to eat at least 20-30 percent of every meal in protein calories for best results at keeping your metabolism high.
3| Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation has a considerable influence on your metabolic rate, so getting enough sleep is vital to maintaining your metabolism. When you do not get enough rest, you run the risk of insulin resistance and increased blood glucose levels, which both raise your risk for developing Type 2 Diabetes. Not getting enough sleep also increases your production of certain hormones associated with eating, including hormones that make you feel hungry and those that decrease how full you feel after eating. Those who are sleep deprived are much more likely to overeat or reach for unhealthy comfort foods to ease their hormone imbalances and soothe their stress levels.
4| Drink Plenty of Water, and Drink it Cold
When you drink more water, you are less likely to drink sugary drinks that interfere with your metabolic rate and help you pack on extra pounds. So, opting for water is just an all-around healthy choice when it comes to managing your weight. But, drinking water can also help your metabolism. Drinking half of a liter of water can increase your resting metabolism for one hour, and when that water is cold, the results are even better. Drinking water fills you up, which discourage you from snacking or overeating, too. Start each day with a glass of cold water, then drink one glass every two to three hours for the remainder of the day.
5| Cook with Healthier Fats
Using more medium-chain triglycerides in your cooking can increase your metabolism. Oils with long-chain fats can slow the breakdown of fatty acids and cause you to absorb more lipids, so using medium-chain fats for cooking can improve your metabolism. Natural sources of these fats include coconut oil, which is higher in medium-chain lipids than more traditional cooking oils, like olive oil.
6| Try HIIT
High-intensity interval training is an excellent way to boost your metabolism. This format of exercise uses quick and intense bursts of activity, increasing your metabolic rate and helping you burn more fat than traditional workouts that keep your heart rate elevated but mostly steady. HIIT is immensely popular in many areas, with lots of group exercise classes if you do not want to go it alone, but you can design your own HIIT workout to do at home easily. Add some variety into your exercise routine by including HIIT at least a few times per week to get your metabolic rate going and help you burn more fat.
7| Stand and Move More
If you have a job that requires you to sit a lot, then you need to build in some standing breaks. Extended periods of sitting lead to very few calories burned and a decline in your metabolic rate. You can switch to a standing desk to give your bum a break, or you should schedule breaks every hour to get up and walk around. Try to minimize the amount of sitting you do outside of the time you are absolutely required to sit, as well. Aim for a short walk around the building every few hours and a long walk each morning or evening to help combat the amount of sitting you do during the day.
8| Drink More Tea
Oolong and green tea are both excellent for boosting metabolism. The compounds in these teas can help you convert your stored fat into free fatty acids, which your body can then burn for energy. Teas keep you hydrated while also being low in calories, which can also help you feel fuller and eat less, thus improving weight loss in other ways. Just be sure you are drinking them black and not loading them up with dairy and sugar, or the effects will be lost.
9| Eat More Spicy Foods
Foods that contain capsaicin, like peppers, are known to boost your metabolism. While the result can be small, eating spicy foods can help improve other efforts to boost your metabolism, giving you a cumulative effect. Not everyone tolerates very spicy foods well, so exercise caution if you have stomach issues or an ulcer. Try to incorporate these foods into healthy, low-fat meals that are full of nutritious vegetables and whole grains for the best results.
10| Drink Coffee
The caffeine in coffee does give our metabolism a boost, increasing your fat-burning potential. The effects of caffeine are more significant on those with less body fat already, but even those who are overweight will see a difference. Drinking moderate amounts of caffeine in black coffee can help you sustain your metabolism longer and give you the energy you need to reject high- calorie foods, as well, thus improving your weight loss efforts in other ways.
11| Stick to a Schedule for Your Meals
If you want to get your metabolism going, you should eat at the same times each day. When your body knows when to expect food, it leans to maintain a more consistent metabolic balance. When you go for prolonged periods without eating, you may be slowing your metabolism down, forcing your body to burn your food slowly and store more of it as fat for later consumption. Eat either three meals per day or eat several smaller meals about three to four hours apart for best results.
12| Make Sure You are Eating Enough
There is some school of thought that skipping meals will help you to lose weight, but in the vast majority of cases, if you skip a meal, you are more likely to overeat the next time, and you are very likely slowing down your metabolism. When you do not eat enough calories, your body thinks it should conserve energy, so it starts slowing the metabolism down and storing every excess calorie. If you want to lose weight, aim to eat between 1,600 and 2,400 calories a day for women and between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day for men. The range is based on your activity level. This will give you the energy you need to survive while also encouraging your metabolic rate to stay sufficiently high to help you lose weight.
