Almost everyone knows someone, or is someone, who can eat whatever they want, whenever they want without having to worry about packing on weight. Most people also know someone, or is someone, who seems to see every extra bite they eat. People call that having a fast metabolism versus having a slow one.
Your metabolism is your body’s system and process of breaking down food and drink you consume and converting into what your body needs to maintain its living state, like energy. Each person’s body has its own metabolic rate, and having a slow metabolism can make losing weight and avoiding weight gain quite the challenge. While you can’t necessarily fix your metabolism to how you want it, you can definitely influence it.
Here are 7 tips that will help you increase your metabolism a little bit:
1. Be Strong
Muscle is a lot more high-maintenance than fat. Muscle not only needs more energy than fat (which means muscle burns more calories than fat), but muscle also burns calories quicker than fat. This is true at the gym, of course, but it is also true at home as having more muscles causes your body to burn extra fat throughout the day.
So, definitely add some type of weight or resistance training to your routine about 2-3 times per week, even if it’s just body weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, or squats. Your muscles will need additional protein and carbs for the couple days following each workout in order to recover, which causes your body to burn more calories.
2. Work Hard During Cardio… For Intervals
If you plan on increasing your metabolism, or even just losing weight, hopefully some form of cardio is already on your routine. Whether it is running, swimming, biking, using the treadmill, or whatever else, interval training has been known to make your body work much harder for much longer, resulting in more calorie burning.
Interval training is relatively simple. You want to insert about 30 seconds of high intensity activity in your cardio, followed by about 4 minutes of “resting” cardio. For instance, jog lightly for a few minutes, and then sprint for 30 seconds, and then repeat. Do this for about 20-30 minutes about two or three times each week for effective training.
3. Kick It A Kickstart In The Morning
Make sure your metabolism wakes up and gets moving the same time you do in the morning. After not eating for many hours during the night, skipping a hearty breakfast in the morning can cause your metabolism to start the day in storage mode, which slows down its processes.
Giving it a kick-start in the morning will speed up your metabolism for the remainder of the day. You can also drink a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Being a thermogenic drink (requiring a bit of energy for your body to process), starting the day with a cup of it can rev up your metabolism speeding it up for the day.
4. Eat Well Throughout The Day
An easy way to make sure your metabolism stays moving every day is by eating consistently throughout the day. Typically, you should aim to eat 5-6 times per day. For instance, you should eat something like three meals, along with at least two snacks.
The key is to make sure you eat every four hours or so. When you skip a meal, fast, or try not to eat throughout the day to save calories, your body feels like it’s being deprived of food, which causes it to go into storage mode to conserve energy, slowing everything down for your metabolism. Avoid this, especially early in the day.
5. Spice Up Your Foods
Quite literally spice up your foods. Adding hot spices, like cayenne pepper, to your foods will definitely cause your body to burn extra calories. Such spices trigger fat-burning hormones and also require slightly more energy to digest.
This is also true with proteins, so eat more protein as well. Protein requires a lot more energy to process than sugars and carbs, so increases your daily protein intake will certainly give a little boost to your metabolism. Proteins also help make you feel more full for longer.
6. Always Stay Hydrated
Make sure that you drink at least one glass of water every time you eat, and keep a glass near you throughout the day in a water bottle or something. Sipping on water helps you curb hunger a bit and avoid tiny snacking urges all day.
The body uses water when it actually processes the calories and energy, so having a shortage on water in the body can slow your metabolic rate. Water can help keep things running smoothly.
7. Don’t Stress About It
Literally, don’t stress about it, or anything too much. The body produces certain hormones when it’s stressed out, and these stress hormones encourage fat and energy storage, which slows down your metabolism.
Minimizing stress levels is always easier said than done, but focus on a relaxing hobby that you can do a few times throughout the week. Whether it’s reading, doing yoga, meditating, fishing, walking, or whatever other passive activity, it’s important. Stress builds up quickly and quietly, so stay in tune with your feelings every day.
Sleep is also very important when it comes to stress and stress hormones. People who are sleep-deprived tend produce much higher levels of stress hormones, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep every night.
At the end of the day, there is no simple, easy way to boost up the speed of your metabolism. Following these guidelines will certainly help, especially over time, but be realistic with yourself as your metabolism is based on a few factors and does not change too extremely or easily.
If you’re looking into increasing your metabolism in order to lose weight, you should read about how to lose weight. Increasing your metabolism will only help a certain amount, as weight loss ultimately comes down to creating a calorie deficit, so don’t ignore your diet and exercise routine.