I have a borderline thyroid condition. It’s underactive, (hypothyroidism), and not bad enough to require treatment. That doesn’t stop me from blaming my metabolism whenever I put on weight. The allure of being able to boost your metabolism gets me searching out advice online.
But not for long. As soon as those pounds start to creep on, a tough look at any lifestyle changes usually finds the culprits.
It’s almost always one of these three reasons: exercising less (or less intensely), eating more (or the wrong foods instead of healthy eating), or neglecting strength-building exercise.
How Do You Boost Your Metabolism?
I’d love to blame my metabolism. Who doesn’t want a quick fix? So I’ve pulled together 10 ways you can boost your metabolism that really helps with weight loss…
#1 Ditch The Diets
Crash diets or significantly restricting your food intake will significantly slow down your metabolism. It’s a bit like animals hibernating. They get through the winter months by slowing their metabolism.
Start a diet and you’re signaling to your body to hang on to those fat stores. It’s handy if you’re trying to survive a long winter on not much food. Not so great when you’re trying to lose weight. It’s a major reason why your weight loss is slow.
Rather than dieting, make small changes to your diet and try to eat better with nutritious healthy food. Try filling up on healthy vegetables! If your diet is rich in nutrients, your body will send you fewer hunger signals.
#2 Build Muscle
Muscle cells use up more energy than fat cells. This means people with more muscle mass tend to have a faster metabolism.
It’s one of the reasons men tend to have faster metabolisms than women. Men naturally have more muscles, heavier bones, and less body fat. (It’s tough for women but we just can’t eat as much).
Strength-building exercises that build muscle will help you increase your metabolism and shift the fat. Hit the gym, take up yoga, or climbing – all good activities to build your muscles.
You don’t need big bulky muscles, just increasing your muscle mass slightly will give your metabolism a boost!
#3 Add High-Intensity
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), will significantly boost your metabolism for several hours after your workout.
Not only do you burn more calories per minute of exercise, (because you’re working harder) but your body will continue to burn extra calories after the workout is over.
HIIT involves short periods of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods. It’s a development of circuit training and has the same type of effect as interval training for runners.
Basically, any high-intensity exercise that makes you work hard will boost your metabolism. As they say; “There’s no gain without pain”. Just check with your doctor that HIIT is suitable if you haven’t exercised for a while, or have any medical conditions.
#4 Move More
Sitting all day has been dubbed as the “new smoking” in terms of being bad for your health. It’s bad for your back and not moving means you burn fewer calories.
A stand-up desk may not be possible but make sure you take regular breaks from sitting. Stand up, run up and down the stairs, just move more… Try walking for weight loss.
#5 Sleep Well
There’s some evidence that failing to get a good night’s sleep will slow down your metabolism.
The evidence is inconclusive but lack of sleep does make you more hungry and less inclined to exercise.
#6 Eat Protein With Every Meal
Your body uses calories to digest food and use the nutrients in foods. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF) and it’s higher for protein than fat or carbohydrates.
Protein will also leave you feeling fuller for longer and may prevent you from overeating at mealtimes.
It’s possible eating more protein counters the negative effects of reduced food intake on your metabolism. It’s not going to be the only way to help you lose weight, but swapping some of those carbs for protein may help boost your metabolism.
#7 Drink Cold Water
Drinking water has been linked to boosting your metabolism. The study is a little tenuous and the effect is temporary, but drinking water is so much better for you than sugary drinks.
Staying properly hydrated has many benefits and confusing thirst for hunger can be a factor in overeating. (Just be aware that drinking an extreme amount of water in a short amount of time is dangerous).
#8 Drink Green Tea
There are some studies that suggest drinking green tea may boost your metabolism. Personally, I’m not convinced, but I do enjoy a nice cup of tea!
It seems to be the tea polyphenols that have the effect of boosting your metabolism. If you drink your tea without sugar, it’s a low-calorie way of staying hydrated.
It’s a little similar to the effect of drinking tea, but the caffeine in coffee has been shown to boost your metabolism.
Again the studies are a little unconvincing, with testing on very small groups. Before you drastically change your coffee habits, bear in mind the negative effects of caffeine: insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors.
#10 Spicy Foods
This is one of the more wacky items on the list, but peppers contain capsaicin which can boost your metabolism.
The effect is tiny. One study talks about burning around 10 extra calories per meal. Capsaicin may help you feel fuller for longer but there are far better ways of boosting your metabolism.
Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit
When it comes to weight loss there’s a lot of hype and a lot of preying on vulnerable people with misinformation.
Healthy eating and increasing the intensity of your exercise are the most important ways to boost your metabolism. Try these tips for eating better such as cutting back on sugar.