Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical processes and reactions that occur in your body. This includes things such as digesting food, breathing and anything that keeps your organs functioning and you alive. These processes require energy, and the minimum amount of energy required by your body is called the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). So if you’re looking at how to boost your metabolism, you want to be burning more calories and increase your BMR. While a person doesn’t have control over the genetic aspects of their metabolism, there are some methods which can help to speed up your metabolism and increase the number of calories you burn.
What Can I do to Speed Up my Metabolism?
Things such as your age, gender and body size all play a role in how fast or slow your metabolism is. It is a known fact that muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscles tend to have faster metabolisms.
On the other hand, there also seem to be certain foods and drinks that are claimed to boost one’s metabolism, such as green tea, certain spices and energy drinks. While there is no guaranteed way to boost one’s metabolism, there are some things that have proven to be effective.
Here are 9 ways on how to boost your metabolism:
1. Build Muscle With Strength Training
As mentioned before, muscle tends to burn more calories than fat. According to WebMD, 1 pound of muscle burns 6 calories vs 2 calories for 1 pound of fat. As a result, having more muscle mass can help you increase your metabolism.
Lifting weights can help you not only build but also retain muscle, not causing your metabolism to drop. You should aim for strength training or resistance training exercises that work all of your muscle groups at least 3 times a week.
2. Avoid Dieting or Not Eating Enough Calories
If you’re looking for ways on how to boost your metabolism, dieting and not getting enough daily calories is not one of them. Many fad/crash diets often restrict your calories to less than 1200 a day and can be harmful for anyone who is looking to speed up their metabolism.
Eating too few calories causes your metabolism to slow down so the body can conserve energy. It can also cause you to lose muscle, which will make it seem like you’re losing pounds on the scale, but in reality, it’s going to be slowing down the number of calories you burn in a day, harming you in the long term.
3. Eat Plenty of Protein
In case you didn’t know, your body actually requires more calories to digest protein than it does for carbohydrates and fat. As a result, adding more protein to your diet can boost your metabolism at mealtime. Protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and can prevent you from overeating. Some good sources of protein include lean chicken, turkey, eggs, tofu, fish, beef and beans.
4. Snack Smart
Eating more often can help you burn more calories as it starts up your digestive system and your body uses energy for the processes. As a result, having a small snack every 3-4 hours can keep your metabolism going and allow you to burn some extra calories over the course of the day. Do stick to healthier snacks though, such as fruits, nuts or yogurt as opposed to processed foods such as chocolate, cookies and chips.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is essential for your body as it requires water to perform metabolic functions. Therefore, if you’re dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. Also, if you’re drinking lots of water, that means that you’re probably drinking less sugary drinks, and consuming less calories.
Studies have shown that drinking water temporarily speeds up the metabolism and if you drink cold water, you will burn more calories as your body has to heat up that water to body temperature, which requires energy to do so.
6. Do Aerobic Activity
Similar to strength training, doing high intensity aerobic exercise can boost your metabolism after the workout. The key is to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which involves exerting very intense bursts of energy. HIIT has been shown to help you burn fat as well as keeping your body burning calories even after the workout has ended. Try out HIIT for your next workout as it’s a great alternative to other steady cardio such as cycling or running.
7. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The right amount of sleep varies from person to person, but most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep or getting too little sleep can have a negative impact on your metabolism. Getting too little sleep causes the hormone ghrelin to be released, which is responsible for making a person feel hungry. It also causes less of the hormone leptin to be released, which is responsible for making a person feel full. This is why if you are sleep deprived, you may feel more hungrier and put on more weight.
8. Eat at Regular Times
Eating at regular and consistent times daily can help maintain your metabolism. If you eat at random times, then your body may be going through long periods without food, causing it to burn calories slowly and start storing more fat cells. Ideally, one should eat small meals or snacks every 3-4 hours.
9. Drink Green Tea
The last tip I’ve got for you on how to boost your metabolism is to drink green tea regularly. Green tea has been shown to increase one’s metabolism for a couple of hours after consumption, as well as increasing the amount of fat you burn by 10%. Green tea is a great alternative to sugary drinks and can you meet your daily water requirements as well.