Metabolism is the term for all the chemical reactions in your body; these chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning. However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with metabolic rate, or the amount of calories you burn. The higher it is, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off.
Here are several easy ways to increase your metabolism and keep it heightened:
1. Eat Plenty of Protein at Every Meal
Eating food can increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal. Protein causes the largest rise in TEF. It increases your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbs and 0–3% for fats.
Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating. One small study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.
Eating more protein can also reduce the drop in metabolism often associated with losing fat. This is because it helps prevent you from losing muscle, a common side effect of dieting.
2. Drink More Cold Water
People who drink water instead of sugary drinks are more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.
This is because sugary drinks contain calories, so replacing them with water automatically reduces your calorie intake.
However, drinking water may also speed up your metabolism temporarily. Studies have shown that drinking 17 oz of water increases resting metabolism by 10–30% for about an hour. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature, but there are fewer studies to back this claim.
Water can also help fill you up. Studies show that drinking water a half an hour before you eat can help you eat less. One study of overweight adults found that those who drank half a liter of water before their meals lost 44% more weight than those who didn’t.
3. Do a High-Intensity Workout
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves quick and very intense bursts of activity. It can help you burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate, even after your workout has finished. This type of workout causes an after-burn or excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) that continues the following several hours.
4. Lift Heavy Things
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, and increasing lean muscle mass can help increase your metabolism. This means you will burn more calories each day, even at rest. Lifting weights will also help you retain muscle and combat the drop in metabolism that can occur during weight loss.
In one study, 48 overweight women were placed on a diet of 800 calories per day, along with either no exercise, aerobic exercise or resistance training. After the diet, the women who did the resistance training maintained their muscle mass, metabolism and strength. The others lost weight, but also lost muscle mass and experienced a decrease in metabolism.
5. Stand up More
Sitting too much is bad for your health. Sedentary lifestyles are becoming all-too-common in America, and this lack of regular physical activity paired with unhealthy eating will cause a significant weight increase. In fact, compared with sitting, an afternoon of standing up at work can burn an extra 174 calories depending on your size.
If you have a desk job, try standing up for short periods to break up the length of time you spend sitting down. You can also invest in a standing, or request your work provide one.
6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Lack of sleep is linked to a major increase in the risk of obesity. This may partly be caused by the negative effects of sleep deprivation on metabolism. Lack of sleep has also been linked with increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which are both linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This could explain why many people who are sleep deprived feel hungry and struggle to lose weight.
7. Drink Coffee
Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3–11%. Like green tea, it also promotes fat burning. However, this seems to affect lean people more. In one study, coffee increased fat burning by 29% for lean women, but only 10% for obese women. Coffee’s effects on metabolism and fat burning may also contribute to successful weight loss and maintenance.
Source: MJ Fitnatic