Nowadays, it’s very common to hear the word “metabolism". While you might not know what it is, you probably have heard of ways to boost or improve it.
Several supplements promise a miracle cure to boost your metabolism and lose weight. But what if it’s as simple as including high protein foods or choosing green tea over a high sugar drink?
While some good supplements can help boost your metabolism. There are also natural ways to help you burn more calories and get that desired weight loss.
In this article, I will review seven ways that can help increase your metabolism.
What is your metabolism?
A common misconception is to think of your metabolism only as the way to help you lose weight. However, it is more than that.
In fact, as a Registered Dietitian, it is a common practice to hear most people say, “I wish my metabolism were faster.”
Before we dig into how you can help “boost” your metabolism, first, we need to understand the correct concept of metabolism.
Your metabolism is responsible for converting the food you eat into usable energy in your body. It is in charge of providing your brain, muscles, and organs with energy.
A more appropriate term for talking about how slow (or fast) your metabolism is would be “metabolic rate.”
Your metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns. This is the one you want to be higher since a higher metabolic rate means you burn more calories, leading to weight loss.
What factors can affect your metabolism?
Several things can decrease your metabolic rate.
- Age. As you age, your metabolic rate goes lower.
- Calories. Decreasing your calories too much can slow down your metabolic rate.
- Macros. Not having the appropriate macro (proteins, fats, and carbs) distribution can affect your metabolic rate.
- Genetics. Some people have a lower metabolic rate due to their DNA.
- Gender. Men tend to have a higher metabolic rate compared to women.
7 things to help you boost your metabolism
Your body is made up of 60 to 70% of water. That is why it’s crucial to have adequate hydration levels. Drinking enough water can help process your calories better and help keep all the metabolic processes running smoothly.
A study done on eight healthy adults showed that those who consumed water had an increase of 25-30 in their metabolic rate.
So to keep your metabolic rate high, ensure you drink plenty of water. To know how much water you need, follow any of these recommendations:
- Pounds. Divide your weight into pounds by half. This gives you the total ounces of water per day.
- Kilograms. Multiply your weight by 30 to 35 to get the total milliliters you should drink per day.
2. Careful about the calories
To lose weight, you need to have a caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than your body needs). However, decreasing your calories too much can reduce your metabolic rate.
When you reduce your calories too much, your body needs to adapt to survive. This makes your metabolic rate less efficient with fewer calories.
That is why when you want to lose weight, never decrease your calories beyond your basal metabolic rate (BMR) or have a reduction of more than 20% from your maintenance calories.
3. Increase your protein
Protein burns more calories compared to carbs and fats. Your body cannot use proteins, carbs, and fats the way you eat them. It needs to break them down into usable parts in your body.
When it comes to protein, your body has a more challenging time processing them, which means you burn more calories when you consume protein.
Make sure there is a protein source in every meal; hopefully, it is at least half your plate.
4. Avoid Fad Diets
While it might be tempting to lose a lot of weight in just a couple of days, this can create problems in your metabolic rate. As mentioned before, reducing caloric intake can affect your metabolic rate.
Also, when you go into Fad diets, one of the most common weight loss is muscle loss, which can significantly impact your metabolic rate.
Next time, instead of a Fad diet, ensure a balanced diet with all food groups accompanied by exercise.
5. Spice things up
Spicy food can help boost your metabolic rate. A compound in spicy food called capsaicin stimulates your body to produce stress hormones that help speed up your metabolic rate.
So next time, you can sprinkle red chili flakes on your favorite meal or chop up some jalapenos.
6. Drink green tea
Green tea is one of the best ways to increase your metabolic rate. Studies show that it can increase your metabolic rate by 15-20%.
In a study, those who consumed green tea daily lost an average of 3.3 kg compared to the placebo group.
You can include a hot green tea after every meal to aid in digestion and help your digestion.
Another great way to include green tea is matcha, the concentrated version of green tea. Add it to some almond milk to have a nice hot or cold matcha latte.
7. Have a cup of coffee
Coffee is another drink to include to increase your metabolic rate. Studies have shown that drinking coffee can increase your metabolic rate by 3 to 5%.
So, if you are concerned with including your daily cup of coffee every morning, this can benefit you for the day.
Make sure to drink your coffee before 3 pm to avoid any sleep disturbances.
The bottom line
Your metabolic rate is the one that keeps you from burning (or not burning) calories. The higher your metabolic rate, the more likely you are to burn more calories, leading to weight loss.
Factors like age, calories, macros, genetics, and gender can affect your metabolic rates.
To prevent your metabolic rate from slowing down, you can do a couple of things like increasing your protein, drinking water, and avoiding reducing your caloric intake a lot.