Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
How to Increase Metabolism
You're probably familiar with the concept of boosting your metabolism. You already know that a high metabolism is helpful for weight management, while a low metabolism is associated with difficulty in controlling your weight. Just what is your metabolism, though? How do you go about increasing it?
Technically, the term "metabolism" refers to specific chemical reactions that occur in your body. These reactions keep your cells alive and working properly. In general speech, though, metabolism is used interchangeably with another term: metabolic rate.
Simply put, your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns energy. When people talk about having a high metabolism in the context of weight control, they're referring to having a high metabolic rate. If your metabolism is high, you burn off energy more rapidly. Burning energy faster means that your body stores fewer calories as fat.
As well as helping with weight control, having a high metabolism can also have other benefits. It can reduce fatigue and improve your general sense of well-being.
Foods That Increase Metabolism
You can boost your metabolism by eating the proper diet. It's always a good idea to avoid processed foods, especially those high in additives, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fats.
Eating food generally raises your metabolism for a while. Your metabolism kicks into gear when you eat, burning calories more rapidly for some time afterward. Some foods are more effective than others when it comes to giving you that temporary metabolic boost. Fats are the least effective at raising your metabolic rate, driving it up by less than three percent (and sometimes not giving you a boost at all). Carbohydrates give you more of a boost, raising your metabolism by five to ten percent. The best metabolic booster is protein, however. When you eat protein, your metabolism can go up by anything from 15 to 30 percent. Protein can also make you feel more satiated.
If you love spicy food, there's good news. Hot peppers and some other spices can help speed up your metabolism, making it easier to burn calories. Spicy food can also boost your endorphins, producing a sense of well-being.
Switch your regular sodas for green tea or oolong tea. Both of these have a positive effect on your metabolism. If you're a coffee-lover, you're already on the right track -- coffee is a metabolism booster. Just make sure you choose drinks that don't contain additional calories from sugar or fat.
Another surprising metabolism booster is cold water. When you drink your water cold, your metabolism speeds up in order to raise the temperature of the fluid. Water is also hydrating, which is important for keeping your body in good shape generally.
Supplements That Increase Metabolism
There are some food supplements you could try that may help raise your metabolic rate. Green tea extract is a strong candidate, with plenty of evidence to support its use as a metabolism booster. Green coffee extract may also be helpful.
Some minerals are known to support a higher metabolism. Many people's diets are deficient in zinc, so a zinc supplement might be helpful. Zinc is reasonably plentiful in certain foods, like dark poultry meat and beef. If your diet is light on these, you might want to try zinc. Chromium, a micronutrient found in shellfish, is also vital for a healthy metabolism.
Another supplement that's shown promise in studies is the fruit of the Dichrostachys Glomerata plant. This is a species native to West Africa, where it's used as a spice. As well as being a good source of antioxidants, Dichrostachys glomerata is also used as a metabolism booster.
Body Kitchen's Trimglo is a high-quality metabolism-boosting supplement blend. It contains several ingredients including a patented and clinically-studied spice from West Africa that acts as a fat-burning polyphenol complex. As well as harnessing this West African superfruit, Trimglo also contains chromium and green tea extract. It's stimulant-free and a great addition to your weight control program without adding any pressure to the cardiovascular system.
Exercises That Increase Metabolism
Any exercise can increase your metabolism. To raise your metabolic rate, even more, you can add some bursts of higher activity to your routine. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) increases your metabolism and encourages your body to burn fat. The metabolic boost persists long after your workout is complete.
Weight training is another way to speed up your metabolism. As well as raising your metabolic rate in the short term, lifting weights can also increase your muscle mass. This type of training is one of the best ways to make a long-term change to your metabolic rate. It's perhaps the best metabolism booster for weight loss, especially if you want to maintain your healthy weight in the long term.
To be most effective, you need to exercise regularly. Try for at least a 30-minute session every day, and build-up momentum from there.