9 Ways to Trick Your Metabolism into Working Faster
To put it simply, your metabolism is how your body burns calories when it is at rest. It takes all the calories from the food you consume and turns them into fuel so your body can perform all its daily functions. While you can't prevent your metabolism from slowing down due to aging, you can trick your metabolism into increasing its performance in several ways.
9 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Numerous studies and research have shown these nine ways to boost your metabolism actually work. Not all of them are instant fixes but stick with them, and you'll see results. There definitely isn't a miracle pill or drug to make it easy — increasing your metabolism just takes some good old-fashioned hard work and discipline.
1. Put on Some Muscle
One of the best ways you can bump up your metabolism is by putting on some muscle. You don't have to become a powerlifter, but every extra pound of muscle you have instead of fat helps a ton. This is because each pound of muscle you have takes six calories per day to sustain while every pound of fat takes around two calories to maintain. By working out to lose fat and gain muscle, you'll burn three times the amount of calories while resting.
2. Up Your Workout Intensity
Doing high-intensity workouts compared to what you're normally used to is a great way to temporarily boost your metabolism. For example, if you like to walk, try adding in jogging intervals, or if you jog, add in some sprints. This extra effort raises your resting metabolic rate much longer after your workout compared to anything low-intensity.
3. Eat a Lot of Protein
You'll need to fuel your body after all of your intense workouts, and there's no better way to do so than with protein-packed food. Not only does it help build muscle, but it makes you feel fuller, so you eat less. It also takes your body up to 20% more energy to digest protein compared to carbs and 25% more than fat. The best sources of protein you can eat are beans, chicken, eggs, fish, lean beef, nuts, tofu, and turkey.
4. Stay Hydrated with Water
Once your body starts to get dehydrated, your functions begin to slow, including your metabolism. Combat this by drinking water throughout the day and replacing any sugary drinks with water or electrolyte beverages. Not only will you reduce the calories you intake by switching to water, but there are studies that show you could even speed up your metabolism by drinking it.
5. Get Plenty of Rest
Most people don't get the sleep they need due to their busy lives. Missing out on good quality sleep for any extended period of time will start to wreak havoc on the body. When you miss out on sleep, the levels of ghrelin (known as the hunger hormone) in your body rise, while your levels of leptin (the satiety hormone) drop. As a result, you'll feel hungry more often, and it isn't as easily satiated. This lowers your ability to make healthy choices, which lowers your metabolism in the long run.
Once you get the proper amount of sleep for your age, which is usually between seven and nine hours, you'll feel much better, have a normal metabolism, make healthier choices, and allow your body to recover properly from working out.
6. Sip on Coffee or Tea
Both coffee and tea have high levels of caffeine that are beneficial for raising your metabolic rate. These drinks may also help burn body fat during exercise by converting them to free fatty acids. Another benefit is that they are both low in calories, so they are still better to drink than soda or other sugary drinks.
7. Stand Up More
If you have an office job, one of the worst things you can do is stay seated all day long. Your body doesn't burn many calories at all while staying seated. Try breaking up the monotony by taking regular walks around the office, or try out a standing desk if possible. If you can't leave your desk, you could invest in an under-the-desk peddler or even walk in place. Any of these will keep your body moving and your metabolism up.
8. Spice Up Your Food
One quick and easy way to give your metabolism a temporary boost is by adding hot chilies to whatever you're cooking. The chemical compound in hot peppers called capsaicin takes about ten extra calories to burn if you add enough to your meal. The only downside is that you need to be able to handle spicy foods to take advantage of this method.
9. Cut Down on Alcohol
Having a few drinks on the weekend can be fund, but what does it do to your metabolism is another story. When you drink just two alcoholic drinks, your body burns fat at up to a 75% slower rate. This is because instead of using your fat stored for energy, the body uses alcohol for fuel instead.
How Long Does It Take to Speed Up Your Metabolism?
There is no one-size fits all answer to this question. It is all based on age, health, diet, and activity level. While a couple of these tricks are short, temporary boosts, most, like building muscle, can take some time before you see their effects. By combining a healthy diet with high-quality sleep and exercise, you'll be sure to see results over the long term.