5 Easy Ways to Boost Metabolism
By Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD
In today’s media, there are countless claims about how to boost metabolism to lose weight.
Take this supplement, eat these exotic berries, drink this fat-busting elixir! These are all common recommendations for revving up metabolism.
When the term metabolism is used in these contexts, it’s actually referring to metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn to maintain bodily functions at rest. Several factors can affect the rate at which you burn energy, including age, muscles mass, weight, hormones, and gender.
So, how do you increase the number of calories you burn?
Boosting metabolism is not a matter of taking the latest pill or powder. Instead, you can support a healthy metabolism through exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting a good night’s sleep.
Here are the top five ways to boost your metabolism.
1. Eat enough calories and protein.
Consistently eating fewer calories than you need can slow down your metabolism. Even though decreasing energy intake is a major part of weight loss, restricting calorie intake too much can be counterproductive.
In fact, extremely restrictive diets of less than 1,000 calories a day can lead to declines in metabolic rate that persist for long periods of time after the diet. So, eating enough is key to maintaining a healthy metabolism (1, 2).
In addition, eating protein is known to increase metabolic rate more than fats and carbs. While it’s important to include a balance of all the macronutrients in your diet, don’t skimp on the lean proteins (3).
2. Try interval training.
Some types of exercise may boost metabolism more than others.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves quick bursts of intense activity followed by short periods of recovery. This style of exercise has been shown to increase metabolic rate and help the body burn fat, even after you finish the workout (4, 5).
Examples of HIIT include running sprints or doing a few rounds of sit-ups, push-ups, and burpees with breaks in between.
3. Lift weights.
Lifting weights to build muscle can help enhance your metabolism. This is because muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat (6).
If you are new to weight lifting, start with easy exercises and light dumbbells, such as bicep curls, arm raises, and shoulder presses. Increase your dumbbell weight and intensity as you get stronger.
4. Develop a sleep schedule, and stick to it!
Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important for metabolism. Sleep deprivation may have several negative effects on metabolic rate, including causing hormonal changes that lead to increased appetite (7).
To improve your sleep hygiene, get to bed around the same time every night and try limiting screen time beforehand.
5. Water, water, water.
Drinking water doesn’t just help you stay hydrated. It may also increase your metabolism!
One study found that within 10 minutes of drinking approximately two cups of water, the participants’ metabolic rates increased by 30%. If that’s not reason enough to drink more water, I don’t know what is (8).
For more easy tips for weight loss, check out this post.
Note from Healthy For Life Meals: Our meal plans include protein-rich foods and an adequate amount of calories to help you naturally boost and maintain your metabolism, without feeling restricted or hungry. Get started with one of our menus today to jump start your weight loss journey!