If you are having trouble losing weight despite trying everything, then you might want to look at your metabolism. Metabolism is your body’s way of turning food into energy, and a slow metabolism means that you burn fewer calories at a much slower pace. If your body doesn’t burn calories as energy, it will start storing the excess calories as fat.
Moreover, if you feel constant fatigue even after you get some decent sleep, your metabolism may be to blame. Other symptoms can include weight gain, headaches, constipation, and more. A slow metabolism can lead to conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and even cardiovascular disease.
Now, there are plenty of factors affecting your metabolic rate. These include age, gender, hormone function, physical activity, genetics, and muscle mass, muscle growth. Men generally have a faster metabolism, with an average basal metabolic rate of 7100 kJ a day. On the hand, women only have a basal metabolic rate of 5900 kJ a day.
Most of these factors are out of your control. However, there are still many things you can do to boost your metabolism. This article will tell you all about how you can increase your metabolism. But, let’s look into why you want to boost your metabolism.
Advantages of a Fast Metabolism
The more prominent benefits of a fast metabolism include your ability to lose weight and keep it that way. It’s harder for people with a fast metabolic rate to gain weight, so they can afford to eat more than other people.
However, weight maintenance isn’t the only advantage of having a faster metabolism. Other advantages include things like:
A faster metabolism means that your body is burning calories at a much faster pace, and you digest your food more quickly. Thus, more energy is available to you. This is helpful because you have more energy to do your daily tasks.
If you have a fast metabolism, you are less likely to feel fatigued. However, that doesn’t mean you can stop eating. You have to listen to your body and refuel whenever you feel like your body is slowing down.
A faster metabolism can also help your body’s circulatory system. People with high metabolic rates tend to have better blood circulation. Better circulation means that your body is getting ample oxygen. It also means that your blood is continuously taking out the toxins and getting them where they can be disposed of.
Less Weight Gain
The biggest benefit of a fast metabolism is minimal weight gain. Your body breaks down the food quickly and does not store it as fat. That also means it gets rid of the waste material associated with digestion as fast as it can. Thus, people with faster metabolism are better at holding their liquor.
Ways to Increase Your Metabolism
Even though you don’t have any control over your genetics, you do have some control over other aspects of your life. You can use these aspects to boost metabolism and promote weight loss.
When you exercise, you activate your muscles. These muscles tend to require a lot of energy, for which they burn calories. So, the more vigorous your exercise routine, the more energy you use. Thus, you are likely to burn calories and lose weight.
Anaerobic exercises are a great way to work out as many muscles as possible. Additionally, these exercises will increase your resting metabolic rate. That means that you’ll be burning calories even when you’re not exercising.
However, research suggests that light exercise doesn’t do much for your metabolism. In fact, you probably won’t feel much difference after walking for a little while. On the other hand, if you engage in high-intensity workouts, you are more likely to gain long-term benefits.
That’s because high-intensity training triggers your muscles to use up their oxygen supply. After that, they start to burn fat for energy. When you stop, the body tries to make up for the oxygen deficit and keeps burning calories. Thus, the number of calories you burn depends on how much physical activity you partake in.
We recommend building an exercise routine that combines something light like walking with more high-intensity exercises, i.e., interval training. Of course, the increase in resting metabolic rate fades over time. If you have a ninety-minute intense aerobic session, you are likely to burn more energy for twelve hours after that period.
The more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. That’s why you need to engage in resistance training. This training will help you build muscle, and lean muscle increases your resting metabolic rate.
Muscle burns more energy than fat cells. Thus, if you have more muscle cells, you will burn more energy even when you are resting. That means your body is less likely to store the calories as fat.
As you get older, you are more likely to lose muscle. Strength training, such as lifting weights, can help you slow that process. Since lifting is also a high-intensity workout, you will burn calories during and after the session.
Furthermore, losing muscle mass can result in metabolic syndrome. The syndrome comes with conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and more. Thus, if you work to build muscle, you can prevent yourself from developing metabolic syndrome.
To conclude, resistance training can help you lose weight, reduce your waist circumference, increase your resting metabolic rate, increase lean muscle, and more. This training will also help your body get stronger, so you will burn more calories while doing other tasks too.
Eat Regular Meals
It is no secret that if you don’t know when you’re getting your next meal, you’ll try to ration your food so that it lasts you longer. Your body works in the same way. If you eat a lot at one time but then don’t eat for a long while, your body will burn the food slower. As such, your metabolism slows down.
Ideally, you should plan out your meals so that you get small meals every few hours. As a result, your body won’t feel like storing the resources if it’s not worried about not getting them. Thus, it will digest food faster.
Additionally, we need to consider the thermic effect. This effect refers to the heat produced while digesting the food we eat. So, you burn calories to digest the food you eat. Your metabolic rate starts rising when you start eating. Moreover, it remains boosted for two to three hours after you eat.
The degree to which you boost your metabolism depends on what you are eating. Your body needs to burn more calories for some foods than others. So if you want to lose weight, you need to eat metabolism-boosting foods. Remember, a healthy diet with exercise can support weight management.
Opt for Healthier Snacks
A pack of Doritos may seem like the best snack choice, but it’s not. There’s no need to stick to a rigid three-meal-a-day routine. Instead, you can snack in between your meals. All you have to do is make sure that those snacks are healthy.
We recommend carrying nuts, granola bars, protein bars, or fruits. This way, you are less likely to turn toward the more tempting options. Snacking is also a great way to keep up your energy levels during the day while you’re working.
Eat More Protein
If you are trying to consume metabolism-boosting food, then you need to increase your protein intake. As you build your muscles in the gym, you need to eat something that sustains them. Protein, specifically lean protein, is an excellent choice for that purpose.
Other than building muscle, eating protein can help you burn plenty of calories. Your body generates the most heat when it’s trying to digest proteins. A protein-inclusive daily diet will help you build more muscle, and it will also help you burn fat by inducing high levels of thermic effect.
Another advantage of eating protein-rich food is that you’re less likely to get food cravings. A diet high in protein will make you feel fuller for longer periods. Thus, a balanced diet will help you lose weight even as you take in fewer calories.
Popular protein choices are eggs, chicken breast, steak, and ground turkey. However, if you are a vegan, you can choose non-meat alternatives like beans and tofu. You can also use protein shakes.
Drink More Green Tea
Green tea can also help boost metabolism and help you lose weight. That’s because it has caffeine and loads of antioxidants. These two compounds work together and boost the effect of fat-burning hormones like noradrenaline.
These hormones induce the breakdown of fat tissue, which can boost your metabolism. Green tea even helps you burn more fat during exercise. That’s because it promotes body fat oxidation.
Green tea also helps you burn abdominal fat. Your abdomen mostly contains visceral fat, which is responsible for insulin resistance. Thus, it protects you from diseases like diabetes and heart problems.
Add More Spices to Your Food
Spicy foods may be difficult for you to consume, but they can help you with weight loss. Research suggests that spicy food can help boost your metabolism. That’s because hot peppers tend to have capsaicin.
Capsaicin speeds up your metabolism by speeding up your fat-burning mechanisms. Thus, you burn more fat and use that energy. Additionally, it can also help you suppress your appetite. Spicy foods make you feel fuller, so you will be eating less throughout the day.
In addition to weight loss, spicy foods also help with gut health. They help maintain a healthy gut microbiome. They also help reduce inflammation in the gut, which can help with obesity.
If you don’t love spicy food, we recommend starting easy. Starting with ghost pepper and expecting to lose weight in a few days won’t get you anywhere.
Furthermore, you should be careful only to consume natural spices added to healthy meals instead of adding hot sauces to your fast food. You should work on building a spice tolerance and then go from there.
Up Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine can help your body use more of its fatty energy reserves. The more your caffeine intake, the more your body will release noradrenaline. This hormone promotes fat breakdown, which can boost your metabolic rate.
However, you can become tolerant of caffeine. Thus, we recommend drinking coffee with breaks. This will keep your body from building a tolerance toward it and allow you to reap the benefits for a longer time.
Cut Down Your Sugar and Processed Food Intake
You can do hours of exercise, but you can’t escape the disadvantages of a terrible diet. You will keep gaining weight unless you cut down on your sugar and processed food. Most processed food is high in carbs and fat, which can lead to weight gain, and such foods are also high in sugar content.
Additionally, processed food is easy for the body to break down. Thus, you will run out of energy earlier, and low blood sugar will promote food cravings. The cravings will lead you to eat more calories.
You should also keep in mind that consuming high amounts of energy drinks for caffeine can harm you due to their high sugar content. Energy drinks are full of sugar which can negate any weight loss that caffeine might promote. Additionally, you should take your coffee without sugar.
One technique to avoid consuming sugary drinks is by opting for water every time you’re thirsty. This will help you avoid weight gain. Additionally, you can drink a glass of water in the morning before you eat or drink anything else.
A morning glass of water can kickstart your metabolism. That’s because your metabolic rate is the slowest when you sleep. Additionally, you don’t drink anything in the middle of the night. So a cup of water in the morning will allow your body to restore its hydration levels and boost your metabolism.
Water can also act as an appetite suppressant. If you drink water before you start your meal, you are more likely to consume less food. This reduced calorie intake is great for weight loss. This strategy is most effective early morning.
Research has shown that drinking half a liter of water can help burn fat, and the effects will last an hour. If you want better results, you can opt for cold water. That’s because your body will first heat the water so that it matches your temperature, and heating the water uses up more energy.
Use Whole Grains Instead of Flour
Whole grains are harder to digest; thus, your body uses up more calories. This strategy can help you reduce calorie intake while digesting the food. Additionally, whole grains tend to be only a little processed. So they are richer in terms of nutrition as compared to flour or milled grains.
Whole grains are also rich in fiber and will promote better digestion, thus improving your gut health as well. We recommend starting your breakfast with whole grains like oatmeal or barley. Furthermore, you can substitute white rice with brown rice and white bread with grain bread.
Don’t Do Crash Diets
Crash dieting refers to significantly lowering your calorie intake. Most people adopt this method for a more rapid weight loss. However, this method can backfire as it slows down your metabolism. The slow metabolism will then lead you into a vicious circle of rapid weight loss and quick weight gain.
As soon as you stop dieting, you will start regaining the weight you lost, perhaps even faster. That will force you to diet again, and thus, the circle will continue. In the long run, crash dieting can do more harm than good.
It can slow your metabolism, reduce the thermic effect, and cause you to get more food cravings. Since your metabolism is slow, your body will take more time to break down all the calories, which means you will absorb more of them. Moreover, you will burn fewer calories when you’re not exercising.
During intermittent fasting, you alternate between periods of eating food and abstaining from food. This method can help you boost your metabolism and accelerate the weight loss process. Intermittent fasting also encourages the release of fat-regulating hormones.
Insulin is the most prominent fat-regulating hormone in your body. It regulates how much fat your body is storing and how much it is utilizing for energy purposes. Generally, when it is released, the body takes it as a signal to start storing the fat.
As such, higher levels of insulin can make it harder to lose weight. That’s why it is important to build insulin sensitivity. Intermittent fasting can reduce your insulin levels as the body has to use stored energy to run everything. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can reduce insulin levels by as much as 30%.
However, continuous calorie restriction can also seriously mess up your metabolic rate. One way to avoid that is to adopt intermittent fasting instead. Studies have shown that short-term intermittent fasting may even increase your metabolic rate instead of decreasing it. This effect is more prominent in men compared to women.
Try to Cut Down the Stress
All the stressors of life can directly contribute to your weight. Most of the time, the first thing that you do when you’re stressed is to eat more. Moreover, the food we turn to is junk food or food high in sugar content.
When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol. Usually, cortisol prepares your body for emergency response or the fight-or-flight response. It goes down when the stressful stimuli are gone.
Cortisol can become harmful over long periods because it stimulates your appetite. Thus, you eat more. However, stress also affects your ability to metabolize the increased amount of food. The worst part is that all the fat you gain from overeating will be deposited as belly fat.
We recommend adopting strategies to help manage your stress levels. This can include meditation, music therapy, exercising, getting a new hobby, and more. Stress doesn’t just slow your metabolism, but it also puts you at risk for other diseases like high blood pressure.
Maintain Healthy Sleeping Habits
You’re more likely to gain weight if you can’t get a proper night’s sleep. That’s because lack of sleep promotes hormonal imbalance. If you stay awake for a long time, your body will release Ghrelin. This hormone is responsible for making you hungry. Thus, the longer you stay up, the more food you’ll consume.
Leptin is one of your body’s appetite-regulating hormones. Generally, this hormone is released by fat cells, and it suppresses your appetite. However, If you don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t release any Leptin.
In short, the more you stay up, the more likely you are to snack. Lack of sleep also affects your impulse control. Thus, you will be snacking on food that’s bad for your metabolism.
Additionally, sleep deprivation can lead to insulin resistance which leads to weight gain. If you stay awake for prolonged periods, your body may release cortisol. Cortisol can signal the body to preserve energy which means you’ll not be metabolizing fat.
Normal adults need to sleep for at least eight hours. We recommend sticking to a sleeping schedule that gets you this much sleep. If you are having trouble getting to sleep, you should try skipping caffeine.
FAQs About Increasing Metabolism
What is metabolism?
Metabolism is the phenomenon through which your body breakdown down your food and converts it into energy. It also refers to the elimination of harmful waste in your body and the formation of molecules like amino acids to build muscles and other body structures.
What does fast and slow metabolism mean?
A fast metabolism refers to the body’s ability to break everything down quickly and utilize it. People with fast metabolism usually don’t store much energy as fat. Thus, they need to keep consuming food to fulfill their energy requirements.
On the other hand, slow metabolism is just the opposite. Folks with slow metabolism have trouble losing weight. In fact, some people gain weight even if they don’t eat too much. That’s because everything is broken down so slowly that they absorb more calories.
Does a slow metabolism put me at risk for things other than weight gain?
A slow metabolism can cause you to have lower energy levels. Since your body is taking so long to break down the food, you have lesser energy available to you. The lower energy levels can cause you to feel fatigued.
Other than that, the weight associated with a slow metabolism can put you at risk for other diseases associated with obesity. Obese individuals are more likely to have heart issues, hypertension, insulin resistance, diabetes, and other such diseases.
What are the symptoms of a slow metabolism?
A slow metabolism usually manifests itself in the form of various symptoms. The most obvious of these symptoms is weight gain and the inability to lose that extra weight. However, you may also experience other symptoms like fatigue, weakness, dry skin, brittle hair, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
What can cause a slow metabolism?
Multiple factors can affect your metabolic rate. You can control some of these factors while others cannot be changed. Some of the factors you can’t control include age, genetics, and gender. Males tend to have a high metabolic rate than women. Furthermore, as you get older, your metabolic rate slows down.
However, there are also other factors that you can control. These factors include lack of proper sleep, terrible diet, dehydration, too little calcium, a nocturnal schedule, and stress. While you might not be able to control the amount of stress you get, you can work to manage it better.
Should I never eat burgers and other high-fat foods?
As such, there is no food that you should absolutely avoid. However, you should consume everything in moderation, especially fast food. You can set a routine that allows you to eat the foods you like once or twice a week.
You can also try to make the meals you like with healthier ingredients. Use less oil in your food or use an airfryer. Try to change the buns you use. Switch your cereal to something a little less processed and use whole grains instead of polished ones. These small changes will help you age more slowly and stay in shape for longer.
Conclusion: How To Increase Metabolism?
While there are numerous ways you can increase your metabolism, you need to remember that there is no fast-track way of doing this. You need to stick to healthy habits for a longer time to see results. However, the good thing is that the results you see will last a lot longer.
In the end, all you have to do is exercise right, eat well, and get enough sleep. Meanwhile, you should bring as much positivity as you can into your life. Similarly, you must try to reduce stress as much as you can and find healthy ways to cope with the stress.