How to Speed Up Your Metabolism
Ah, the mysterious metabolism. Don’t we all wish we could increase our metabolism?
But why? What the heck is your metabolism any way?
Why are some people’s metabolisms faster than others?
What role does your metabolism play in weight loss?
Is it even possible to make your metabolism faster?
All this answered and more on today’s episode, so stay tuned!
Okay, I’m done pretending to be a daytime TV host now.
What is the definition of metabolism?
We hear metabolism all the time.
“She must have a really great metabolism.”
“Don’t do that, you’ll slow down your metabolism!”
But, do we really know what metabolism is?
Metabolism is defined by Google as “the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.”
Okay, that helps, kind of. But most of us have heard of metabolism in relation to weight loss or gain.
So how does metabolism play a role in how fast or slow you lose weight?
Well, Google’s definition of metabolism is just a really fancy way of saying your metabolism is what converts your food into energy, aka it burns calories so that your body can function.
Basal Metabolic Rate
The calories you burn just living (breathing, creating cells, circulating blood, etc.) is called your basal metabolic rate.
When you hear someone saying something along the lines of, “His metabolism is just really fast.” They are really referring to the person’s basal metabolic rate, or BMR.
How to Find Out How Fast Your Metabolism Is
How fast or slow your metabolism is can be determined by calculating your BMR.
It’s easy to blame your metabolism for not being able to lose weight because it’s a scapegoat. “I can’t lose weight because my metabolism is slow, nothing I can do about it.”
When the truth is, what you eat and your workout routine actually play a much bigger role.
Still.. It would be nice to be burn more calories while doing the same amount of work, right?
Several factors play a role in what makes up how fast your metabolism is.
- Body size. Bigger bodies burn more calories. That makes sense. More body = more blood = more blood circulation = more energy(calories) required to circulate it, etc.
- Age: Unfortunately for us, our metabolisms slow as we age. To understand this one, you have to delve deep into biology and science. If you really want to understand more about it, here’s a great article, otherwise, just know there’s not too much we can do about this one, but we can use the tips below to help offset it.
- Gender: Women generally have a lower metabolic rate than women. Not sure how we pulled the short straw on that one, ladies.
- External Factors. All other factors that play a role in the speed of our metabolism are external and therefore we can manipulate them to help boost our metabolism!
Is it actually possible to increase your metabolism?
The short answer: Yes! There is hope after all!
Like we discussed above, there are some things that play a role in the speed of our metabolism that we cannot change.
Luckily, all of the external factors that play a role we can change and therefore, we can speed up our metabolism.
Even luckier, there are quite a few external factors that we can take advantage of to boost our metabolism!
Ways to make your metabolism faster.
1. Build muscle.
One of the factors in metabolism that is part genetic and part external is your body composition.
Lean muscle mass requires more energy to maintain than fat does.
This means your body, aka your metabolism, will need to burn more energy just living if you have more lean muscle.
This is why I say body composition is part genetic and part external.
It is true that some people are just genetically blessed with naturally more muscle mass.
However, we can still work to increase our muscle mass and decrease our body fat.
How to Build Muscle
This is one (of many) reasons I am always promoting resistance training and weight lifting in my programs.
A lot of my female clients get concerned that they will “become bulky” if they lift weights.
Building muscle is tough work that doesn’t get enough credit.
Especially for females, it would take a LOT of time and dedication to become “bulky” and even then, most women will not be able to achieve a bulky or bodybuilder look without the use of performance enhancing drugs, which I obviously do not recommend.
So, if you are a female with this concern, lift away without fear of getting bulky!
That was a bit of a tangent, but to build muscle there are 3 main factors.
- Consume more calories than you are burning.
- Follow a good lifting plan, such as this 8 Week Program.
2. Get Enough Vitamin B
Vitamin B has been proven to boost metabolism.
Getting plenty of foods rich in vitamin B can help increase your metabolism. (Source)
Foods rich in Vitamin B include eggs, beans, and dark leafy greens.
3. Try Probiotics
A 2008 study found that probiotics can boost your metabolism as well (Source).
Your gut, and your body for that matter, are filled with bacteria. Some good, some bad.
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your gut.