13| Reduce Your Stress Level
When you are under a lot of stress, your body releases hormones to help you cope with how stress influences the body. These stress hormones, which include one called cortisol, regulate your appetite and can include your metabolism. When your stress level is high, your body focuses on other tasks rather than eating and metabolizing food. Reducing stress through healthy coping strategies can help you keep your cortisol levels in check and give you a break from the effects of this hormone on your body. Learning to meditate, practice yoga, go for a walk, or write in a journal are all ways you can learn to manage your stress and improve your metabolism.
14| Make Sure You Are Getting the Right Vitamins
Just as tracking your calories, fat, and protein are important, so is checking your intake of micronutrients. For example, if you are not getting enough B vitamins, especially B1, B2, and B6, you could be slowing down your metabolic rate. These vitamins play a crucial role in metabolism, so be sure your diet includes foods like bananas, orange juice, spinach, peas, peanut butter, and whole grains if you want to get enough nutrients. It is always better to get your nutrition from food sources rather than supplements whenever possible.
15 Try Eating your Carbs Later in the Day
There is some debate about when the best time to eat your high-carb foods is during the day, but there is some evidence to suggest that eating these high-energy foods at night can actually help your body burn more calories the next day. By consuming carbohydrates at night, you play your body into a higher state of thermogenesis during the following day, meaning you are burning more of your food for energy and storing less. Those who eat carbs during the day can see spikes in their blood sugar levels that prevent them from maintaining and high metabolic rate or from losing weight.
16| Opt for Whole Grains
When you do reach for those carbs, be sure that you are eating only whole grains and skipping the refined and processed varieties. Your body needs more energy to break down whole grains, which keeps your metabolism revved up higher during digestion. The more work you have to do to digest foods, the higher your metabolic rate, which is why it is always suggested that you eat whole foods with lots of fiber, too. Excellent whole grains that are highly nutritious include whole oats, brown rice, sprouted grain bread, and quinoa.
17| Ditch the Diet Sodas
The chemicals and sugar substitutes in diet soft drinks can interfere with your metabolic processes and be keeping you from losing weight. The sweeteners used in these drinks can increase your appetite and force you to gain weight. They trick your brain into craving more sweet foods, which can lead to snacking and overeating that wreck your diet and lower your metabolism.
18| Eat More Beans
Beans are an excellent source of lean protein, and they are also full of insoluble and soluble fiber. Digesting beans takes longer, leaves you feeling fuller, and results in a boost to your metabolic rate compared to animal sources of protein. Beans results in a steadier, lower blood sugar level after eating, which can result in you storing less fat in your body, too.
19| Focus on Whole Foods
When you reach for processed foods, much of the work that your digestive system normally does has been taken care of for you. Processed foods contain less fiber, more calories, and more of the nutrients you do not need than whole foods. Your body’s metabolic rate is dependent on its job, which is breaking down food, so if you are feeding it foods that do not require much digestion, then you are stalling out your engine. Whole foods, especially those that are raw or minimally cooked, are harder to digest and keep your metabolism going. So, skip the smoothie and opt for a fruit and greens salad. Ditch the processed bar and eat a cup of beans and grains instead.
20| Start with Lean Protein
If you want to start your day with a healthy meal that sets your metabolic tone for the day, be sure that it includes protein, fiber, and plenty of nutrients. Your body will burn more calories when it has some protein to start the day, and you will keep your digestion running longer when you have high fiber in your breakfast. A small bowl of whole-grain oatmeal with some nuts and flaxseed is a great option and add in a small handful of berries for nutrients.
21| Make Alcohol an Occasional Treat
Drinking alcohol is something that is okay in moderation, but it does slow down your metabolism, especially when you drink while you are eating. Your body must digest alcohol before it can digest food so you may end up storing excess calories that you do not want to save if you drink with your meals. And alcohol tends to be high in calories, which are converted immediately to sugar and often stored as fat. Watch the sugary drinks and stick to healthy foods if you must eat while you are imbibing. Try to drink only occasionally for better metabolic results.
22| Cut Out the Devices at Night
If you want to keep your metabolic rate up and get the most from your weight loss efforts, you need to get a good night’s sleep. One way to ensure that you are getting the right amount and quality of sleep is to ditch the screens before bedtime. The spectrum of light that is produced by digital devices wreaks havoc on your brain, disturbing your natural production of sleep hormones and interfering with your sleep quality. Put devices down at least one hour before bedtime, and you will sleep better and lose weight more easily.
