7 Ways to Boost Your Metabolic Rate
What is your metabolism?
Your metabolism is a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel, but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel.
How does this affect weight-loss?
The rate at which we burn calories and ultimately, how quickly we gain weight is directly related to our metabolic rate.
Your metabolism is influenced by your age. Once you hit 40, your metabolism naturally slows about 5% per decade. Metabolism is also influenced by your gender. Men generally burn more calories while at rest than women. The proportion of lean body mass also plays a role in your metabolism because the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be.
7 ways to boost your metabolic rate
With a few easy lifestyle changes you can boost your metabolic rate.
1. Get started with a balanced breakfast in the morning
According to the National Weight Control Registry (an ongoing study that tracks 5,000 people who lost an average of 66 pounds and kept it off more than five years), 78% of those who keep it off ate breakfast every day.
Eating a nutrient-rich breakfast tells your metabolism it’s time to wake up.
2. Build muscle
Our bodies actually burn calories while we’re sitting around doing nothing. This rising metabolic rate is much higher in people who have more muscle. After a session of resistance training, your muscles are activated all over your body—increasing your average daily metabolic rate.
3. Aerobic exercise
Aerobic exercise pumps up your metabolic rate hours after your workout is over, but you have to push yourself during your workout to get there. High-intensity exercise delivers a bigger, longer increase in your resting metabolic rate. Try an intense group fitness class.
4. Drink lots of water
The body needs water to process calories. If you’re even mildly dehydrated, your metabolism may slow down. In one study, adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than those who drank four. Try having a glass of water with every meal and switch to healthy snacks like vegetables or fruits instead of empty calorie junk food like potato chips or crackers.
5. Eat more often
Let’s not get carried away. We’re not telling you to stuff your face with whatever you want. When you eat three big meals with many hours in between, your metabolism will slow down in between meals. However, having a small meal or snack every 3-4 hours will keep your metabolic rate up so you burn more calories throughout the day.
The body burns more calories when it digests protein. Incorporating these healthy sources of protein into your diet can boost your metabolic rate. Try lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs and low-fat dairy products.
7. B vitamins
If your energy levels are low, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins. Consider taking a B complex.