metabolism
Health

How to speed up your metabolism naturally?

metabolism

What is metabolism?

Our metabolism is the pace at which our body burns calories for energy. Our metabolic rate is the number of calories we burn. It is all the chemical reactions that keep our body functioning. Those chemical processes are necessary to maintain life.

We have no control over the genetic aspects of our metabolism. We hear that someone has a high metabolism and another a low metabolism. It all depends on several factors such as sex, body, age, muscle mass, activity, body fat and finally genetics.

However, we can help control how our body processes calories. The higher the speed of our metabolism, the more we burn calories. This helps us maintain a healthy weight.

So how do you speed up your metabolism naturally? Here are some effective ways you can increase your metabolism.

What to eat?

Good news! Eating increases our metabolism and it is very important to daily eat enough calories. When we skip a meal, our brain gets the message that there is a problem. Our body starts storing fat cells for survival and slows down burning calories. Our metabolism drops so that we don’t burn too much energy. Eating at regular times helps maintain a healthy metabolic rate. Eating 3 to 4 balanced meals per day is ideal.

Women need to eat 1600 to 2400 calories per day depending on their height and weight and their physical activities. As for men, they need between 2000 and 3000 calories.

Eat protein

The thermic effect of food (TEF) requires extra calories to digest, absorb and process the nutrients. Protein speeds up our metabolic rate by 15%-30%, causing the largest rise in TEF! Carbs 5-10% and Fats 0-3%.

Eating protein also prevents us from overeating because it helps us feel full. We eat fewer calories per day when our diet is made up of 30% of protein.

A common side effect of fat losing diets is muscle loss therefore it drops our metabolism. Since eating more proteins prevents muscle loss, it boosts up our metabolism because muscle gain makes us burn extra calories.

Spice up your food!

Capsaicin, the substance found in hot peppers, speeds up the metabolism. However, the dose should be quite high to have a significant effect in weight loss. Eating peppers during a meal makes us burn 10 extra calories. That is little but it is very advantageous when combined with other boosting metabolism methods and foods!

Coconut oil

Why not start cooking with coconut oil? In fact, coconut oil is high in medium-chain fats that contribute in increasing your metabolism and higher energy levels. Processed by the liver, MCFA’s are more digestible and quickly turned into energy and not fat unlike long-chain fats found in butter. The coconut oil must be ‘virgin’, unrefined. The latter comes from fruit component of coconuts and is obtained without the use of chemicals.

Also, the inside meat of the fruit is full of protein which as seen above burns extra calories and is composed of 90% heart-healthy saturated fats!

B vitamins

What do bananas, eggs, whole grain foods have in common? B vitamins!

B vitamins help your body metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins and uses the stored energy in food. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) helps cells convert carbohydrates into energy.

What to drink?

Cold water

You’ve heard it: ‘drink 1.5L of water to stay hydrated!’. Not only water is essential for hydration but it is also a must to increase your metabolism. It boots it up by 10%-30% for about an hour whenever you drink 0.5 liters of it. Drinking water before a meal fills you up so you end up eating less.

Moreover, drinking it cold makes your body use more energy to heat it up to body temperature
Green tea

Green tea has metabolism-boosting properties. It is known to convert stored-fat into free fatty acids, increasing fat burning by 10%-15%. That is why green tea extract is used in weight-loss pills. Low in calories, you can drink it instead of plain water so you still get enough necessary fluid in your body.
Coffee

Are you a coffee lover?? I am!! Growing up I kept on hearing that drinking too much coffee wasn’t good. Now, studies show how healthy caffeine is?! Two of its benefits are burning fat and increasing our metabolic rate. However, unlike green tea and water, coffee dehydrates. For each cup of coffee I drink, I also drink one glass of water to stay hydrated.

What to do?

Strength training

Resistance training (lifting heavy things) increases our metabolism because muscles burn more calories than fat. So the more muscle mass you get the more energy you preserve and boost up your metabolism. Even at rest, you keep on burning calories. The problem about losing weight without doing strength training is that you lose muscle mass and your metabolism drops.

You gain more muscles by lifting weights or using your own body weight when exercising.

High Intensity workout

A HIIT (high intensity interval training) mixes quick and intense bursts of exercises and lower intensity ones. For example, you can alternate jumping jacks for 45 seconds and a low impact exercise such as walking for 1 minute. Like lifting weights, it is very effective to speed up your metabolic rate and you keep on burning fat after you train.

