9 Ways to Give Your Metabolism a Boost

How to speed up your metabolism by changing your lifestyle and habits.


Wellness, Health

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Everyone has had those lazy days where they just don’t want to get out of bed. When someone gives into those urges and spends the day propped up against the pillows, watching Netflix, reading the latest sci-fi novel, and catching up on sleep, how much would they need to eat to power the body for a day of rest and relaxation? Although that number varies from person to person, Healthline shares that the average woman burns about 1,300 calories a day at rest, whereas the average man burns around 1,800 calories a day at rest. 


However, there are a lot of factors that go into determining how many calories someone burns at rest or while exercising. Is there a way to speed up one’s metabolism and use calories more efficiently? 


What is metabolism?

Metabolism includes the body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the minimum amount of calories that power the body systems necessary for survival. It also includes additional calories burned during food digestion and the calories that the body uses to fuel muscles during movement and exercise, according to mindbodygreen.  Functional physician Casey Kelley told mindbodygreen, “Metabolism is the process by which your body turns what you eat into energy.” 

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Food, converted to fuel, is what the body uses to do literally everything from making muscles move to circulating blood, to keeping the digestive system on track, and even synthesizing DNA. That’s why having a healthy metabolism is very important, since metabolism regulates all cellular and body activity. 

In addition to regulating how much food one needs to consume (and when they’ve consumed too much), metabolism also plays a role in cholesterol and blood sugar regulation. That’s why having a healthy metabolism can improve one’s general health and boost longevity. One study, however, found that more than 85 percent of Americans don’t have healthy metabolisms. 


Although metabolism is partly genetically determined, there is a huge lifestyle piece that factors into how healthy one’s metabolism is. And, by changing lifestyles and behaviors, it’s possible to improve metabolic health and metabolic rate. These nine healthy habits can help anyone improve their metabolism. 


Eat proteins

According to Healthline, one of the factors that determines how many calories someone burns, along with BMR and exercising, is what foods one eats. That’s because the body uses calories to power the systems that digest and process that food. TEF, the thermic effect of food, refers to the additional energy demands that digesting food makes on the body. The TEF is higher for proteins. That means that it requires more energy for the body to absorb protein than other nutrients, like carbohydrates and fats. The body uses 20-30 percent of the energy in protein-rich foods just to digest the protein itself, making it a great choice metabolically. Eating proteins can also help with muscle retention and can induce the feeling of fullness.


Eat three meals a day

Medical News Today reports that it’s not just what’s eaten, but when it’s eaten that makes a difference metabolically. Research shows that eating meals at the same two or three times a day improves circadian rhythm and gut health, and that regular meals might also help with BMR and how much energy the body uses at rest.


Get enough water

According to mindbodygreen, the body cells use not just calories but also water to carry out their metabolic processes. That makes hydration key to a healthy metabolism. Additionally, one study found that drinking water may be able to boost one’s metabolic rate by 30% for up to an hour. 


Drink tea

According to Healthline, green or oolong tea is another healthy hydration option for those looking to boost metabolic health. These teas help the body burn fat and are low in calories, and may be useful in improving metabolism.


Drink coffee

Coffee-holics will be happy to learn that coffee may also be a metabolism booster according to a study. Drinking coffee is also associated with weight loss and fat burning, especially for those who tend towards a sedentary lifestyle.


Cultivate healthy sleep habits

Insufficient sleep can cause hormonal levels to fluctuate, affecting the metabolism. According to a 2016 sleep study, participants who slept only four hours a night saw their metabolic rates drop. Luckily, the study showed that all it took was one good night of sleep to restore participants’ metabolisms to baseline. The optimal amount of sleep that one should get is somewhere between seven to eight hours.


Take a supplement

Sometimes the body just needs the right tools to function properly. Adding certain supplements that are shown to support metabolic health may be able to boost metabolic function.


Veld grape, for example, is an Indian plant that may be able to improve cardiovascular and metabolic health and help the body maintain weight and hormone levels. Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, is metabolized efficiently by the body and can also create feelings of fullness (eating chili peppers brings the same metabolic benefits, but to avoid the burn, try them in supplement form).

Grains of Paradise, an African grain, is another supplement shown to boost energy levels and fight fat.


Exercise regularly

The most ideal type of exercise for metabolic health, Medical News Today suggests, is strength training. Strength training can build muscle mass, one of the factors that contributes to a lower BMR. Another type of exercise that may boost metabolism is high intensity interval training.


Reduce stress

Fluctuating hormone levels are linked to metabolic health, Cortisol is one of the hormones that can detrimentally affect the way the body metabolizes food. Cortisol is the hormone released when someone is experiencing stress and having too much of it can cause disordered eating. Stress can also disrupt sleep. Disrupted eating and sleeping patterns can lead to poor metabolic health.


Developing a healthier metabolism is a great way to support overall health and wellbeing. A holistic approach that incorporates sleeping, eating, movement, and lifestyle changes is the best way to keep the body’s metabolism running smoothly. Since metabolism affects all cellular activity in the body, working toward a healthy metabolism will boost the body’s overall health.


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