Updated: 7 February 2022
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to eat whatever they want? It’s probably because they have a fast metabolism. Having a higher metabolic rate makes it easier to stay lean and keep those pounds off. Who wouldn’t want a faster metabolism?
Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body – and these reactions keep your body alive and functioning. Your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories for energy; the higher it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Having a high metabolism can also give you energy and make you feel better.
Even though you have no control over the genetic aspects of your metabolism, and although not everyone is born with a super-fast one, there are some ways to ignite that fat-burning engine! From boosting your metabolism with foods to vitamins, here are some foolproof ways to boost your metabolism.
How To Boost Your Metabolism With Foods
First Of All: Eat At Regular Times
So, it’s not just about what you eat; it’s also your eating patterns. And eating at regular times can help someone increase their metabolism. The human body depends on balance and regularity; eating at consistent times may help maintain metabolic balance. Ideally, a person should eat several small meals or snacks about 3 or 4 hours apart. Pack snacks for when you’re on the go, so you’re always prepared for a busy or unpredictable day and have something healthy to munch on when you get hungry.
Eat Enough Too
Counting your calories isn’t the best way to lose weight. Not if you’re not getting enough. Eating meals that are not filling and skipping meals can negatively impact your metabolism, causing it to slow down and conserve energy. Which is the opposite of what you were going for. Depending on their activity levels, adult women need between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day, and men need between 2,000 and 3,000.
Drink Green Tea . . . And Oolong Tea Too
Two of my favorite teas, and two that boost your metabolism. In fact, both green tea and oolong tea have been shown to increase metabolism by 4-5%. They also help convert some of the fat stored in your body into free fatty acids, which may increase fat burning by 10-17%.
The benefits of green tea and oolong tea are linked to their high antioxidant content. Both are also rich in catechins, which increase fat oxidation and improve your liver’s ability to turn fat into energy. Why not see if these are your new cups of tea!
Fill Up On Protein
Eating food can increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is thanks to TEF, or the thermic effect of food. This effect is caused by the extra calories needed to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients in your meal. And protein causes the most significant rise in TEF – increasing your metabolic rate by 15-10%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats.
Protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer and helps your body preserve lean mass. Consider adding some of these metabolism-boosting foods:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Chicken breast
- Ground turkey
- Flank, hanger, or skirt steak
And if having a healthier digestive system is also important to you, these probiotic-rich foods are a must – especially No.4!
A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that a low-calorie diet rich in almonds could help people shed those extra pounds. Not only do the good fats have an effect on insulin levels, but they also give a feeling of fullness, so you’re less likely to overeat. Stock your pantry with almonds, walnuts, and nut butter.
Eat Whole Foods & Grains
The whole foods revolution is here, and lots of people are slurping down green smoothies and eating quinoa. But it comes to those leafy greens like kale and spinach – it’s best to ditch the smoothie and eat them in their solid form since your body uses much less energy digesting those smoothies.
On the other hand, your body takes extra effort to break down whole grains rather than refined, processed grains. As shown in a Food & Nutrition Research study, you can keep your metabolic rate high by eating foods that your body works harder to digest. In fact, it can increase your post-meal energy expenditure by 50 percent compared to eating processed foods.
Go-to whole-grain foods that boost metabolism:
- Brown rice
- Sprouted grain bread
There are plenty of fish in the sea, but salmon may be the best if you want to boost your metabolism. Thanks to the fish’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties and rich omega-3 fatty acid content, it’s great at targeting those underactive thyroid glands! A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered that salmon was the most effective at reducing inflammation compared to cod, fish oil, and a fish-free diet.
Spice Up Your Meals
The special ingredient that gives chili’s and peppers their spice – capsaicin – can boost your metabolism. Found in all kinds of chilis and hot peppers, although cinnamon, mustard, and ginger also have the same fat-burning qualities.
