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10 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism to Burn Calories and Lose Weight

Updated on March 2, 2018

What is Metabolism?

Many in the quest for weight loss and better health know of the term metabolism, but just what does it mean?

Metabolism is simply the chemical reactions that maintain living cells and the body.

Metabolism is intertwined with nutrition and the source of available nutrients.

There are two different types of metabolism:

  • Anabolism - synthesis of compounds required by cells
  • Catabolism - breakdown of molecules for energy

According to a report by Dr Ananya Mandal, MD, "Bioenergetics is a term which describes the biochemical or metabolic pathways by which the cell ultimately obtains energy. Energy formation is one of the vital components of metabolism."

Metabolism: The Engine in Your Vehicle

Boost Your Metabolism

With small changes to your lifestyle and diet you can boost your metabolism naturally and lose weight.

Here are just 10 ways to fire up your metabolism and to burn fat and lose weight forever.


1. Build Muscle

The RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate as described in the video above) is much higher in people with a greater muscle mass than those without.

For every pound of muscle you have your body burns 6 calories daily just to sustain that pound of muscle; whereas fat burns only 2 calories per pound daily.

Those numbers add up fast!

We're talking 28 calories per week more PER POUND of muscle each week you burn more than the fat pounds. How many pounds of muscle are you carrying? It will add up.


2. Don't Skip Meals!

Eating under 1,000 calories a day or skipping meals will tell your body that it is being starved and your metabolism will slow down as it goes into starvation mode.

Once you enter this phase your body will store any extra fat it can get to prepare for the long fasts between those far apart meals.


Step It Up: Zumba Style!

Zumba Class
Zumba Class | Source

3. Step It Up!!

Those Insanity and Turbo Fire infomercials speak truth; high intensity training will bring about bigger and longer increases in resting metabolic rate than a low to moderate intensity gym session.

If you're looking to kick up the burn and have a higher metabolic rate for hours after your workout, go with aerobic exercises such as kickboxing and high intensity interval training (HiiT) that you find in programs such as Chalene Johnson's Turbo Fire or Turbo Jam.

Running ladies on the beach.
Running ladies on the beach. | Source

If you aren't looking to invest money in a workout program or a gym membership, then get out on the pavement with your running shoes and do short sprinting jogs which will rev your metabolism up so much more than a relaxing walk.

Want to add some fun to your life without the grueling workouts? Perhaps going dancing with your friends and breaking a sweat is the way to go for you!

Drinking water . National Race for the Cure . The Race/Walk . Constitution Avenue . NW WDC . Satturday, 1996
Drinking water . National Race for the Cure . The Race/Walk . Constitution Avenue . NW WDC . Satturday, 1996 | Source

4. Drink Plenty of Water

Adults who have reported drinking eight or more glasses of water daily burned more calories in a day than the adults who reported drinking only four glasses.

Hydration is a huge reason our metabolism slows down which is why the body requires water to do its job in processing calories.

To make sure you stay hydrated and don't fall victim to this calorie trap, drink a glass of water prior to every meal and/or snack. You will eat less and burn more calories because your body will have to work harder to warm the liquid, which burns calories.

Try eating foods high in water content to add to your drinking regime.

Healthy Red Tomatoes with Water Drops Beautiful macro picture of 6 red tomatoes which landed in my tasty salad with other fresh vegetables from the greenhouse garden. This kind of salad is healthy for the long winter as it is for the juicy summer.
Healthy Red Tomatoes with Water Drops Beautiful macro picture of 6 red tomatoes which landed in my tasty salad with other fresh vegetables from the greenhouse garden. This kind of salad is healthy for the long winter as it is for the juicy summer. | Source
Green Cabbage Ready For Harvest
Green Cabbage Ready For Harvest | Source

Fresh fruits high in water content are:

  • Cantaloupe - 90%+ water content
  • Watermelon - 90%+ water content
  • Honeydew - 90%+ water content
  • Orange - 85%+ water content
  • Peach - 85%+ water content
  • Pineapple - 85%+ water content
  • Raspberry - 85%+ water content
  • Plum - 85%+ water content
  • Apricot - 85%+ water content
  • Blueberry - 85%+ water content

Melons are preferred choices for snacking because they contain much less sugar than other fresh fruit.

Fresh vegetables high in water content are:

  • Cucumber - 90%+ water content
  • Celery - 90%+ water content
  • Iceberg Lettuce - 90%+ water content
  • Zucchini - 90%+ water content
  • Tomato - 90%+ water content

Other veggies high in water content.

