Chances are one of the first things that pop into your mind when you hear “metabolism” is weight loss (or weight gain!).
But your metabolism is SO much more than that. It affects every function of your body, down to the beating of your heart.
Before we dive into how to boost your metabolic burn, it helps to know what your metabolism is, what it does, and how it works.
Metabolism is when your body takes all the calories from everything you eat and drink and combines them with oxygen inside your cells. That’s where a series of chemical processes happen. They create the fuel to power everything your body does.
When it comes to revving up your metabolism…
there’s bad news… good news… and some even BETTER news for you.
The bad news…
A good chunk of your metabolism is (mostly) out of your control. It’s your BMR – your basal metabolic rate- how much your body burns by being alive (breathing, digesting, etc.).
The good news…
It doesn’t matter too much if you have a naturally fast or slow BMR… because there a LOT of things you can do to boost your overall burn.
The even BETTER news…
The simple actions you can take daily to boost your metabolism will ALSO improve your overall health and energy.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you want to gain, lose, or maintain your weight, it’s simply a matter of balancing the food (energy) you consume with the energy you spend every day.
You have more control over some variables than others.
But here are two factors you DO CONTROL:
- People who have busy and active jobs and/or lifestyles will burn more calories through NEAT than those who don’t.
- Elite endurance athletes will burn more EAT calories during their workouts than people who don’t exercise for as long or as intensely.
Nine Proven Ways to Rev Up Your Metabolism
Your BIGGEST opportunity to rev up your metabolism during the day is to get moving!
These are your “NEAT” calories – the calories you burn daily.
- Walking to your car
- Doing chores around the house
- Playing with the kids or pets
- Going shopping
PLUS: being more active helps your body release more of an enzyme you need to burn fats and sugars in your bloodstream.
If you are inactive for 60-90 minutes, these enzymes – called lipoprotein lipase – become (essentially) inactive, too. (Yet another reason it’s not good to sit down for too long during the day!)
This can contribute to weight gain, metabolic problems (like diabetes), and a drop in your HDL (the good cholesterol).
Eat More Protein
Protein is a proven metabolism revver-upper.
BONUS: It also keeps you feeling fuller longer than any other food group!
- It causes the largest rise in your TEF (thermic effect of food)
- Protein requires 20% to 30% of its calories to be used for metabolizing it
- Carbs only require 5% to 10% of its calories, and fats, 0% to 3%
- If you are trying to lose weight, eating protein can help prevent muscle loss
Ramp Up Your Workouts
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, like our 30-minute boot camp sessions, can be a 1-2-3 punch for your metabolism.
- You burn calories to fuel the workout.
- You get a slight bump in calorie burning after your workout because of EPOC – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. That happens while your body recovers & repairs from the workout — and it can add another 6% to 15% of the total calorie burn to your workout.
For example: if you burned 300 calories during your workout, you could tack on another 18 to 45 calories during your recovery period.
- New research has found that HIIT boosts the proteins you need for metabolism in your cells. Some of those proteins help build mitochondria, the energy “powerhouses” in your cells that play a huge role in energy metabolism.
Want to learn how to incorporate HIIT into your routine? Apply for a V.I.P. Pass.
Lift Heavier Weights
Resistance training AND progressive overload are the focus of our Small Group Personal Training. When a plan is customized for you, you will find yourself building new muscle — plus, it helps you keep the muscle you already have if you’re trying to lose weight.
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, burning more calories even at rest.
- For every pound of muscle (.45 kg), your body will burn about 6-10 calories daily at rest.
- You’ll burn about 2-3 calories daily at rest for every pound of fat.
Don’t Crash Diet
Going on a crash diet (eating less than 1,200 calories a day for women or 1,800 calories for men) will backfire on you.
Not only are you depriving your body of the nutrients it needs to function at its best, but you’re also setting yourself up for a slower metabolism in the future.
Even though you might lose weight on a crash diet (at least temporarily), a good chunk of that weight will be muscle.
That means your body will burn fewer calories and end up with a LOWER metabolism than you had before your diet.
Studies have found that drinking 500 ml (a little over 2 cups) of cold water can boost your fat metabolism by about 30% for a short time – an effect that appears to begin about 10 minutes after drinking the water and reaches its peak about 30-40 minutes later.
Pretty cool, right?!
Beyond the metabolism boost, staying hydrated can help keep your hunger and cravings at bay… and it also helps your body function better.
Get your Zzzzz’s
When you don’t get enough sleep, it can create a triple-whammy effect in your body.
- It can disrupt your appetite hormones (ghrelin & leptin), making you hungrier.
- It can affect how you process sugar, potentially causing you to store more fat.
- It can lower the number of calories you burn.
Ensure your bedroom is cool, quiet, and cozy — and that you set aside enough time (for most people, 7-9 hours) for a solid night of sleep.
Drink coffee or green & oolong tea.
Caffeine can help boost your workouts and metabolism and may even help you burn more fat. It also can help boost your workout performance.
PLUS, some studies show that green and oolong tea has compounds that help convert fat stored in your body into free fatty acids, which may boost fat burning during exercise.
Don’t overdo the caffeine!
It can make you feel jittery and anxious and interfere with your sleep. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a moderate amount of coffee is 3-4 cups a day, or on average, 400 mg of caffeine.
Eat Spicy Foods
This only gives you a tiny bump in your metabolism, but it’s worth noting.
Spicy foods — like chili peppers — contain natural chemicals, including capsaicin, that can temporarily rev up your metabolism for a short while after you eat.