You can get probiotics through certain yogurts as well as a supplement form.
4. Keep your home temperature low.
Metabolism has been shown to increase in extreme temperatures.
One study tracked the metabolic rate of men over a four month period, where they changed the temperatures in their room each month.
The month where they kept the room temperature the lowest showed the greatest increase in their metabolisms.
5. Drink Coffee/Green Tea – Boost by 5%
Caffeine has been shown to boost metabolism rates by up to 5% (source).
Green tea and coffee are great sources of caffeine that have been shown to have other benefits for the body as well.
6. Drink Enough Water.
A group of researchers looked at the effect of water intake on metabolism and found that participants that drank 500ml of water had an increase in their metabolism of 30% for up to 40 minutes after drinking it.
7. Drink Your Water Cold
A similar study found metabolism further increased by drinking cold water over warm or room temperature water.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Unfortunately, sleeping all day will not boost your metabolism, but studies have shown that lack of sleep can have negative effects on your metabolism.
9. Use Coconut Oil Instead of Butter (Souce)
Using coconut oil in favor of other cooking oils (not just butter) can have a positive impact on your metabolic rate.
Without delving too deep, coconut oil is made up of medium-chain triglycerides which studies have found to be associated with increased metabolism, decreased appetite and lower body fat.
10. Use MCT Oil
MCT oil is gaining momentum in the supplement world for the same reasons mentioned above with coconut oil, as well as many other benefits.
MCT oil literally stands for medium-chain triglyceride oil.
This is my personal favorite MCT oil and you can get an extra 10% off by using the code jillianf10.
11. Trade cardio for HIIT
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s a form of working out based on intervals and heart rate.
You can read more about how to do a HIIT workout here, but the important thing to know right now is that HIIT has been proven to continue to burn additional calories even after you have finished the workout.
Oh, and HIIT workouts only last 10-20 minutes. How great is that!?
That’s how I was able to create an entire 8 Week At Home Total Body workout plan with workouts that average just 35 minutes.
12. Reduce your stress.
Being stressed is no fun, we already knew that.
Did you also know that being stressed might be killing your metabolism too?
Stress releases a hormone called cortisol which helps regulate appetite and eating patterns.
So if you’re stressed out, try getting a message or taking a bath to unwind and get your metabolism back up!
13. Do not under eat.
A common mistake when trying to lose weight is to under eat.
You might think that if you drastically reduce your calories, you’ll lose weight faster. That may be true for a short period of time, but in the long run you’ll be wreaking havoc on your metabolism and kicking your body into starvation mode to hold on to fat for dear life (literally).
Always get AT LEAST your BMR in calories at the very, very minimum.
Instead, if you’re struggling to lose weight despite your efforts, check out these other 15 weight loss plateau tricks.
14. Eat Foods with Capsaicin
Capsaicin is a chili powder extract that has been shown to boost your metabolism through diet-induced thermogenesis (Source).
Foods high in capsaicin include mustard, horseradish, black pepper and ginger.
15. Eat Seaweed
Consumption of seaweed (yes…. seaweed) has actually been shown to help metabolic syndrome.
16. Talk to your doctor.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition that is associated with a slowed metabolism.
Certain medications also have the side effect of slowing metabolism.
If you think one of these apply to you, try talking to your doctor.
In addition, any time you make any changes to your diet or exercise plan, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor first.
17. Get Enough Protein
Eating protein boosts metabolism for a time after eating it die to the thermic effect of food (source).
This just means that certain foods (especially those high in protein) require extra calories in order to digest and absorb them.
Protein requires an increase of 15-30%, which carbs require 5-10%, and fats require 0-3%.
Protein has also been associated with feeling fuller longer and a decreased appetite.
It’s also essential for muscle building, and as we discussed, more lean muscle = an increase in metabolism!
Metabolism Boosting Foods
A few of the ways to increase your metabolism above mentioned different foods. Here is a longer list of some of the foods that can help boost your metabolism!
- Green tea
- Coconut Oil
- Chili Peppers
- Black pepper
- baked potatoes
- orange juice
- peanut butter
- whole-grain foods
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Brazil nuts.
- White Meat Poultry