This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our Affiliate Disclosure for more information.
Metabolism is a term for the chemical reactions that are happening in your body that keep you alive. However, this term is also used interchangeably with the term, “metabolic rate,” or the amount of calories you burn, and this is what I’ll be covering here. Metabolism is hugely important – it determines how you function, your weight, energy levels, and, essentially, your quality of life. People tend to naturally have a fast or slow metabolism, depending on many factors, including genetics and lifestyle. While you may not be able to change your genes, there are plenty of lifestyle changes you can make to rev your metabolism. These Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism are backed by science (so you know they work) and will help you lose weight, gain energy, and just feel better in no time!
For more healthy weight loss tips, check out the following:
Easy Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Eat protein at every meal. Your body digests protein more slowly than fat or carbs, so you feel full longer. Since protein takes longer to digest, your body will burn more calories just to break down proteins versus carbs and fats. Plus, protein helps build and preserve lean muscle, which is the best fat-burner of all. Great sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, beans, dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, seafood, soy products like tofu and tempeh, broccoli, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk, nuts, and many more!
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
A study at the University of Utah found that people who drank eight to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water per day had higher metabolic rates than those who drank only four glasses. You may want to make that water ice cold, since your body burns additional calories to warm it to body temperature. It may not amount to much, but if you make it a habit, you’ll be burning extra calories with basically zero effort.
PRO TIP: Dehydration can actually make you feel hungry. To ensure it’s really hunger you’re feeling, drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before a meal to curb hunger and aid digestion.
DON’T STARVE YOURSELF
This is one of the frustrating parts about weight loss. You need to cut some calories to lose weight, but if you cut too many, you can make your body go into starvation mode and cripple your metabolism. To prevent this, make sure you are eating at least as many calories as you burn at rest. You can calculate your resting metabolic rate here.
Eating a good breakfast soon after rising gets your metabolism going. Your body has been fasting for 8-12 hours, so eat something hardy like oatmeal with fruit or eggs and toast for optimal energy and metabolism-boosting benefits.
AVOID TRANS FATS
Trans fats, such as those found in hydrogenated fats like margarine and Crisco, fast food, and some processed foods, bind to fat and liver cells and slow down metabolism. Trans fats can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation, which also slows metabolism and causes weight gain, among other problems.
EAT SPICY FOODS
If you love spicy foods like I do, this tip should be easy. Capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot, can also fire up your metabolism. Enjoy spicy foods regularly by adding salsa to omelettes, or sprinkling red pepper flakes to just about any savory food.
ENJOY CAFFEINATED DRINKS
A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf. Green tea and oolong tea are also great options.
VARY YOUR CALORIE INTAKE
Vary your calorie intake every day to keep your body guessing and your metabolism humming instead of consistently restricting your calories and potentially slowing your metabolism (see “Don’t Starve Yourself” above). For example, depending on your calorie goal, you could eat 1200 calories one day, 1400 the next, then 1300, etc.
EAT ALL DAY
It may seems counterintuitive, but grazing all day can actually promote weight loss! By eating six meals throughout the day, you’ll keep hunger at bay and your metabolism running strong. Your body never has to worry about when it’ll get its next meal because you’re constantly stoking the fire. This also prevents that dreaded afternoon slump and overeating when you get home famished. Just limit your calories at each meal to around 300 calories, or divide your usual daily calories by six.
Sitting is bad for your health – some are even calling sitting “the new smoking” because it burns fewer calories, leads to weight gain, and increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. To combat these negative effects – and rev up your metabolism – you need to get moving! Instead of sitting in front of the TV all evening after work, get some chores done. Clean and tidy the house, tend to your children and pets, and run errands. After dinner, do the dishes right away and go for a walk. When you do watch television, take regular breaks to walk around to stretch your muscles and get your blood flowing, or do some exercises during the commercials.
If you have a sedentary desk job, stand up! A study found that participants who worked while standing up all afternoon burned 174 calories more than sitting! Ask your boss for a standing desk, walk to deliver messages instead of emailing, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. I have a Varidesk, and it has made a huge difference in my day at work! I feel more alert and productive, and it wards off that dreaded afternoon slump.
TRY HIIT WORKOUTS
High-Intensity, or HIIT, workouts allow you to burn more energy in a shorter amount of time versus a steady moderate workout and provides increased afterburn, which is the increased calorie-burning effect for hours after a workout. So how do you do a HIIT workout? It’s easy, actually. All you need to do is modify your current workout. The next time you run, swim, or walk, increase your intensity for 30-second intervals, then return to your normal speed afterward.
HEAL YOUR GUT
The secret to a fast metabolism is in your gut. Our digestive system (our “gut”) naturally contains a mixture of both good and bad bacteria, which is perfectly fine and healthy as long as this mixture is in balance. However, if you have too much bad bacteria in your gut, you may suffer from a slower metabolism, decreased energy, increased weight gain and inflammation, and a host of other symptoms. Improve your gut health by supporting the health of good bacteria. You can do this by avoiding unhealthy, processed foods and sugar, eating fresh, whole, organic foods as much as possible, and consuming plenty of probiotics in whole foods or with the help of a probiotic supplement.