Sleep

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Our metabolism is a set/chain of chemical reactions as explained earlier. Hormones play a very important role when we talk about health and how we feel! When we don’t sleep enough, we release the ‘ghrelin’ hormone, the hunger hormone that makes us feel hungry. On the other hand, the fullness hormone ‘leptin’ that makes us feel full, is decreased. By keeping these hormones balanced, we make sure we don’t feel hungry and overeat.

We need at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Some people need less.

Lack of sleep also increases our stress.

Reduce stress

When stressed out, it raises our cortisol hormone level. Abnormal cortisol levels provoke eating disorders such as overeating because cortisol is a hormone that regulates our appetite. Disordered eating patterns are unhealthy and affect our metabolism.

Stand up regularly

Sitting for long hours drops our metabolic rate simply because we don’t burn that many calories when inactive. It is even said nowadays to be as bad as smoking. When I worked in an office, I tried to stand up and move as often as possible. I did some simple stretches while sitting too.

Bottom line

There are many ways we can speed up our metabolism. From getting more sleep to lifting weights, eating more protein to drinking green tea, making small healthy lifestyle changes can not only help burn more fat but also will increase our energy thus make us feel better.

You may also like...

12 Comments

  1. OMG Did I need to read this article! Today I was like why am I eating so much and such bad foods? Probably because I am exhausted and my hormones are all funky. I definitely have a hard time eating enough and keeping my metabolism high. Especially now I’m a mommy and am breastfeeding it feels impossible. The only thing I get is coffeeeee! And cinnamon in my oatmeal, I remember reading cinnamon boosts metabolism like spicy food, right? This article motivated me to go to sleep a little earlier with my baby girl and eat some healthy foods. Oh yeah and I need to get active. I hate sitting all the time and forgot how it could have an effect on my metabolism.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Awwwe, so glad it helped!! yes hormones are often responsible. Cinnamon is indeed a metabolism booster and is very healthy in many ways! Great choice! Not eating enough may be the reason why you feel so exhausted.

  2. Ivan Brozincevic says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I drink green tea almost every day. I found it to be a great method to speed up my metabolism, especially now because I sit at the computer all day long. I should try to exercise more as well. Thanks again.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Glad it inspired you to get back to exercising more!! 🙂

  3. Very helpful post for speeding up metabolism naturally. I have used many of these tips in the past and would like to get back to doing a lot of them. I have used coconut oil and spicy food quite a bit in the past as well as drinking cold water. I have felt a bit sluggish lately and this is a great reminder that I need to get back into some healthier habits.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Yes, cooking with coconut oil is a great start to get back at it!!!:)

  4. Anne-Caroline,
    I’m grateful for your insight! I feel like people get discouraged with their slow metabolisms. But your suggestions really make it easy to get back on track. I like how you talked about eating the right things and then to exercise regularly. It makes the most sense to engage in these activities for a happier and healthier person overall. Thanks for your post!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you Bobby;
      It doesn’t take much to feel better! A little step at a time.

  5. That’s a really great article! I’m at an age now (59) where everything slows down naturally and I have to watch what I eat more. Metabolism also slows down as we get older, so we need to eat less, but pay more attention to the quality of our food. I’m eating lots more eggs, bananas and nuts, with extra lean meat and have switched to soya milk too. I must admit that resistance training isn’t in my diary at the moment, but i’ll be adding it soon. I’m also going to swim.

    I’ll bookmark your site as it’s going to prove really useful to me I think. Good luck with WA.

    Dave.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hello Dave! Thank you so much! Swimming is a very good choice. Just add 2 session of resistance training that can only last 10 minutes to begin with, and you are all set!

  6. Great read! Myself and My husband are personal trainers and health and lifestyle coaches so we love to read anything related to our field. All very true that a combination of these tips will work in speeding up your metabolism. It really is finding a balance, which is hard to do these days. but regular exercise and sensible food choices will help and i also find that people really forget about how important sleep is, I’m really happy you talked about the importance of sleep! It really is as simple as finding a routine that combines all of these things and sticking to it. Great information!

    Thank you

    Shelley

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you Shelley! Glad to have the opinion of a personal trainer and lifestyle coach!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *