Metabolism refers to all the chemical reactions that are happening in your body and keep you alive and functioning.

Many people confuse metabolism with metabolic rate, which is actually the amount of calories you burn. It has been shown that the higher your metabolic rate is, “the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off.” (Authority Nutrition)

A higher metabolism will provide you with more energy and will make you feel better.

There are many ways to boost your metabolism and the following are just a few, backed up by scientific research:

  1. Increase your protein intake

Research suggests increasing your protein intake may help you boost your metabolism and lose weight. It has been found that this compound produces the largest rise in TEF, or thermic effect of food. According to a small study, a diet consisted of 30% protein may reduce the calorie intake per day for approximately 441 calories.

Moreover, since protein also keeps you feeling more full, its consumption will also reduce your food cravings. Increased protein intake may also reduce the drop in metabolism often associated with losing fat.

  1. Drink plenty of cold water

Water intake can also help you boost metabolism and consequently lose weight. It has been found that drinking 17 oz (0.5 liters) of water can increase resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.

Cold water can have even greater calorie-burning effect than room temperature water, as it requires more energy to heat up to body temperature. It also fills you up and makes you eat less. According to one study of overweight adults, those who consumed half a liter of water prior to their meals succeeded in losing 44% more weight than those who didn’t.

In conclusion, drinking water will undoubtedly aid in your weight loss goals and help you keep those extra pounds off. It will also boost your metabolism and fill you up before meals.

  1. Perform a high-intensity workout

Any type of exercise is good for your health and your metabolism, but a high-intensity workout has been proven to be the ‘real deal.’

HIIT, shortened for high-intensity interval training, helps boost your metabolic rate, thus helping you burn fat. In fact, you’ll burn fat even after you’re done exercising. In a 12-week study of overweight young men performing high-intensity workout, the results showed that their fat mass was reduced by 4.4 lbs (2kg) and their belly fat by 17%.

Try to include some high-intensity exercise in your workout routine and you’ll increase your metabolism and start burning fat very soon.

  1. Lift heavy things

Muscle building can give your metabolism a boost as “muscle is more metabolically active than fat” (Authority Nutrition). Moreover, it will also help you burn more calories per day, even while you’re sleeping.

You might not be fond of lifting weights, but this type of exercise will help you keep your muscle mass and prevent the drop in metabolism which is a common side effect of losing weight.  One study of overweight women, who were put on a diet along with no exercise, aerobic exercise or resistance training, showed that those who did the resistance training kept their muscle mass, metabolism and strength. On the other hand, the other two groups lost weight, muscle mass and had a drop in metabolism.

  1. Say goodbye to sedentary life

Leading a sedentary life is doing no good to your overall health, including your metabolism. In fact, too much sitting can be as bad for you as smoking, according to some health commentators. It doesn’t help you burn much calories and consequently it may lead to weight gain. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid sitting for long periods and try standing up every once in a while and move a bit if your job binds you to a chair for most of your work time.

  1. Consume green tea or oolong tea

Some beverages, including green tea and oolong tea, can help boost your metabolism by 4-5%, studies find. By converting body fat into free fatty acids, these teas may also help rev up fat burning by 10-17%. The consumption of these teas may also help you achieve your weight loss goals due to their low calorie content. Nevertheless, other studies suggest that the effect of these teas “may be small or only apply to some people.”

  1. Eat spicy foods

Spicy foods can also help you increase your metabolism. Peppers are one type of spicy food that contain capsaicin, a compound showed to be beneficial for boosting metabolism. Although these foods can help you boost your metabolism and lose weight, you should consume them in high amounts to get the desired effect, which is impossible for many. All in all, the consumption of spicy foods will definitely give your metabolism a helping boost and help you keep a healthy weight.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep

Not getting enough sleep may lead to an increased risk of obesity. Lack of sleep has many negative effects on your health, including reduced metabolism, increased sugar levels and insulin resistance, and reduced amount of calories burnt per day. In addition, some studies found that sleep deprivation increases the hunger hormone ghrelin, and reduces the fullness hormone leptin. In order to prevent these issues, it is essential for you to get a good night’s sleep.

  1. Substitute coconut oil for cooking fats

Another way to kick-start your metabolism is by substituting coconut oil for other cooking fats you’re usually using. This oil has a high content of medium-chain fats proven to help boost metabolism much more than the long-chain fats found in other fats such as butter. Research showed that “medium-chain fats increased metabolism by 12%, compared to long-chain fats, which raised it by just 4%.”

  1. Consume caffeine

Last but not the least, caffeine intake is another great way to jump-start your metabolism. Caffeine in coffee has been found to help increase metabolism by 3-11%, as well as stimulate fat burning. Although lean people may get better results by drinking coffee, this beverage will surely benefit overweight people as well. Since coffee helps increase metabolism and induce fat burning, it will also help you lose unwanted weight and keep it off.

Conclusion:

By adding some or all of the above-mentioned simple tips to your daily routine, you will effectively boost your metabolism. Keep this in mind, the higher your metabolism is, the more chances you have to lose weight and keep it off.

Sources:

West, H. (n.d.). 10 Easy ways to boost your metabolism (backed by science). Retrieved April 7, 2017, from https://authoritynutrition.com/10-ways-to-boost-metabolism/

Pesta, D. H., & Samuel, V. T. (2014, November 19). A high-protein die for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258944/

Weigle, D. S., Breen, P. A., Matthys, C.C., Callahan, H. S., Meeuwa, K. E., Burden, V. R., & Purnell, J. Q. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002798

Dubnov-Raz, G., Constantini N. W., Yariv, H., Nice, S., and Shapira, N. (2011). Influence of water drinking on resting energy expenditure in overweight children. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21750519

Davy, B. M., Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Wilson, K. L., and Davy, K.P. (2008). Water consumption reduces energy intake at a breakfast meal in obese older adults. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18589036

Heydari, M., Freund, J., Boutcher, S. H. (2012). The effect of high-intensity intermittent exercise on body composition of overweight young males. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22720138

Hunter, G. R., Byrne, N. M., Sirikul, B., Fernández, J. R., Zuckerman, P.A., Darnell, B. E, & Gower, B. A. (2008). Resistance training conserves fat-free mass and resting energy expenditure following weight loss. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356845

Venables, M. C., Hulston, C. J., Cox, H. R., Jeukendrup, A. E.(2008).  Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18326618

Diepvens, K., Westerterp, K. R., Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2007). Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. Retrieved April 9, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16840650