23| Laugh it Out
If you want a fantastic way to use some energy and help your metabolic rate stay elevated, trying laughter. Genuinely laughing increases your energy output and helps you burn more calories, plus it is excellent for your mental health and overall outlook. So, watch that funny video or share funny stories with your friends, and you will enjoy the health benefits you never considered.
24| Sleep Colder
If you keep your bedroom temperature cooler at night, you are helping your body to burn more fat stores while you are sleeping. The ideal temperature more maximizing weight loss is 66 degrees, allowing your body to burn through more stored fat without any effort on your part. So, turn that thermostat down if you want to boost your metabolism and get rid of some excess fat while you are sleeping.
25| Say “No” to Energy Drinks
While caffeine can give you a boost, the other ingredients found in energy drinks are not helping your weight loss efforts. Energy drinks are often high in sugar, chemicals, and other ingredients that can trigger fat storage or lead to later sugar cravings. If you are thirsty, the best drink for you is water, which actually does increase your metabolism and help you feel fuller longer.
16 Healthy Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight
In addition to the metabolism-boosting strategies we have shared above, there are some additional foods you can eat that will help you stay healthier, eat, less, and enjoy a healthier diet to make the most of your amped-up metabolic rate.
Here are 16 bonus foods to help you make the most of your increased metabolism.
1. Lentils- Lentils are a reliable source of iron, which can alleviate anemia, a leading cause of weight gain. Lentils are a good source of lean protein and can help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check.
2. Garlic- This herb keeps blood sugar levels steadier and controls blood lipid levels. It also lowers inflammation levels.
3. Almonds- This nut is an excellent snack in small quantities. Eating almonds gives you healthy fats and can reduce blood sugar levels, as well.
4. Salmon- If you have an underactive thyroid, salmon may be an excellent choice for you. The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon can reduce inflammation and help the thyroid to function better. Eating small amounts of healthy fatty acids is important to all health, as well.
5. Avocado- The healthy fats in avocadoes are important for enhancing your metabolism. Your body needs fat for many essential processes, and the monounsaturated fats in avocado are exactly what you need. This fruit is also chock full of nutrients that can lower inflammation.
6. Dark chocolate- Eating just one ounce of dark chocolate each day can help you increase your metabolism and enjoy lower stress hormone levels. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are responsible for this effect. Make sure it is high-quality chocolate with at least 75% cacao.
7. Goji berries- Drinking tea made from goji berries can help improve your weight loss efforts. The phytochemicals in this superfood can help burn more calories.
8. Organic animal products- If you want to eat meat, eggs, and dairy, it is better to reach for organic, grass-fed varieties of these foods. You will avoid ingesting hormones that can interfere with your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.
9. Apples- This fruit is low in calories and high in important nutrients like fiber, which can help keep your weight down and the excess fat at bay. Make this food. a regular part of your diet.
10. Lean meats- If you are deficient in iron, it can slow down your metabolic rate. Lean meats are a useful source of iron, along with legumes. Be sure you are getting enough iron to keep your metabolism running smoothly.
11. Yogurt- The probiotics in foods like yogurt as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut are excellent for supporting the healthy bacteria that are needed for proper digestion. Eating foods that help your gut microbiome means you are food is processed efficiently, and you will not store excess calories or suffer from a leaky gut.
12. Broccoli- This vegetable is high in Vitamin C and calcium, which can both boost your metabolism. It is also an excellent source of fiber, which can raise your TEF.
13. Matcha- Matcha is finely-ground powder from the tencha leaf native to Japan. It has more nutrients than traditional green tea, and it can help your breakdown more fat in your digestion.
14. Mustard- The capsaicin and allyl isothiocyanates found in mustard provide a boost to your metabolism long after you stop eating, so include just one teaspoon per day in your eating plan to give yourself a little boost.
15. Vinegar- When you consume high-acid foods like vinegar, it can trigger the release of proteins that are able to break down fats. Drinking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar per day can reduce your body fat percentage and help you lose weight.
16. Yerba Maté- Traditional maté is a tea consumed widely throughout South America, and it is used to control appetite and boost your calorie-burning mechanism. Maté can give your workouts a boost, too, giving you more energy and helping you lose more weight.
Losing weight does not have to be difficult if you learn to control your metabolic rate and get the most from your digestive processes. Burning more calories and fat happens when you eat the right foods, take the time to care for your body, and give yourself the nutrients your body craves. Try these tips soon to see how you can turn your weight loss plans into a success!