Last updated March 11, 2022
Boosting metabolism can be a great way to tune into your body’s inner workings and have a bit more control over its body fat-burning power.
Learning a little more about metabolism, what it is and how it works can help you to understand what you can do to boost it and speed it up to get the most out of your lifestyle choices.
What is Your Metabolism and How Does it Work?
Technically, the word metabolism is used to describe all chemical reactions that take place inside the body that help to maintain the state of cells and the organism.
These chemical reactions include the conversion of food into energy and compounds like proteins and lipids needed by the body to thrive.
In the health and fitness world, when we refer to the metabolism we are often referring to these metabolic reactions, the conversion of food into energy and the metabolic rate, the speed at which these reactions happen.
As all human beings are different, metabolic speeds vary from human to human and can be affected by a number of factors such as genes, environment and lifestyle.
Benefits of a Metabolism Boost/Faster Metabolism
A faster metabolic rate means burning calories quicker. This might explain why some people get away with eating a lot and not gaining weight.
When it comes to weight gain, however, some studies show that metabolism plays a small role and there are other determining factors such as lifestyle choices and age.
Having said that, having a quicker metabolism and doing certain things to boost the metabolism have many benefits such as staying in shape and avoiding weight gain.
Let’s explore five easy tips and tricks that you can weave into your lifestyle today in order to boost your metabolism.
1. Lift Weight to Build Muscle
Simple fact: The more muscle you have the more calories you are going to burn, even when doing nothing.
For every pound of muscle you have, you’ll burn 6 calories a day just to sustain it compared to the 2 calories per day that a pound of fat needs.
Over time this can significantly add up especially when combined with other tricks to boost metabolism.
While many women today still avoid lifting weights for fear of looking ‘bulky’ remember that it takes years of training and lifting heavy weights to look that way.
Adding just a few more pounds of weight to your workout routine or beginning to lift weights will not only tone your muscles, without adding extra heaviness but also promote bone health and strength throughout the body.
It’s also worth remembering that after a strength training session at the gym, your muscles become activated, raising your metabolic rate for the entire day, meaning you’ll be burning more calories that day than on a rest day.
2. Increase Your Cardio Intensity
Unlike lifting weights which will raise your metabolic rate for many hours after a workout, cardio will raise your metabolic rate for only a few hours after you’re done.
The key to a longer-lasting raised metabolic rate after cardio? Crank up the intensity of your workout. The more intense the exercise the more your body will have to exert itself and therefore increase the metabolic rate.
To increase the intensity of your workouts, try a high-intensity class at the gym or something you’ve never done before as switching up your workouts will force the body to change and adapt to new styles and paces.
One of my favorite ways to add intensity to a workout is through treadmill interval training. After your favorite workout, get yourself on the treadmill for 10 minutes.
- Start with a one-minute warm-up at a comfortable jogging/walking pace.
- For the next minute increase the speed to a comfortable/medium jogging pace.
- For the third minute increase the intensity to an all-out sprint, giving it everything you’ve got before coming down again to your comfortable/medium jogging pace for one minute to recover.
- Repeat until you get to 10 minutes.
3. Prioritize Sleep
Sleep is essential for all aspects of life from productivity and mindset to beauty but did you know it can also affect your metabolic rate?
Many studies have shown that sleep deprivation can have a profound impact on the way metabolism works.
A significant lack of sleep over a prolonged period of time can alter the glucose levels and the hormones that regulate metabolism, meaning it’s often much harder to increase your metabolic rate and have it work steadily.
This is another example of why it’s worth looking at health and wellness from a holistic viewpoint and that lack of sleep won’t just affect one part of your health, but many other aspects too such as creativity, mindset, anxiety, hormone health, gut health and metabolism too.
To make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye, aim for 7-8 hours every night.
4. Up Your Coffee, Green Tea and Chili Intake
Coffee, green tea and chili all contain chemicals and compounds that can boost your metabolism.
Coffee and green tea both contain caffeine which makes you feel less tired and gives a boost when it comes to metabolic rate and endurance. Green tea also contains catechins which contribute to increasing metabolism.
While the effects of these foods on the metabolism don’t last long, when consumed over a longer period of time they can have a noticeable, positive effect on metabolic rate.
5. Eat Smaller Meals, More Often
When we don’t eat for longer periods of time, our bodies begin to go into shutdown mode. Thinking that it’s not going to see food anytime soon, the body will begin to decrease the metabolic rate to try to conserve energy as much as possible.
To combat this, it’s best not to leave too long in between meals. Instead, aim for 5 smaller meals a day rather than 3 larger ones.
I personally have three main meals per day plus healthy snacks in between breakfast and lunch and then again between lunch and dinner.
This means that my body is getting food and energy regularly (every 3-4 hours) meaning my metabolic rate stays as high as possible and more calories are burned per day.