  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Green Cabbage
  • Spinach

Avoid chips and cookies and snack on fruits and veggies that are filled with water to give yourself bonus hydration through the day.

Farfalle Italian Pasta
Farfalle Italian Pasta | Source

5. No no no: Refined Grains

Pasta, cookies, cakes and breads are the leading reason people have high levels of the hormone insulin; this is bad news for anyone trying to lose weight.

These refined grains cause an increase in insulin which is secreted from the pancreas for the uptake of glucose from the blood stream to cells.

If this balance is broken and your body is producing too much sugar then your metabolism crashes and you gain weight.

People who overindulge in these refined grains are also at higher risk for diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes. For those already battling this disease, read more here on how to handle your daily dieting: Diabetes Diet: What to Eat When You Have Type 2 Diabetes - Dietary Restrictions for the Diabetic Diet.

Healthy Breakfast
Healthy Breakfast | Source

6. Eat Breakfast

Sources show that those who eat breakfast tend to be leaner than those who skip breakfast. In fact, there are many obese individuals who report they skip breakfast and as a result binge late nights.

By not eating a healthy, balanced breakfast your body goes into the starvation mode yet again! Your metabolism slows and begins hoarding anything you eat through the day because it is convinced it is starving to death.

Going 8 hours or more without food by having dinner, sleeping all night and then skipping breakfast and not eating until many hours later is starving yourself.

Example Scenario: If you sleep 7-8 hours on average and then wake to not have lunch for another 4 hours, you skip 12 hours of food. Your metabolism will thank you for that abuse by rebelling against you.


7. Eat More Often: Small Meals

Keep your blood sugar levels stable and keep your energy churning throughout the day by having meals more frequently.

Eating more frequently is not a ticket to gorge all day by having a bacon cheeseburger, corn chips and every piece of Devil's food cake that comes your way, no.

Have 5 small meals instead of 3 large meals to keep your metabolism running strong all day long.

Salmon Fillet with Lemon
Salmon Fillet with Lemon | Source
Tuna | Source

8. Eat Fish

Load up on those hunger busting omega-3 fatty acids by filling your belly with fatty fish like tuna, salmon, and even sardines.

The National Institutes of Health have reported that the healthy fats found in these fish help with a faster response by your brain by signals from your body stating you are full.

According to Women's Health Magazine: "A 3.5 ounce serving of salmon nets you 90 percent of your recommended daily value of Vitamin D, which will help preserve your precious calorie-craving, metabolism-stoking muscle tissue."

Metabolism Fueling Foods: Top Metabolism Boosting Foods!

Green tea  緑茶
Green tea 緑茶 | Source

9. Green Tea

There was a 12 week study held that stated,according to Women's Health Magazine, that "people who consumed the equivalent of three to five cups" of green tea daily "decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent."

Tammy Lakatos Shames, author of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever says that green tea is the closest thing to a metabolism potion as you can get.

The miracle potion contains a known fat burning plant compound called ECGC.

There are also many other studies of the results that green tea can have on the body. One such study stated consuming 2 to 4 cups of green tea daily can burn off an extra 50 calories, which means around 5 pounds of body fat per year.

To get the maximum benefit of this miracle brew, allow tea to steep for 2 to 3 minutes and drink while still hot.


10. Spice Up Your Life!

Take a cue from those funky girls from the 90's: The Spice Girls and Spice Up Your Life!

Eating spicy foods can jump start your metabolism into overdrive. By simply eating a tablespoon of chopped chili peppers can give your metabolic rate a much needed boost.

While effects are not sustained, if you eat spicy foods often you will reap benefits over time.

Read Health Benefits of Peppers: Sweet Pepper, Black Pepper and Chili Pepper Benefits to see just how peppers can affect your health - including your metabolism.

Don't forget to add a touch of metabolism boosting garnish to your meats, salads and soups by sprinkling crushed red pepper flakes.

Korean spicy foods.
Korean spicy foods. | Source

You Are In Control

"You have a huge amount of control over your metabolic rate. You can't affect how many calories it takes to keep your heart beating, but you can burn an extra 500 to 600 calories a day by exercising properly and eating right." says John Berardi, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., author of The Metabolism Advantage.

Pairing that with a few changes to your life that helps boost your metabolism and you can't fail.


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    • Health Card profile image

      Evie Dawson 

      5 years ago

      I had a great reading time,..... The best way to speed up metabolism is with a cuppa for green tea daily- there's evidence that it contains antioxidants that speed up metabolism.


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