Although the required amount to see significant results isn’t for the faint of heart, eating more spicy foods may still lead to a slight advantage when combined with other metabolism-boosting strategies.
Did you know that caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism? Yes, studies have shown it can do so by up to 3-11%! Like green tea, it promotes fat burning! But this does seem to affect lean people more. In one study, coffee increased fat burning by 29% for lean women but only 10% for obese women. Also, coffee’s effect on metabolism and fat burning may also contribute to successful weight loss and maintenance.
Caffeine addicts don’t get too excited. You still need to drink coffee in moderation.
Some other foods that boost your metabolism include:
- Yogurt, and other probiotic foods!
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Dark chocolate
How To Boost Your Metabolism With Vitamins
Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B. They play an essential role in the metabolic rate. Key B vitamins include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and B6 (pyridoxine).
If you’re up for the burn, regular vitamin B shots might be an option for you. But if you’d prefer to eat your B vitamins, then add some of these foods to your diet:
- Baked potatoes
- Orange Juice
- Peanut Butter
- Whole-grain foods
If there’s one supplement most people should be taking, it’s vitamin D. It’s essential for preserving metabolism-upping muscle tissue, and researchers estimate that only 20% of Americans get enough vitamin D in their diet. You could nail 90% of your recommended daily value of 400 IU, in a 3.5 ounce serving of salmon – but popping a daily supplement is probably more sustainable.
Other great sources of vitamin D include:
- Fortified low-fat milk
Iron deficiencies affect more than 1 in 5 women in the United States. And being deficient in essential minerals can show up in all kinds of ways, like fatigue and anemia, but an iron deficiency can also impact your metabolic health. Your body can’t work as efficiently to burn calories when it doesn’t have what it needs to function normally. According to Clinical Therapeutics, if you up your iron intake to required levels, you can lose weight and improve your metabolic parameters, like lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
Iron-rich foods you can add to your diet include:
- 1 cup of iron-fortified breakfast cereal, 100% DV iron
- 1 cup of lentils, 36% DV iron
- 5 ounces ground beef, 15% DV iron
- 1 cup spinach, 24% DV iron
Need to chat to a doctor about the right supplements for you? Use the Air Doctor app to find a doctor near you!
Other Ways To Boost Your Metabolism
Hit The Gym
When it comes to having a faster metabolism, nothing beats getting your body moving. Strength training is among the favorite for boosting the metabolism – since muscle is more metabolically active than fat, building muscle can help increase the metabolism. That means even at rest, you will burn more calories each day.
One study conducted placed 48 overweight women on a diet of 800 calories per day, along with either no exercise, aerobic exercise, or resistance training. After the diet, the women who did the resistance training had maintained their muscle mass, metabolism, and strength. The other participants lost weight but also lost muscle mass and experienced a decrease in metabolism.
But preferred exercise routines aside, active lifestyles will also be better than sedentary ones.
Catch More Zzz’s
Sometimes all you need to rev up your metabolism is a good night’s rest. Skimping on sleep increases ghrelin and cortisol levels, affecting your metabolic rate. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Make sure you have a proper nighttime routine: take a warm bath or shower, drink a cup of hot tea, avoid your phone and the TV right before bed, and get into bed at the same time each night. The results might surprise you!
Drink Enough Water & Drink It Cold
Naturally, people who drink water instead of sugary drinks are more successful at losing weight, but drinking water may also temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies show that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour. The calorie-burning effect increases if you drink cold water because your body uses energy to heat it to body temperature.
How Age Impacts Metabolism
The speed of your metabolism depends on various factors like age, sex, body fat, muscle mass, activity level, and genetics. Additional lifestyle factors like menopause, hormonal disorders, and stress also affect our ability to burn calories, many of which are age-related conditions. It’s important to note any lifestyle changes that might need to change to suit your metabolic progress.
You can increase your metabolism by making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle. From eating more whole grains to making sure you get enough H2O, making these small changes will boost your metabolism in no time.