EAT THE YOLK
If you have been eating egg whites thinking it’s better for your health and weight loss you may want to reconsider. Although egg whites are low-calorie, fat-free, and contain most of the protein in an egg, eating the whole egg is actually better for your metabolism. Yolks contain choline, which prevents your body from storing fat around your liver, fat-soluble vitamins, and essential fatty-acids, and all of these nutrients fire up metabolism. And now you don’t even have to worry about your cholesterol when eating whole eggs, since new studies have shown that eating two whole eggs per day has no negative effect on cholesterol and may actually improve it!
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Lack of sleep is a leading cause of obesity, partly due to the detrimental effects that sleep deprivation has on metabolism. Lack of sleep has also been linked to increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, two common causes of Type II Diabetes. For helpful tips to help improve your sleep habits, check out the following posts:
Muscle burns more than fat even when you’re at rest. The average woman in her 30s who strength trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day. That means that when you strength train, you’re burning more calories even when you’re not working out just because you’ve replaced fat with lean muscle.
If you’re a woman and worried about getting bulky from weight training, don’t be. Women don’t tend to gain muscle as easily as men do, so it would take a lot of effort to build big muscles. You’re more likely to gain those lean muscles that will make you look more sleek and toned. Don’t be concerned if you don’t lose weight when strength training either. You may actually gain weight while going down a few clothing sizes because muscle takes less space than fat, meaning you’ll look thinner, too.
USE COCONUT OIL
Unlike other saturated fats, coconut oil is made up of medium-chain fatty acids. Medium-chain fats can increase your metabolism more than the long-chain fats found in foods like butter. In one study, researchers found that medium-chain fats increased metabolism by 12%, compared to long-chain fats, which raised it by just 4%.
How should you get your daily dose of coconut oil? You may have noticed there are different types of coconut oil – unrefined, virgin, raw, refined – it can get really confusing. I go by taste. In dishes where I don’t mind the faint taste of coconut (e.g. desserts, Indian dishes, etc.), I use unrefined coconut oil, but with most savory foods, I prefer refined coconut oil because it doesn’t taste like coconut at all and also has a higher smoke point when cooking with it.
You can get coconut oil just about anywhere now, since it has become so popular for its health benefits and versatility. Both refined and unrefined kinds will undoubtedly be available at your local grocery store, discount store like Aldi, Walmart, Target, or Costco, or on Amazon.
Want to save even more on the healthy foods you buy every day? Check out Thrive Market. They sell all the top organic, non-GMO, and healthy products at wholesale prices (25-50% off!), and they ship right to your door – no more dealing with crowds and premium supermarket prices! Thrive Market can do this because they cut out the middleman and work directly with brands to pass on significant savings to their members.
Members get everyday wholesale pricing at 25-50% off and free shipping on all orders over $49 for just a $60/year membership fee. I made back my membership in savings within my first two orders, and this is a typical experience for members. Plus, there’s a membership guarantee. Thrive Market guarantees your membership will pay for itself within a year, or you get the difference back in Thrive Market credit when you renew! Sign up for FREE through this link and save an extra 20% Off your first 3 orders!
For a fast metabolism, you want a healthy thyroid, since your thyroid basically runs your metabolism and determines how fast it runs. You may think you’re doing your body – and your weight loss efforts – a favor by consuming lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, but you may actually be harming your thyroid if you’re consuming conventional produce. The pesticides in regular fruits and veggies can interfere with thyroid function, so be sure to choose organic whenever possible. Can’t afford it? At least, try to buy organic for the “dirty dozen,” or shop at Aldi.
GET ENOUGH IRON
Women lose iron during their period every month, and when your body is low on iron, your metabolism suffers. Make sure you’re consuming enough by eating plenty of iron-rich foods like dark leafy greens, red meat, shellfish, organ meats, legumes, pumpkin seeds, and broccoli.
GET YOUR OMEGA 3’S
Omega-3’s balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation, helping to regulate metabolism. They may also reduce resistance to the hormone leptin, which researchers have linked to how fast fat is burned. Take omega-3 fatty acid supplements, or eat adequate amounts of wild-caught seafood, sea vegetables and algae, chia seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, and grass-fed meats. Want to take a supplement, but hate the fishy taste? Check out Ritual daily vitamins for women. They taste like peppermint and contain the top 9 nutrients women lack the most – Omega-3’s, iron, Vitamins D3, K2, B12, and E, boron, magnesium, and folate.
TAKE A SUPPLEMENT
Even if you eat a balanced diet, you may still have nutritional deficiencies that can affect your energy and metabolism. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including soil nutrient depletion, leaky gut (see “Heal Your Gut” above), and more. For example, I was having terrible low energy and assumed it was due to my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. However, a blood test found that I was extremely low in Vitamin D, despite drinking plenty of water and getting regular exposure to sunlight. Now, I take a daily supplement to ensure I get enough of the nutrients I need to feel my best.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. With these 20 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism in No Time, you can make small, painless changes to your lifestyle and get amazing results.
I would love to hear from you!
Share what you think of these 20 Best Ways to Boost Your Metabolism in the comments below! Have a weight loss success story? I would love to hear what worked for you.
Delicious Weight Loss Recipes: